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(hieroglyphic), the other common1 (demotic). Diodorus says that the Ethiopian letters are called by the Egyptians "hieroglyphs." 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 Ist century after Christ, and who must be an entirely different person from Chaeremon the companion of Aelius Gallus (B.c. 25), derided by Strabo,5 and charged with lying by Josephus, wrote a work on Egyptian hieroglyphs,7 περὶ τῶν ἱερῶν γραμμάτων, 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 hieroglyphs, and that he understood them. He is mentioned by Eusebius as Χαιρήμων ὁ ἱερογραμματεύς, and by Suidas, but neither of these writers gives any information as to the contents of his work on hieroglyphs, and we should have no idea of what manner of work it was but for the extract preserved by John Tzetzes (Théτns, born about A.D. 1110, died after A.D. 1180). Tzetzes was a man of considerable learning and literary activity, and his works1o have value on account of the lost books which are quoted in them. In his Chiliades11 (Bk. V, line 395) he speaks of ó AiyúπTLOS ἱερογραμματεὺς Χαιρήμων, and refers to Chaeremon's διδάγματα των ἱερῶν γραμμάτων. 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' Exegesis, first published by Hermann, 12 1 Καὶ τὰ μὲν αὐτῶν ἱρά, τὰ δὲ δημοτικά καλέεται. Herodotus, II, 36, ed.

Didot, p. 84.

2 Diodorus, III, 4, ed. Didot, p. 129.

3 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.

* Γελώμενος δὲ τὸ πλέον ὡς ἀλαζὼν καὶ ἰδιώτης. Strabo, XVII, 1, § 29, ed. Didot, p. 685.

6 Contra Apion, I, 32 ff. On the identity of Chaeremon the Stoic philosopher with Chaeremon the iepoɣpaμμateve, see Zeller, Hermes, XI, s. 431. ' His other lost work, Aiquπτiaká, treated of the Exodus.

8 Praep. Evang., v, 10, ed. Gaisford, t. 1,

9 Sub voce Ιερογλυφικά.

p. 421.

10 For an account of them see Krumbacher, Geschichte der Byzantinischen Literatur, München, 1891, pp. 235–242.

11 Ed. Kiessling, Leipzig, 1826, p. 191.

12 Draconis Stratonicensis Liber de Metris Poeticis. Exegesis in Homeri Iliadem. Primum edidit. . Lipsiae, 1812.

Joannis Tzetzae God. Hermannus,

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 the study of hieroglyphs, 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.

"Ομηρος δέ, παιδευθεὶς ἀκριβῶς δὲ πᾶσαν μάθησιν ἐκ τῶν συμβολικῶν Αἰθιοπικῶν γραμμάτων, ταῦτά φησιν· οἱ γὰρ Αἰθίοπες στοιχεῖα γραμμάτων οὐκ ἔχουσιν, ἀλλ ̓ ἀντ ̓ αὐτῶν ζῷα παντοῖα, καὶ μέλη τούτων καὶ μόρια· βουλόμενοι γὰρ οἱ ἀρχαιότεροι τῶν ἱερογραμματέων τὸν περὶ θεῶν φυσικὸν λόγον κρύπτειν, δι' ἀλληγορικῶν καὶ συμβόλων τοιούτων καὶ γραμμάτων τοῖς ἰδίοις τέκνοις αὐτὰ παρεδίδουν, ὡς ὁ ἱερογραμματεὺς Χαιρήμων φησί·

1. καὶ ἀντὶ μὲν χαρᾶς, γυναῖκα τυμπανίζουσαν ἔγραφον·

2. ἀντὶ λύπης, ἄνθρωπον τῇ χειρὶ τὸ γένειον κρατοῦντα, καὶ πρὸς γῆν νεύοντα·

3. ἀντὶ δὲ συμφοράς, ὀφθαλμὸν δακρύοντα·

4. ἀντὶ τοῦ μὴ ἔχειν, δύο χεῖρας κενὰς ἐκτεταμένας·

5. ἀντὶ ἀνατολῆς, ὄφιν ἐξερχόμενον ἔκ τινος ὀπῆς·

6. ἀντὶ δύσεως, εἰσερχόμενον·

7. ἀντὶ ἀναβιώσεως, βάτραχον·

8. ἀντὶ ψυχῆς, ἱέρακα· ἔτι καὶ ἀντὶ ἡλίου καὶ θεοῦ·

9. ἀντὶ θηλυγόνου γυναικός, καὶ μητρὸς καὶ χρόνου καὶ οὐρανοῦ,


10. ἀντὶ βασιλέως, μέλισσαν·

11. ἀντὶ γενέσεως καὶ αὐτοφυῶν καὶ ἀῤῥένων, κάνθαρον·

12. ἀντὶ γῆς, βοῦν·

13. λέοντος δὲ προτομὴ πᾶσαν ἀρχὴν καὶ φυλακὴν δηλοῖ κατ'


14. οὐρὰ λέοντος, ἀνάγκην·

15. ἔλαφος, ἐνιαυτόν·

16. ὁμοίως καὶ ὁ φοίνιξ·

17. ὁ παῖς δηλοῖ τὰ αὐξανόμενα·

18. ὁ γέρων, τὰ φθειρόμενα·

19. τὸ τόξον, τὴν ὀξεῖαν δύναμιν· καὶ ἕτερα μύρια· ἐξ ὧν Ομηρος ταῦτά φησιν· ἐν ἄλλῳ δὲ τόπῳ, εἴπερ αἱρεῖσθε, ἰδὼν ἐκ

τοῦ Χαιρήμονος, καὶ τὰς τῶν γραμμάτων αὐτῶν ἐκφωνήσεις Αιθιοπικῶς εἴπω.

"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."

1. "And for joy, they would depict a woman beating a tambourine."

[The drum or tambourine was used in the temples for festival services, and a woman beating a tambourine is the determinative of the words

beat a tambourine," and

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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, is the determinative of the word

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grief." A seated woman with head bent and hands thrown up before her face, is the determinative of

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4. "For want, two hands stretched out empty."

Coptic &T.]

at, "not to have,

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I to be without."

5. "For rising, a snake coming out of a hole."

(of the sun).]

per, "to come forth, to rise "

6. "For setting, [the same] going in."


A aq, "to enter, to set" (of the


7. "For vivification, a frog."1

[The frog & mm hefnu, means 100,000, hence fertility

and abundance of life. See also the description of the frog used as an amulet in the section " Amulets."]

8. "For soul, a hawk; and also for sun and god."

ba, "soul," neter, “god,” and


"" 'Horus " or
or "the Sun-god."]


1 But compare Horapollo (ed. Leemans, p. 33), "Aλασтоv de äveрwжоv γράφοντες, βάτραχον ζωγραφοῦσιν.


For a female-bearing woman, and mother and time and sky, a vulture."

[mut, "mother," is the common meaning of a

vulture, and at times the goddess Mut seems to be identified with nut, the sky." Horapollo says


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that the vulture also meant year (ed. Leemans, p. 5), and this statement is borne out by the evidence of

the hieroglyphs, where we find that

renpit, "year."]

10. "For king, a bee."




[Compare nesu-bat, "king of the North and South."]

11. "For birth and natural growth, and males, a beetle." [The beetle Khepera was the emblem of the god

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Khepera, who is supposed to have created or
evolved himself, and to have given birth to gods, men,
and every creature and thing in earth and sky. The
means "to become," and in late texts

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See the section SCARAB.]

12. For earth, an ox."

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and 4 §

ȧh means

[ahet means field, and


can Chaeremon have confused the meanings of these two words, similar in sound?]

13. And the fore part of a lion signifies dominion and protection of every kind."


ha, "chief, that which is in front, duke,

14. "A lion's tail, necessity."

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[Compare peḥ," to force, to compel, to be strong.”] 15, 16. "A stag, year; likewise the palm."

[Of the stag meaning "year "I can give no example. The palm branch for renpit, is the common word

for "year."]

17. "The boy signifies growth."

[Compare, which is the determinative of words meaning

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And others by the thousand. And by means of these characters Homer says this. But I will proceed in another place, if you please, to explain the pronunciation of those characters in Ethiopic fashion, as I have learnt it from Chaeremon."1

In another place2 Tzetzes says, "Moreover, he was not uninitiated into the symbolic Ethiopian characters, the nature of which we will expound in the proper places. All this demonstrates that Homer was instructed in Egypt,” ναὶ μὴν οὐδὲ τῶν Αἰθιοπικῶν συμβολικῶν γραμμάτων ἀμύητος γέγονε, περὶ ὧν ἐν τοῖς οἰκείοις τόποις διδάξομεν ὁποῖα εἰσί. καὶ ταῦτα δὲ τὸν Ὅμηρον ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ παιδευθῆναι παραδεικνύουσι, and upon this the scholia on Tzetzes say: Περὶ τῶν Αἰθιοπικῶν γραμμάτων Διό[δωρος] μὲν ἐπεμνήσθη, καὶ μερικώς εἶπεν, ἀλλ ̓ ὥσπερ ἐξ ἀκοῆς ἄλλου μαθὼν καὶ οὐκ ἀκριβῶς αὐτὸς ἐπιστάμενος [εἰ] καί τινα τούτων κατέλεξεν ὥσπερ ἐν οἷς οἶδε παῤῥησιάζεται. Χαιρήμων δὲ ὁ ἱερογραμματεὺς ὅλην βίβλον περὶ τῶν τοιούτων γραμμάτων συνέταξεν. ἅτινα, ἐν τοῖς προ[σφόροις] τόποις τῶν Ομηρείων ἐπῶν ἀ[κρι]βέστερον καὶ πλατυτέρως ἐρῶ. "Diodorus made mention of the Ethiopian characters and spoke particularly, yet as though he had learnt by hearsay from another and did not understand them accurately himself, although he set down some of them, as though he were talking confidently on subjects that he knew. But Chaeremon the sacred scribe compiled a whole book about the aforesaid characters, which I will discuss more accurately and more fully in the proper places in the Homeric poems. It is much to be regretted that Chaeremon's work, if he ever fulfilled his promise, has not come down to us.

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One of the most valuable extracts from the works of Greek and Roman writers on Egypt is that from a translation of an

Bachmann, p. 823, 11. 12–34.
Bachmann, p. 755, 11. 9–12.

1 Hermann, p. 123, 11. 2–29;
2 Hermann, p. 17, 11. 21-25;
3 Hermann, p. 146, 11. 12–22; Bachmann, p. 838, 11. 31–37.

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