Hieroglyphs love poem
by Serge Rosmorduc (Paris 8 university)
Ir qiet em pa ankh,
Nefer sou emem naï hesout,
Iryet as, ben sou dy !
Areq inek paï, meroutet, itjes oui
After an idea of the pronunciation (above)
The reverse translation (below)
As for your image in the mirror,
It's beautiful among my poems,
Quickly act, it's not there!
It's my last "your love got me".
→ French poem ←
A nice translation into hieroglyphs (Ramesses II period) of the poem the mirror by Serge Rosmorduc university Paris VIII. The biggest difficulty being to return I love you, it preferred to use an originating periphrasis of love songs. (How someone can imagine how the egyptians spoke in these old period .. I do not know!).
A love poem translated into these nice egyptian glyphs, is I think, something new. And this is certainly the first poem in the world translated into hieroglyphs!
Some dates: from 5540bc to 2460bc we speak about ancient Egyptian, 5540bc already being protohistory. from 2460bc to 400bc we speak about middle Egyptian. From 400bc to 394ac we speak about Ptolemaic Egyptian (the rosette stone is from this epoch). The hieratic period (simplification of the hieroglyphs) goes from 3000bc to 700bc, the neo-egyptian is in this period between 1500bc and 700bc. The demotic period (a new simplification) goes from 700bc to 452ac, it is in this period that one finds the copte from 300bc to the present day.
The hieroglyphic writing appears towards -3200 and the last inscription found date from +394. It was not really invented until the day, or according to the principle of the rebus, it was decided to represent by the same sign two words of different meanings but of identical pronunciation. The phonograms are chosen among the ideograms but are now used not for their visual evocation value but for their phonetic value. Words are written in sequence without separating them, and when you want to read them, animated characters indicate the way of the reading which can be left, right, left, top down, bottom high.
The legend attributes the invention of hieroglyphs to Thot (the god with the head of an Ibis). Both scribe and secretary of the gods, he is said to have revealed hieroglyphs to men. In fact, this writing was born with the Egyptian civilization, which needed this tool to administer the society and in the first place, manage the work to better "domesticate" the Nile.
Long remained mysterious, Champollion was the first to understand the meaning of hieroglyphic writing. The detailed examination of the Rosetta stone, a decree in honor of Ptolemy, written in Egyptian (demotic version, and hieroglyphic version) and in Greek, allows him with the certainty of proper names to isolate a sure foundation to initiate its Deciphering (1822).
The hieroglyphics were not regarded by the Egyptians as simple motionless drawings. According to their beliefs, every sculptured or drawn form could be magically animated, each sign thus being a virtual, potential envelope of life. That is why, from the "texts of the pyramids", certain signs such as the serpent, the crocodile, which might eventually become dangerous, were cut in two by the sculptor: the meaning of the word remained, but the sign became harmless.
We can better understand why the scribes who were an elite corps, because they possessed a science, whose consequences could eventually be redoubtable.
In Sarabit al-Khadim, during excavations carried out by Sir Flinders Petrie, we find both hieroglyphics, and in the mines, a kind of alphabet ... and then a statuette (a kind of rosette stone), since 'it includes both an inscription in hieroglyphics, and another, in this curious alphabet.
Brought to the Bristish museum, Sir Alan Gardiner shows that this second inscription is in Canaanite, written by workers from Canaan on this Egyptian site (-1850). For the first time, they created an alphabet from hieroglyphic symbols, using only the first sound of the word. Applying the rebus principle as for hieroglyphics, but using only the first sound of the word represented by the hieroglyph, these have become letters. With simple sounds it became possible to write everything with only about thirty characters. All the alphabets in the world, by transformations of signs, derive from this invention made by these Canaanite workers.
The scroll of papyrus, noble support, of the non-monumental writing of ancient Egypt, represented the Egyptian "book". Several successive operations were necessary to make it. The material used was the stem of the swamp plant Cyperus papyrus L, abundant on the banks of the Nile.
The stems were cut into sticks of 30 to 40 cm long, from which strips of 10 to 15 mm width were taken. These strips were stripped of their bark and then crushed, and finally there were assembled in two layers, arranged perpendicular. They were squeezed again before drying and forming sheets of quadrangular shape, a little wider than high. Then they were assembled, leaving a vertical overlap area, to form a band of papyrus of variable length (we find a 23 m long one in the British museum).
This band, rolled up on itself gave the final product the roll "medjat", support of writing. The papyri most often were written in horizontal lines of hieratic writing (cursive form of hieroglyphic writing, appeared around -3000), and written from right to left, and from top to bottom, forming successive columns , of variable height and width.
These columns which succeeded one to another, in addition to their variable lengths and heights, had a parallelism which depended of the application of the scribe, but also of the source document of which he made the copy. The roll could be written on both sides. The scribe returned the support, its right end corresponding to the left end of the first face. The method of winding the roll, from left to right, made the right end, always the most inclined to damage, because it served as an envelope. The first column of text, of the first face, is always, with time and manipulations, the most degraded.