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Egyptian hieroglyphs typical of the Graeco-Roman period, sculpted in Relief.
Glyphs: viper, Owl , 'bread bun', folded cloth

A hieroglyph (Greek for "sacred writing") was a character of the ancient Egyptian writing system. Logographic scripts that are pictographic in form in a way reminiscent of ancient Egyptian are also sometimes called "hieroglyphs".[1] In Neoplatonism, especially during the Renaissance, a "hieroglyph" was an artistic representation of an esoteric idea, which Neoplatonists believed actual Egyptian hieroglyphs to be. The word hieroglyphics refer to a hieroglyphic script. Only those privileged with an extensive education (i.e. the Pharaoh, nobility and priests) were able to read and write hieroglyphs; others used simpler 'joined-up' versions: demotic and hieratic script.

List of hieroglyphic scripts

See also


  1. ^ "Egypt, Ancient: Hieroglyphics and Origins of Alphabet". Encyclopedia of African History Title information  – via Credo Reference (subscription required). Retrieved 12 September 2012. 

Further reading

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