History of Africa

Egyptian Education - History of Egyptian Education


For nearly 15 centuries, humanity has been fascinated by Egyptian hieroglyphics without understanding their meaning. The Egyptian priests of the fourth century AD were the last men to use this language. They, by keeping the language so closed, caused the meaning of these messages to be lost. Europeans at the time and later thought that hieroglyphics were mystical instruments of some demonic rite.

Hieroglyphics may have started in prehistoric times as writing through images. Although the Egyptians never formed an alphabet as we know it, they did establish symbols for all the consonant sounds in their language. The system proved remarkably efficient. By combining phonograms, schematized versions of words were formed. Not all hieroglyphics abandoned their function as word images to become phonetic symbols. At least 100 hieroglyphs were used to represent the word they portrayed, and they were also used as determinants of the meaning of words.

For 3000 years they constituted the monumental language of Egypt. The last known inscription is from the year 394 AD, when Egypt was a Roman province. By then so many hieroglyphics had been purposely obscured by priestly scribes making the signs incomprehensible to most Egyptians. In 1822, a French linguist proved that drawings could form words unrelated to the picture. Only then did the men of the West begin to understand that they had before them a whole language that represented the key to what had hitherto been a mysterious people.

Egyptian alphabet

At the very beginning of Egyptian history, more than 6,000 years ago, the Egyptians used simple figures called hieroglyphics for their writing. This means that each and every idea had to have its own representative figure. Gradually, these figures became simpler, and sometimes only part of a word was used.

Later, some figures were used as letters, for the first time in history. These letters, however, were still mixed with figures of syllables and words. It is possible that the Phoenicians, who were the first to use only letters to write, were inspired by the Egyptians. The Egyptian alphabet is actually the ancestor of ours. Even the word "alphabet" comes from there. The first two letters of their alphabet are:"aleph" and "beth", names of "ox" and "house", respectively.

The Greeks copied their letters from the Phoenicians and tried to copy their names, but "aleph" became ALPHA and "beth" became BETA. If you put the two words together, it will give (adapted to Portuguese) "ALFABETO". After some time, the Greeks made their lyrics take the opposite form. From them the Romans copied most of their alphabet. After they dominated the region called "Iberia", the use of the Latin alphabet became common. When the Visigoths invaded it, in turn, they introduced new letters, with which excerpts from the Bible were written.

From the 15th century onwards, the "ITALIC CHARACTERS", the so-called "ROUND ALPHABET", began to be used definitively in the 17th century onwards. And, finally, with regard to Language, it is known that "Latin" was and is the 'Mother Language' of all current languages, even those with different spellings from Portuguese, as it was based on it that scholars they created other alphabets of their own, such as the Cyrillic Alphabet, currently used in Russia; created by two Russian scholars, the brothers Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius (two missionaries working for the conversion of Ancient Russia to Christianity, and researchers of several other languages, such as Greek).

Egyptian Civilization

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