What was demotic writing used for?

History: scribe and writing

As most drastic Change compared to the previous history is allowed INVENTION the FONT around 3000 BC Chr. apply to the Beginning of the story designated. In a similar way raised the knowledge of Read and write the High cultures of Middle East from the contemporary neighboring cultures; because the CERTIFICATE opened up new possibilities of social organization as well as the placement of a growing crowd traditional knowledge. But since the writing was difficult (not based on a letter alphabet), the knowledge of reading and writing was limited to one elite.

A class of nobility that would not have been able to read and write, for example comparable to the European landed nobility, has it in the Ancient Egypt not given. The members of the upper class all had Writing careers in the civil service, in the army or as a priest behind him, including those Kings could read and write. The highest title in the administration there was no connection to writing, but we know from representations that these title holders WRITER were. In all areas, the written formed the basis any public organization. In its first The scribe was trained by another scribe.

The children of important personalities sometimes came quite early, for example with twelve years, into the official career. After completing the training, the ascent in the Administrative hierarchy.

The initial reasons seem, at least according to the findings of Deir el-Medinewhere we have knowledge of a school that we have acquired with passages from the in italic hieroglyphs written book with the label "Kemit" were written off.

Then the introduction to the classic Works of literature and finally, after taking on a position, dealing with contemporary mixed writings, model letters, satires, poems and panegyric Writings that were apparently to be done as daily homework and directed by the teacher.

Two considerations should be made about this type of training highlighted. On the one hand, the scribes mainly practiced the Italicswhich was generally used from the beginning, so that perhaps even a special training for the mastery of the usual on monuments Hieroglyphic writing was necessary, which then less people could read.

In the Late period went the both forms of writing even far apart. Second, they had Egyptians although one syllabic structured language so that lists are sometimes in "Alphabetical" Were made in order, but learning was done by practicing whole sentences or words, not individual characters.

Except for that Correspondence in administration, for letters, etc., the Italics also used for non-essential purposes, including to convey the most interesting from our point of view written legacy of literature. Are from schools and other sources literary texts receive. This includes narration, teaching and "Philosophical" Texts, hymns from the areas of cult and religion, love poetry, royal inscriptions and miscellaneous things that were only used secondary as literature.

As not literary texts in our current sense, we would use the medical and mathematical Fonts, Ritual texts and certain Books of the dead describe. "Production sites" of all kinds of written legacy were those attached to the temples "Houses of Life"where not only Transcripts were made of works of the beautiful literature, but the written tradition was plowed at all. The tradition lasted almost without a break Century AD with only a few texts making the transition from Hieratic to the Demotic survived. Some works of literature were particularly popular and familiar to all.

In EGYPT there was three Fonts:

HIEROGLYPHS for inscriptions on monuments and for ornamental inscriptions, italic written hieroglyphs for religious texts and that "KEMIT" called book as HIERATICALLY, the usual italic type in everyday use.

In the third split time were also inscriptions on monuments hieratic written that as the starting point for COURSES hierarchically, which in 8th-7th Century BC Chr. in the theban Area found use, and DEMOTICwho have favourited italics in the north after 700 and all over EGYPT around 600 BC Chr., has been. Hieratic can be written in hieroglyphics transcribe, although the result is a text that was originally written by you hieroglyphic designed deviates. At the Demotic at best make references to Hieratic here. Italic written hieroglyphs found in the course of the 1st millennium BC no longer use while Hieratic was retained until the end. Demotic was used in the Business, for literature and inscriptions.

The spoken language has of course changed slowly and continuously, but the written form has changed in leaps and bounds, it was related to the font. From Old people to the Middle realm, the period of Old- and Central Egyptian, the change in spoken language ran roughly parallel to the change in writing.

Spoken and written, on the other hand, diverged widely at the time of the 18th dynasty.

New Egyptian, the spoken language of the New Kingdom, was written in hieratic written documents of the 19.-20. dynasty used while for hieroglyphic written texts are still a loose form of Central Egyptian was used. At the Hieratic there are big differences between religious Texts in Middle Egyptian and Business documents in New Egyptian.

Demotic, roughly the spoken language from 7th-6th Century BC Chr. on, solved that New Egyptian from, yes until the end the ancient Egyptian culture remained Middle Egyptian the formal language of monuments. in the 2nd century AD were Magic texts increasingly with greek letters written and since Century AD that developed from this COPTICAL, the language of Christian Egypt, which is gradually following 640 AD the ARABIC Made way.


belongs to afro-asian Language family, why the semitic Languages ​​and african Language groups of Berber languages in the northwest by Chadian (around Lake Chad) as well Cushitic and Omotic in southern Sudan and Ethiopia.

It most closely resembles the semitic Languages, but must be as independent be valid. Its structure is of the semitic Languages, for example so far away as the today's English of Latin.

Source: World Atlas of Ancient Cultures "Egypt" published by Christian Verlag