Hieratic And Demotic Literature

Friedhelm Hoffmann

in The Oxford Handbook of Roman Egypt

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199571451
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

Hieratic And Demotic Literature

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  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology of the Near East
  • Egyptian Archaeology



In the third millennium bce, hieratic script developed from hieroglyphic script. The signs became simplified so that they could be written more quickly. Hieratic was used for both documentary texts and literary works. Around the middle of the first millennium bce, the use of hieratic writing became restricted. From that time onwards it was used only for literary texts in the broadest sense. For documentary texts, however, there was a new script: Demotic. This article discusses hieratic and Demotic script in Roman times, scribes, Egyptian literature in the Roman period, texts from the belles-lettres, scientific and scholarly texts, religious texts, and the end of pagan Egyptian literature.

Keywords: hieratic script; Demotic script; Roman period; Egyptian literature; scientific texts; religious texts

Article.  9033 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of the Near East ; Egyptian Archaeology

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