Demotic → Coptic → Meroitic Byblos syllabary
ISO 15924 Egyh, 060
U+13000–U+1342F (unified with Egyptian hieroglyphs)
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering
support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead
1 Etymology 2 Development 3 Uses and materials 4 Characteristics 5 Influence 6 Unicode 7 See also 8 Notes 9 References 10 External links
In the 2nd century AD, the term hieratic was first used by Clement of
Alexandria. It derives from the Greek phrase γράμματα
ἱερατικά (grammata hieratika; literally "priestly writing"),
as at that time, hieratic was used only for religious texts, as had
been the case for the previous eight and a half centuries.
One of four official letters to vizier Khay copied onto fragments of limestone (an ostracon).
Through most of its long history, hieratic was used for writing administrative documents, accounts, legal texts, and letters, as well as mathematical, medical, literary, and religious texts. During the Græco-Roman period, when Demotic (and later Greek) had become the chief administrative script, hieratic was limited primarily to religious texts. In general, hieratic was much more important than hieroglyphs throughout Egypt's history, being the script used in daily life. It was also the writing system first taught to students, knowledge of hieroglyphs being limited to a small minority who were given additional training. In fact, it is often possible to detect errors in hieroglyphic texts that came about due to a misunderstanding of an original hieratic text. Most often, hieratic script was written in ink with a reed brush on papyrus, wood, stone or pottery ostraca. Thousands of limestone ostraca have been found at the site of Deir al-Madinah, revealing an intimate picture of the lives of common Egyptian workmen. Besides papyrus, stone, ceramic shards, and wood, there are hieratic texts on leather rolls, though few have survived. There are also hieratic texts written on cloth, especially on linen used in mummification. There are some hieratic texts inscribed on stone, a variety known as lapidary hieratic; these are particularly common on stelae from the 22nd Dynasty. During the late 6th Dynasty, hieratic was sometimes incised into mud tablets with a stylus, similar to cuneiform. About five hundred of these tablets have been discovered in the governor's palace at Ayn Asil (Balat), and a single example was discovered from the site of Ayn al-Gazzarin, both in the Dakhla Oasis. At the time the tablets were made, Dakhla was located far from centers of papyrus production. These tablets record inventories, name lists, accounts, and approximately fifty letters. Of the letters, many are internal letters that were circulated within the palace and the local settlement, but others were sent from other villages in the oasis to the governor. Characteristics
Exercise tablet with hieratic excerpt from The Instructions of Amenemhat. Dynasty XVIII, reign of Amenhotep I, c. 1514–1493 BC. Text reads: "Be on your guard against all who are subordinate to you ... Trust no brother, know no friend, make no intimates."
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2008)
Coptic alphabet Egyptian numerals
^ a b Goedicke 1988:vii–viii.
^ McGregor, W. B., Linguistics: An Introduction (London: Bloomsbury
Academic, 2015), p. 306.
^ Goedicke 1988:vii; Wente 2001:2006. The reference is made in
Clement's Stromata 5:4.
^ Definition of hieratic, Free Online Dictionary. Retrieved
^ Baines 1983:583.
^ During the Roman period reed pens (calami) were also used.
^ Soukiassian, Wuttman, Pantalacci 2002.
^ Posener-Kriéger 1992; Pantalacci 1998.
^ Scribes and craftsmen: the noble art of writing on clay. Feb 29,
2012; UCL Institute of Archaeology
^ Parkinson and Quirke 1995:20.
^ Gardiner 1929.
^ Wente 2001:210. See also Malinine .
^ Hoch 1990.
^ Aharoni 1966; Goldwasser 1991.
Aharoni, Yohanan (1966). "The Use of
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hieratic.
Ancient Egyptian scripts – hieratic
v t e
Outline Index Major topics Glossary of artifacts
Agriculture Architecture (Egyptian Revival architecture) Art Astronomy Chronology Cities (list) Clothing Cuisine Dynasties Funerary practices Geography Great Royal Wives History Language Literature Mathematics Medicine Military Music Mythology People Pharaohs (list) Philosophy Religion Sites Technology Trade Writing
Egyptology Egyptologists Museums
v t e
Types of writing systems
History of writing Grapheme
undeciphered inventors constructed
Languages by writing system / by first written accounts
Arabic Pitman shorthand Hebrew
Ashuri Cursive Rashi Solitreo
Tifinagh Manichaean Nabataean Old North Arabian Pahlavi Pegon Phoenician
Proto-Sinaitic Psalter Punic Samaritan South Arabian
ʾEsṭrangēlā Serṭā Maḏnḥāyā
Teeline Shorthand Ugaritic
Asamiya (Ôxômiya) Bānglā Bhaikshuki Bhujinmol Brāhmī Devanāgarī Dogri Gujarati Gupta Gurmukhī Kaithi Kalinga Khojki Khotanese Khudawadi Laṇḍā Lepcha Limbu Mahajani Meitei Mayek Modi Multani Nāgarī Nandinagari Odia 'Phags-pa Newar Ranjana Sharada Saurashtra Siddhaṃ Soyombo Sylheti Nagari Takri Tibetan
Tirhuta Tocharian Zanabazar Square Zhang-Zhung
Drusha Marchen Marchung Pungs-chen Pungs-chung
Ahom Balinese Batak Baybayin Bhattiprolu Buhid Burmese Chakma Cham Grantha Goykanadi Hanunó'o Javanese Kadamba Kannada Karen Kawi Khmer Kulitan Lanna Lao Leke Lontara Malayalam Maldivian
Dhives Akuru Eveyla Akuru Thaana
Mon Old Makassarese Old Sundanese Pallava Pyu Rejang Rencong Sinhala Sundanese Tagbanwa Tai Le Tai Tham Tai Viet Tamil Telugu Thai Tigalari Vatteluttu
Boyd's syllabic shorthand Canadian syllabics
Blackfoot Déné syllabics
Fox I Ge'ez Gunjala Gondi Japanese Braille Jenticha Kayah Li Kharosthi Mandombe Masaram Gondi Meroitic Miao Mwangwego Sorang Sompeng Pahawh Hmong Thomas Natural Shorthand
Abkhaz Adlam Armenian Avestan Avoiuli Bassa Vah Borama Carian Caucasian Albanian Coorgi–Cox alphabet Coptic Cyrillic Deseret Duployan shorthand
Early Cyrillic Eclectic shorthand Elbasan Etruscan Evenki Fox II Fraser Gabelsberger shorthand Garay Georgian
Asomtavruli Nuskhuri Mkhedruli
Glagolitic Gothic Gregg shorthand Greek Greco-Iberian alphabet Hangul Hanifi IPA Kaddare Latin
Beneventan Blackletter Carolingian minuscule Fraktur Gaelic Insular Kurrent Merovingian Sigla Sütterlin Tironian notes Visigothic
Luo Lycian Lydian Manchu Mandaic Medefaidrin Molodtsov Mongolian Mru Neo-Tifinagh New Tai Lue N'Ko Ogham Oirat Ol Chiki Old Hungarian Old Italic Old Permic Orkhon Old Uyghur Osage Osmanya Pau Cin Hau Runic
Anglo-Saxon Cipher Dalecarlian Elder Futhark Younger Futhark Gothic Marcomannic Medieval Staveless
Sidetic Shavian Somali Tifinagh Vagindra Visible Speech Vithkuqi Wancho Zaghawa
Braille Maritime flags Morse code New York Point Semaphore line Flag semaphore Moon type
Adinkra Aztec Blissymbol Dongba Ersu Shaba Emoji IConji Isotype Kaidā Míkmaq Mixtec New Epoch Notation Painting Nsibidi Ojibwe Hieroglyphs Siglas poveiras Testerian Yerkish Zapotec
Chinese family of scripts
Simplified Traditional Oracle bone script Bronze Script Seal Script
large small bird-worm
Hanja Idu Kanji Chữ nôm Zhuang
Jurchen Khitan large script Sui Tangut
Akkadian Assyrian Elamite Hittite Luwian Sumerian
Anatolian Bagam Cretan Isthmian Maya Proto-Elamite Yi (Classical)
Demotic Hieratic Hieroglyphs
Hindu-Arabic Abjad Attic (Greek) Muisca Roman
Celtiberian Northeastern Iberian Southeastern Iberian Khom
Espanca Pahawh Hmong Khitan small script Southwest Paleohispanic Zhuyin fuhao
ASLwrite SignWriting si5s Stokoe Notation
Afaka Bamum Bété Byblos Cherokee Cypriot Cypro-Minoan Ditema tsa Dinoko Eskayan Geba Great Lakes Algonquian syllabics Iban Japanese
Hiragana Katakana Man'yōgana Hentaigana Sogana Jindai moji
Kikakui Kpelle Linear B Linear Elamite Lisu Loma Nüshu Nwagu Aneke script Old Persian Cuneiform Vai Woleai Yi (Modern) Yugtun
v t e
French-ordered scripts (see for more)
Albanian Amharic Arabic Armenian Azerbaijani Belarusian Bharati
Bulgarian Burmese Cambodian Cantonese Catalan Chinese (Mandarin, mainland) Czech Dutch Dzongkha (Bhutanese) English (Unified English) Esperanto Estonian Faroese French Georgian German Ghanaian Greek Guarani Hawaiian Hebrew Hungarian Icelandic Inuktitut (reassigned vowels) Iñupiaq IPA Irish Italian Kazakh Kyrgyz Latvian Lithuanian Maltese Mongolian Māori Navajo Nigerian Northern Sami Persian Philippine Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Samoan Scandinavian Slovak South African Spanish Tatar Taiwanese Mandarin (largely reassigned) Thai & Lao (Japanese vowels) Tibetan Turkish Ukrainian Vietnamese Welsh Yugoslav
Japanese Korean Two-Cell Chinese
Luxembourgish Kanji Gardner–Salinas braille codes (GS8)
Symbols in braille
Louis Braille Charles Barbier Valentin Haüy Thakur Vishva Narain Singh Sabriye Tenberken William Bell Wait
Other tactile alphabets
Decapoint Moon type New York Point Night writing Vibratese
v t e
Electronic writing systems
Emoticons Emoji iConji Leet Unicode
v t e
See also English internet slang (at Wiktionary)