Meroïtic alphabet

Meroïtic alphabet


The Meroïtic alphabet was derived from ancient Egyptian writing sometime during the 4th century BC in around 315 BC. A cursive form developed in 185 BC and the alphabet was used until about 440 AD. The alphabet was deciphered by the British Egyptologist Francis Llewellyn Griffith in 1909.

Notable features

  • There are two versions of the alphabet - one based on the Egyptian hieroglyphic script, the other a cursive version based on the Egyptian demotic script.
  • The hieroglyphic form of the alphabet was written in vertical columns from top to bottom and from right to left, while the cursive form was generally written in horizontal lines running from right to left.

Used to write:

Meroïtic, an extinct language that was spoken in the Nile valley and northern Sudan until about the 4th century AD, after which time it was gradually replaced with Nubian. Linguists are unsure about how Meroïtic is related to other languages and have therefore been unable to make any sense of the Meroïtic inscriptions.
Meroïtic alphabet

Sample text

Sample text in Meroïtic
Text from Lost Languages by Andrew Robinson and regularized by Ian James

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