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placed the Egyptian, and the writing in common use among the people, called to-day “demotic” or “enchorial,” and anciently “epistolographic,” completely usurped the place of the “hieratic” or cursive form of hieroglyphic writing. Although the Greeks and Romans appear not to have studied hieroglyphics thoroughly, only repeating, generally, what they were told about certain signs, nevertheless writers like Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, Hermapion, Chaeremon, Clemens Alexandrinus, and Horapollo, contribute information on this subject of considerable value.
To Hecataeus of Miletus," who visited Egypt between B.C. 513—501, we owe, through Herodotus, much knowledge of Egypt, and he must be considered the earliest Greek writer upon Egypt. Hellanitus of Mytilene, B.C. 478–393, shows in his Aiyvirtuakā that he has some accurate knowledge of the meaning of some hieroglyphic words. * Democritus wrote upon the hieroglyphics of Meroë, * but this work is lost. Herodotus says that the Egyptians used two quite different kinds of writing, one of which is called sacred (hieroglyphic), the other common (demotic). Diodorus says that the Ethiopian letters are called by the Egyptians “hieroglyphics.” “ Strabo, speaking of the obelisks at Thebes, says that there are inscriptions upon them which proclaim the riches and power of their kings, and that their rule extends even to Scythia, Bactria, and India." Chaeremon of Naucratis, who lived in the first half of the first century after Christ,’ and who must be an entirely different person from Chaeremon the companion of Aelius Gallus (B.C. 25), derided by Strabo,' and charged with lying by Josephus,” wrote a work on Egyptian hieroglyphics” repl rôv tepôv Ypappudorov, which has been lost. He appears to have been attached to the great library of Alexandria, and as he was a “sacred scribe,” it may therefore be assumed that he had access to many important works on hieroglyphics, and that he understood them. He is mentioned by Eusebius * as Xalpmuov Ó iepolypapoplateiss, and by Suidas,” but neither of these writers gives any information as to the contents of his work on hieroglyphics, and we should have no idea of the manner of work it was but for the extract preserved by John Tzetzes (Térôms, born about A.D. I I Io, died after A.D. 1180). Tzetzes was a man of considerable learning and literary activity, and his works" have value on account of the lost books which are quoted in them. In his Chiliades' (Bk. V., line 395) he speaks of 6 Alyvirtuos tepolypappareis XalpiAuov, and refers to Chaeremon's 8tbaoyuata tow tepov Ypappudtov. In his Exegesis of Homer's Iliad he gives an extract from the work itself, and we are able to see at once that it was written by one who was able to give his information at first hand. This interesting extract was first brought to the notice of the world by the late Dr. Birch, who published a paper on it in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature, Vol. III., second series, 1850, pp. 385–396. In it he quoted the Greek text of the extract, from the edition of Tzetzes' Eregesis, first published by Hermann,” and added remarks and hieroglyphic characters illustrative of it, together with the scholia of Tzetzes, the text of which he emended in places. As this extract is so important for the history of
Greek writers upon Egyptian hieroglyphics.
* See De rerum Aegyptiacarum scriptoribus Graecis ante Alexandrum Magnum, in Philologus, Bd. X. s. 525. * See the instances quoted in Philologus, Bd. X. s. 539.
* II*pi rāv kv Mépôy itpøv Ypapparwy. Diogenes Laertius, Vit. Democ., ed. Isaac Casaubon, 1593, p. 661.
* Kai rā uév abrov ipá, rå 88 &nuoruká kaxéeral. Herodotus, II. 36, ed. Didot, p. 84.
* Diodorus, III. 4, ed. Didot, p. 129.
* Strabo, XVII. 1, § 46, ed. Didot, p. 693.
* According to Mommsen he came to Rome, as tutor to Nero, in the reign of Claudius. Provinces of Rome, Vol. II. pp. 259, 273.
' Textout voc 8: rö 'tafov dog áAačov kai ičićrmc. Strabo, XVII. 1, § 29, ed. Didot, p. 685.
* Contra Apion., I. 32 f. On the identity of Chaeremon the Stoic philosopher with Chaeremon the tepoypapouars oc, see Zeller, Hermes, XI. s. 431.
* His other lost work, Alyvrriaká, treated of the Exodus.
* Praep. Evang., v. Io, ed. Gaisford, t. 1, p. 421.
* Sub voce 'Ispoo)\vouká.
* For an account of them see Krumbacher, Geschichte ae, Byzantinischen Iliteratur, München, 1891, pp. 235-242.
7 Ed. Kiessling, Leipzig, 1826, p. 191.
* Draconis Stratonicensis Liber de Metris Poeticis. Joannis Tzetzae Exegesis in Homeri Iliadem. Primum edidit . . . . . God. Hermannus, Lipsiae, 1812.
H. M. |
Greek writers upon Egyptian hieroglyphics.
John Tzetzes on Fgyptian hieroglyphics.
Extract from Tzetzes' work on the Iliad.
Translation of the extract.
the study of hieroglyphics, it is given here, together with the scholia on it, from the excellent edition of the Greek text, by Lud. Bachmann, Scholia in Homeri Iliadem, Lipsiae, 1835, pp. 823, § 97 and 838, with an English translation.
“Now, Homer says this as he was accurately instructed in all learning by means of the symbolic Ethiopian characters For the Ethiopians do not use alphabetic characters, but depict animals of all sorts instead, and limbs and members of these animals; for the sacred scribes in former times desired to conceal their opinion about the nature of the gods, and therefore handed all this down to their own children by allegorical methods and the aforesaid symbols and characters, as the sacred scribe Chaeremon says.” I. “And for joy, they would depict a woman beating a Accuracy bourine.” of Tzetzes' tambourine. Statements [The drum or tambourine was used in the temples Proved.
techennu.] 2. “For grief, a man clasping his chin in his hand and bending towards the ground.”
|A man, seated, with his hand to his mouth, 6.
chadnau, “grief.” A seated woman with head
determinative of if \f Aath, “to weep."]
3. “For misfortune, an eye weeping.”
fertility and abundance of life.] * But compare Horapollo, (ed. Leemans, p. 33), "Atxaarov 88 div6pwrov
Accuracy 8. “For soul, a hawk; and also for sun and god.”
Statements Compare § ba, “soul,” Şs meter, “god,” and Şs proved.
9. “For a female-bearing woman, and mother and time and sky, a vulture.” [\\ S mut, “mother,” is the common meaning of a
vulture, and at times the goddess Mut seems to be identified with olis nut, “the sky.” Horapollo says that the vulture also meant “year” (ed. Leemans, p. 5), and this statement is borne out by the evidence of the hieroglyphics, where we find that
IO. “For king, a bee.”
[The beetle § Xeperd was the emblem of the god
or evolved himself, and to have given birth to gods, men, and every creature and thing in earth
be fairly well rendered by “evolutions.” The meaning male comes, of course, from the idea of the ancients that the beetle had no female. See infra, under Scarab.]
can Chaeremon have confused the meanings of these two words, similar in sound PJ
13. “And the fore part of a lion significs dominion and protection of every kind.”