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The various kinds of writing used in Egypt.
purposes; in the early days of Egyptian decipherment it was called enchorial, from the Greek éyxopuos. The demotic writing appears to have come into use about B.C. 900, and it survived until about the fourth century after Christ. In the time of the Ptolemies three kinds of writing were inscribed side by side upon documents of public importance, hieroglyphic, Greek, and Demotic ; examples are the stele of Canopus, set up in the ninth year of the reign of Ptolemy III. Euergetes I., B.C. 247–222, at Canopus, to record the benefits which this king had conferred upon his country, and the famous Rosetta Stone, set up at Rosetta in the eighth year of the reign of Ptolemy V. Epiphanes (B.C. 205–182), likewise to commemorate the benefits conferred upon Egypt by himself and his family, etc., etc. On the Rosetta Stone
A century or two after the Christian era Greek had obtained such a hold upon the inhabitants of Egypt, that the native Christian population, the disciples and followers of Saint Mark, were obliged to use the Greek alphabet to write down the Egyptian, that is to say Coptic, translation of the books of the Old and New Testaments, but they borrowed six signs from the demotic forms of ancient Egyptian characters to express the sounds which they found unrepresented in Greek. These signs are—
The knowledge of the ancient hieroglyphics was fast dying out, and the phonetic values of many of those in use at this period were altered. The name Copt is derived from laos, the Arabic form of the Coptic form of the Greek name for Egyptian, AlyūTrios. The Coptic language is, at base, a dialect of ancient Egyptian ; many of the nouns and verbs found in the hieroglyphic texts remain unchanged in Coptic, and a large number of others can, by making proper allowance for phonetic decay and dialectic differences, be identified without difficulty.
The Coptic dialect of Upper Egypt, called “Sahidic" (from Arab. As 2), or Theban, was the older and richer dialect; that of Lower Egypt was called Boheiric, from the province of Boheirá in the Delta. The latter dialect has been wrongly called Bashmuric, and as it appears to have been exclusively the language of Memphis, it has obtained generally the name “Memphitic”; the dialect of Bushmur on the Lake of Menzaleh appears to have become extinct about A.D. 900, and to have left no traces of itself behind. The Coptic translation of the Bible was considered by Renaudet, Wilkins, Woide, and George, to be as old as the second century of our era; more modern scholars, however, are inclined to assert that it is not older than the eighth century. For an account of the revival of Coptic studies in Europe, see Quatremère, Recherches Critiques et Historiques sur la Langue et la Littérature de l'Egypte, Paris, 1808, and for a list of the printed literature of the Copts, see Stern, Koptische Grammatik, pp. 441–447. The recognition of the fact that a knowledge of Coptic is most valuable as a preliminary to the study of hieroglyphics, probably accounts for the large and increasing share of the attention of scholars which this language receives.
MUMMIES OF ANIMALS, REPTILES, BIRDS,
The most common of the animals, reptiles, birds, and fishes which the Egyptians regarded as emblems of or sacred to the gods, and therefore mummified with great reverence and care, were:–Bull, Antelope, Jackal, Hippopotamus, Cat, Monkey or Ape, Crocodile, Ichneumon, Hedgehog, Shrewmouse, Ibis, Hawk, Frog, Toad, Scorpion, Beetle, Snake, and the Latus, Oxyrhynchus and Silurus fishes.
Greek legends concerning the cat.
Mummies of animals, etc.
tolerably common; they were mummified with great honour, and buried in sarcophagi at Sakkârah. The oldest are probably those of the XVIIIth dynasty.
| # mallet', mummies are rare ; a good specimen is
common, and exhibit many methods of bandaging with linen of two colours; they were placed in bronze or wooden cases, made in the form of a cat, the eyes of which were inlaid with obsidian, rock-crystal, or coloured paste. Wooden cat-cases often stand on pedestals, and are painted white, green, etc. Mummified kittens were placed in rectangular bronze or wooden cases, which, at times, are surmounted with figures of cats. Diodorus says (I., 83) that when a cat died all the inmates of the house shaved their eyebrows as a sign of mourning, and although the statement by the same writer that the Egyptians slew a Roman who had accidentally killed a cat may be somewhat exaggerated, there is no doubt that the animal sacred to Bast was treated with great respect in Egypt, and that dead bodies of the animals were sent to be buried, after embalmment, to Bubastis. The cat was fed with specially prepared bread soaked in milk, and chopped fish.
of a large size are not common ; small crocodiles, lizards, and other members of that family were embalmed and placed in rectangular bronze or wooden cases, the tops of which were frequently surmounted by a figure of this reptile in relief.
Ichneumon mummies were placed in bronze cases, made in the shape of this animal.
Shrew-mice mummies are not common; they were placed in rectangular bronze cases, surmounted by a figure of this animal.
embalmed, and buried in earthenware jars, stopped with plaster, are very common.
mified, was placed either in a rectangular bronze case or in a bronze case in the form of a hawk.
Frogs, in Egyptian ; : Şe heget, and Toads, when emch balmed, were placed in cases made of bronze or steatite. Scorpion, in Egyptian s 2 332 Serg, mummies are very rare; they were placed in rectangular cases, inscribed with the name of Isis-Serq, which were surmounted by
figures of the scorpion, with the head of a woman wearing disk and horns (B.M. No. 1 1,629).
rarely s .3 dbeb, mummies were deposited in cases of
wood (B.M. No. 8654a) or stone (B.M. No. 2880).
Fish were mummified largely, and were either placed singly in cases of bronze or wood, or several were bandaged up in a bundle and laid in a pit prepared for the purpose. Many fish were known to the Egyptians, and the commoner
Ješo bctu ; the usual name for fish in general was
Mummies of reptiles, etc.
awwowa dint were mythological fishes which accompanied ch the boat of the Sun.
CIPPI OF HORUS.
These curious and interesting objects are made of basalt and other kinds of hard stone, and calcareous stone; they are in the shape of a rounded tablet, and vary in size srom 3 in. x 2 in., to 20 in. x 16 in.; the Metternich stele is, however, very much larger. The scenes engraved upon them represent the triumph of light over darkness, the victory of good over evil, and cippi were used as talismans by those who were initiated into the mysteries of magic, to guard them from the attacks of noxious beasts, and from the baneful influence of Set, the god of all evil. To give an idea of these magical objects, a description of an example, in a good state of preservation, now in the British Museum (No. 957a) is here appended." On the front, in relief, is a figure of Horus, naked, standing upon two crocodiles, which are supported by a projecting ledge at the foot of the stele. Horus has the lock of hair, emblematic of youth, on the right side of his head, and above him, resting on the top of his head, is a head of Bes, also in relief. His arms hang at a little distance from his sides; in the right hand he holds two serpents, a scorpion, and a ram or stag, Scenes on and in the left two serpents, a scorpion, and a lion. On the i."" right is a sceptre, upon which stands the hawk of Horus wearing horns, disk and feathers,” and on the left is a lotusheaded sceptre with plumes and two mendits" (see p. 265). To the right and to the left of the god, outside the sceptres, are eight divisions; those on the right represent:1. Oryx, with a hawk on his back, in front is inscribed
~ , “Horus, lord of Hebennu," i.e., the metropolis of the sixteenth nome of Upper Egypt.
* A faulty copy is given in Wilkinson, Zhe Ancient Egyptians, Vol. III., pl. XXXIII.
** The inscription reads ==T | , “Behutet, great god.” c
*= * The inscription reads, Ö s | S-> Loo ca