Ptolemaic Hieroglyphs

EGPT 30446
Ptolemaic Hieroglyphs
M/W 8:00–9:20 AM
Oriental Institute 208

The temples of Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt are covered with hieroglyphic texts, forming monumental libraries preserving the sacred literature of Egypt. Such texts have become infamous for their elaborate expansion of the hieroglyphic writing system that consisted of over 7000 individual signs to write a language that both hearkened back to Middle Egyptian, while simultaneously reflecting linguistic updating from Late Egyptian and Demotic. “Ptolemaic” and “Ptolemaic Hieroglyphs” were terms coined to describe this language and orthographic system. However, although the system expanded rapidly in the Ptolemaic Period, all the elements were already in place in earlier phases of Egyptian. Likewise, these developments did not affect only the hieroglyphic script, but also the hieratic script as well. In this course, students will gain an understanding of Ptolemaic Hieroglyphs through an in-depth study of the scholarly discussion about its nature and guided readings in a selection of texts representing important genres within the larger corpus. Individual readings have been selected which also related to important developments in history, culture, and religion in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt.

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