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might draw the figure of that animal as the symbol of strength or force. But the inconvenience of representing the entire image would be almost immediately felt; and therefore necessity would teach the use of synecdoche, or putting a part for the whole, as when the Mexicans represented the rabbit by its head, and the reed by its flower. By another natural transition, an action or event would be indicated by some object necessary to its accomplishment, as when the Egyptians expressed the existence of a siege by painting a scaling-ladder. * Thus, the classifications which take place in all languages, but more especially the tropes and figures which abound in all dialects spoken by nations not yet refined by the highest civilization, must have greatly facilitated both the invention and the comprehension of hieroglyphics. +

But whatever might be the talents of the graphical painter or sculptor, his method was essentially defective; his symbols were constantly liable to be misunderstood, and his art could only be practised by a few. Therefore, as necessity is the parent of invention, and as the natural tendency of improvement is to abbreviate and simplify, the inconveniences attending the hieroglyphical mode of writing appear to have induced the Egyptians, at a very early period of their history, to begin at least the invention of a more compendious and practicable method of expressing their thoughts, by reference to the sounds of their living speech.

Accordingly, after mentioning that, contrary to the method of the Greeks, the Egyptians wrote from right to left (which is the truth, but not the whole truth, as we shall see hereafter), Herodotus proceeds to state, that they employed two kinds of characters, the one denominated sacred (ięd), and the other popular (ömuotixã); # but he says nothing which would lead us to infer that these sacred and popular characters had any affinity with each other. Diodorus Siculus repeats the statement of Herodotus almost in the same words; adding, moreover, that the popular characters were taught to all, but that the knowledge of the sacred characters was confined exclusively to the priests.Ş This is concise enough undoubtedly; but it embraces the whole information which these authors (both of whom had visited Egypt)

• Horus Apollo, Hieroglyphica, L. II.

Origines, B. iv. c. 9. + Δίφασιoισι δε γραμμάτι χρεώνται (Αίγυπτίοι), και τα μεν αυτων ιρα, τα δε δημοτικα καλείται. 1. 36.

9 Δίττών γαρ Αίγυπτίοις όντων γραμμάτων, τα μεν δημώδη προσαγορευομενα παντας μανθάνειν, τα δ' ιερα καλουμενα παρά μεν τοις Αίγυπτίοις μονους γινώσκειν τους ιερεις, κ. τ. λ. ΙΙΙ. 3.

have thought proper to communicate on this interesting subject. Scanty as it is, however, it is in perfect accordance with the inscription on the Rosetta Stone, to which we shall have frequent occasion afterwards to refer, and in regard to which it is impossible to suspect any error, since it bears to have been engraved under the inspection of the Egyptian priests themselves. That celebrated monument, agreeing in this respect with the authors just named, makes mention of only two kinds of characters; the one called cnchorial (έγχώρια γράμματα), or 4 characters of the ' country,' evidently identical with the demotic characters of Herodotus and Diodorus; and the other sacred (ispoo). But, notwithstanding this coincidence, we have yet learned nothing of the nature of these sacred and enchorial or popular characters; and must, therefore, turn at once to the well-known passage of Clemens Alexandrinus, in which that learned Father enumerates, with a precision to which recent discoveries have given a high value, the different methods of writing employed and

taught by the worshippers of Isis and Osiris. The passage alluded to, which is not without difficulty, has been often quoted, and we may add, often misunderstood or mistranslated; but, as it supplies a sort of key to the statements already given, and will be found in the sequel to receive a singular verification, its insertion entire is indispensable to that full view of the subject which we are anxious to lay before our readers. *

• Those who are educated among the Egyptians learn first of all the method of Egyptian writing called EPISTOLOGRAPHIC; * secondly, the HERATIC, which the hierogrammatists (or sa

cred scribes) employ; and, lastly, the most complete kind, • the HIEROGLYPHIC, -of which one sort is kuriologic' (or expressive of objects in a proper, not figurative or metaphorical, manner) · by means of the first (or initial) elements' (of words --that is, as we understand it, by reference to the initial sounds of

* Αντίκα οι παρ' Αίγυπτίοις παιδευόμενοι πρώτον μεν πάντων την Αίγυπτίων γραμμάτων μεθοδον, εκμανθάνουσι, την EΠIΣTOΛOΓPAΦIKHN καλουμένην δεύτερον δε, την “ΙΕΡΑΤΙΚΗΝ, η χρώνται οι ιερογραμματάς" υστάτην δε και τελευταίας ΙΕΡΟΓΛΥΦΙΚΗΝ, ής και μέν έστι δια των πρώτων στοιχείων κυριολογική, ή δε συμβολική. Της δε συμβολικής και μεν κυριολογείται κατά μίμησιν, και δ' ώσπερ τροπικώς γραφεται, και δε αντικρύς αλληγορείται κατά τινας αινιγμους. "Ηλιον γούν γράψαι βουλόμενοι κύκλον ποιούσι, σελήνην δε σχήμα μηνοειδές, κατά το κυριολογούμενον έιδος. Τροπικώς δε κατ' οικειότητα μετάγοντες και μετατιθέντες, τα δ' έξαλλαττοντες, τα δε πολλαχώς μετασχηματίζοντες χαράττουσιν. Τους γούν των βασιλέων επαίνους θεολογουμένους μύθους παραδίδοντες, αναγράφουσι δια των αναγλυφών. Τον δε κατά τους αινιγμούς τρίτου είδους δείγμα έστω τόδε τα μεν γαρ των άλλων άστρων, δια την πορείαν την λοξήν όφεων σώμασι απείκαζον, τον δεΗλιον τω του κανθάρου, κ. τ. λ. Strom. V. 647. Potter.

the words which denote these objects, in the spoken language of the country) ‘and another sort is symbolic. Of the symbolic [there ' are several kinds]: one represents objects properly by imitation; another expresses them tropically' (that is, indirectly, by synecdoche, metonymy, or metaphors); the third, on the con

trary, suggests them by means of certain allegorical ænigmas. • Thus, according to the method of representing the proper • form of objects [by imitation), the Egyptians make a circle • when they wish to indicate the Sun, and a luniform figure (or crescent) to denote the Moon. According to the tropical

method, they represent objects by means of certain agreements (or analogies) which they transfer into the expression

of those objects, sometimes by modifications [of form], most ' frequently by complete transformations : Thus, when they • transmit the praises of their kings in their theological fables,

they describe them by means of anaglyphs, (that is, by trans• positions, or transformations, of the hieroglyphs). "Of the • third kind of symbolical writing, which is ænigmatical, let • this serve as an example: They assimilate the oblique course • of the other [planetary) stars to the bodies of serpents, but that of the Sun to the body of a scarabæus,' &c.

Now, it is scarcely necessary to observe, that the method of writing which is called Epistolographic in this passage, is obviously the same with what is termed Demotic by Herodotus and Diodorus, and Enchorial in the Rosetta inscription. Neither is there any perplexity in the circumstance, that none of the other authorities use the term Hieratic of the learned Father; and that neither Herodotus nor Diodorus employ even the word Hieroglyphic. The Sacred characters spoken of by the two last authors, evidently include both the hieratic and hieroglyphic—both being used for sacred purposes, the former chiefly in manuscripts, and the latter, as the name indeed implies, on sculptured monuments. Upon these points, we believe, all the learned are now agreed—and it is needless to say more of them. But the chief difficulty, and the important feature of the passage, is that which treats of the Kuriologic method of writing, ια των πρώτων στοιχειων. That this refers to a phonetic system, or a method of representing spoken words, or sounds, might, we think, be pretty safely concluded, from the mere fact, that all the other varieties or applications of picture-writing are distinctly enumerated and exhausted in the succeeding parts of the description—the symbolical, by direct copying or imitation-the tropical, by metaphors and similitudes and the ænigmatical, by more obscure and far-fetched analogies. Now, besides all these, it is here clearly and formally announced that there was another, namely, the kuriologic, dia tw AQWTWY proyewv;' -and this, we think, can only mean a reference to spoken sounds or words. The expression is no doubt exceedingly elliptical and obscure. But we think it sufficiently clear, that it must mean some other way of communicating ideas than by the direct suggestion of the prototypes, or types respectively of the figures employed ;-and, with the knowledge we now have, we cannot but think it reasonably certain, that it must have been by the suggestion of words, or spoken sounds. Almost all those who have recently cited the passage, we observe, have substantially agreed in rendering' by letters;'—though they do by no means agree on the sense which should here be given to the very familiar words, Ta aqwa. Sir W. Drummond, in his Origines (Vol. II. p. 284) translates them the first elements • (or alphabetical characters)’ and M. Letronne, more directly, • les premiers lettres de l'alphabet;' a version which he afterwards made a little less vague, by ingeniously suggesting that the very simple words, the first,' were here used to denote the original or primary alphabet, of sixteen letters, brought into Greece by Cadmus--as distinguished from the larger alphabet afterwards adopted in that country.

In all this, however, there is nothing satisfactory, and much that seems extremely objectionable. In the first place, if croixeia, by itself, does not mean alphabetical characters, it is not easy to conceive how it should get that meaning, by having the very general term rewiz prefixed to it; and if it have that meaning by itself, it is obvious, that Sir W. Drummond's paraphrase takes no account of that important epithet at all, and actually drops it out of the translation. M. Letronne's version, again, taken without his commentary, plainly does not advance a single step in elucidating his author's meaning: For what, we would ask, are we to understand by the first letters of the alphabet ?-or how are kuriologic signs to become significant by means of such letters ? The same remark is applicable to the Cadmean hypothesis, -which is farther inadmissible, we think, for the two following reasons :- Ist, that the phrase, the first letters,' even allowing toxua to mean letters, is a phrase by which it is inconceiv. able that any one, treating, not of the Greeks, or their system of writing, at all, but of the varieties of the picture-writing of the Egyptian, should have thought of denoting the original imperfect alphabet of the Grecian nations; and second, because, if such pictures or signs were ever employed to denote words or sounds at all, it is impossible to see why they should not be used to express such words or sounds as could not be rendered by that imperfect alphabet, as well as those that could. None of those explanations, therefore, appear to us to give any definite or available sense to the passage in question; and for this reason we have ven

tured to suggest, in the preceding version, that its true meaning is, that one of the ways of writing was by figures, which were significant, by reference to the first, or initial, elements or sounds of words '—that is, by figures that expressed or suggested sounds, by representing objects, the familiar names of which, in the spoken language of the country, begun with these sounds. The word otoryac properly signifies only elements, or component parts; and though letters are no doubt the elements of written words, after alphabetical writing has been invented, we really do not see how it could possibly have been used to signify letters, in a passage which professedly treats of a state of things anterior to that invention - or rather, perbaps, describes the first steps which led to it. The picture-writers, seeking for the first time to express sounds, and so to render their work Phonetic, could not well accomplish this object, by referring to the letters of an alphabet, first or last, which was not yet in existence-and of which, in that very act, they were probably laying the foundations. They were desirous, it is supposed, to express words, by means of pictures or figures. We shall see, by and by, that they did, in point of fact, express them by painting or engraving a series of visible objects, the first or initial sounds in the spoken names of which, taken successively, made up the compound sounds, or words which they wanted. Now, if this was in truth the process they adopted, and if the fact was known, as it must have been, to the learned Father, we really can see no reason for doubting that ours is the true version of the disputed passage—that by storysa he meant the elements, or elementary sounds of words -and by mewice, simply their first or initial sounds-corresponding, no doubt, to their initial letters, after they came to be expressed by letters, but not alluded to by that title, in describing the first rudiments of a phonetic character. All this will be more developed hereafter : But, in the mean time, the different kinds of Egyptian writing mentioned by the ancients, and their relations to each other, will be understood at once from the following scheme: Egyptian Writing, Fl. Popular,

Demolic by Herodotus, & Demodic by Diodorus. divided by He- named

Enchorial, in the Rosetta Inscription. rodotus, Diodo

Epistolographic, by Clemens Alexandrinus, rus, and the In

rl. Hieratic, or Sacerdotal writing. scription of Ro

1. Kuriologic, by means of the setta, into two

initial sounds of words. kinds of charac. | II. SACRED, ters, viz. divided by

1. Kuriologic,

by imitation. Alexandri nus into 2. Hieroglyphic,

2. Tropic, incomposed of 2. Symbolic, { cluding Ana.

comprising i glyphic.

(3. Enigmatic.


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