Hieroglyphics of the ancient Egyptians
Hieroglyphs were used by royalty and were used by powerful Pharaohs to record the achievements of their reign. Today, millions of hieroglyphs on religious inscriptions, sarcophagi, tombs and monuments survive as reminders of the bygone era of civilization.
Priests used hieroglyphs to record prayers and sermons related to life after death and worship of the gods. When decorating their tombs, many Egyptians carved hieroglyphs about life in the afterlife on the tomb walls and around the inside of the coffin. The oval character on the coffin is a type of royal title, often in an oblong form and can be found on Egyptian obelisks and ancient papyrus documents.
The hieroglyphs carved on the walls of temples and other decorative monuments have very sacred meaning. Passages from the “Book of the Afterlife,” a set of idioms that ancient Egyptians believed would guide them in the “afterlife,” were always engraved on their coffins.
Hieroglyphs on the walls of temples, tombs, and monuments have a divine relationship to “eternity.” Hieroglyphs were important as a means of communication with the Gods and the Egyptians believed that their language was a gift from the god Thoth, the god of the Moon and the goddess Seshat (god of wisdom). and writing).
At first glance at some words, the viewer can understand what they depict because the picture depicts a bird, a bug or a person, for example, helping to identify the ancients who drew a bird or described a certain type of bird. But when you look closely, you immediately get confused because besides that bird there are also many other motifs, grouped together like leaves, sticks, loaves of bread, tables and chairs, vases, strings or piles of cloth… Then, next to the tiny human figure, we see an image of a great bird-headed god supporting the sun, while not far away is another dog-headed god weighing his heart with a goose feather…
Hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt
Therefore, even when Egypt was then the cultural and intellectual center of the era, the majority of people were still illiterate, partly because of not having time to study, partly because of lack of education. . The only subjects here who have regular contact with hieroglyphic writing are the aristocracy – kings and clergy thanks to their status and wealth.
And what’s more important is that hieroglyphic writing is considered the language of the gods, so only royalty and priests can hear it, and it only appears in temples, palaces, tombs, and only occasionally. leaked out through edicts, paintings and statues – items that needed to be announced. Literally, hieroglyphs are sacred and divine engravings.
They are like paintings to be viewed from afar, but no one dares to touch them because they are the words of the king – Pharaoh, and higher up the gods, including the god of wisdom Thoh to help the king record his achievements in the past. kingdom from 5,200 years ago.
There are more than 2,000 characters and engravings in the ancient Egyptian writing system. Each picture represents an object, the syllable represents that object and the idea related to it. They are often engraved on walls, coffins and some furniture and jewelry in dense density, but with divided lines to convey the full meaning.
Researchers all believe that hieroglyphic writing appeared during the Naqada III period, when ancient Egypt reached the peak of civilization thanks to many breakthroughs in culture and technology. Culturally, they invented writing, paper, bread, wine, beer, and diverse clothes, and technologically, they had the technique to build magnificent temples, including towering pyramids.
Hieroglyphics are divine words and royal wishes, so they are always engraved and painted in every temple and royal tomb throughout Egypt. There are tens, hundreds of millions of such hieroglyphs, some blurred, some bold, even missing due to excavations and robberies, but still enough to revive memories of the earliest and prosperous civilization. greatest in human history.
The famous Rosseta Stone
The people assigned to record and teach the hieroglyph were priests, librarians, and royal servants. Their whole lives are always associated with building and carving symbols on houses and architecture.
The content is described quite richly, from praising the gods to instructions on offerings, activities inside and outside the palace, and especially how to embalm, send off and summon the souls of the dead, with the beliefs of the people. dead will be resurrected, returning as a god. In addition, there are rewards and punishments and many curses to prevent those who dare to touch the temple or the king’s resting place. Such instructions are often as long as the entire wall and contain many majestic and beautiful scenes.
No one could read the ancient Egyptian script for 1,400 years, until French researcher Jean-Francois Champollion, the father of Egyptology, interpreted the Rosseta stone in 1822. Rosseta has an inscription of a decree dated 196 BC written in three languages by the priests of Memphis.
The text of the tablet was written by a group of Egyptian priests to praise the Egyptian Pharaoh. It was written in three languages, including Egyptian hieroglyphs used to write religious documents, Greek, a type of script that wrote laws at the time, and demotic. It took 20 years to decode this Rosseta stone after it was excavated during Napoleon’s conquest of Egypt in 1799.
The discovery of the Rosetta stone can be said to be an extremely lucky thing for archeology because it is the only one that science can famously translate ancient Egypt, but the luckiest thing first was when the ancient Greeks Coming here, many scribes learned Greek and engraved it with hieroglyphic writing at the final stage of this civilization. The Rosetta Stone is a stele recording the decree of King Ptlolemy V (Greece) in the city of Memphis 2,196 years ago.
After being displayed in a temple until the Middle Ages, it was moved many places, then used as material for the Julien (Rosetta) fortress, and a piece of it, weighing more than 756 kg, was lying around. along the way and caught the eye of a military officer named Pierre Bouchard. And through that, people understood it in Greek, then adapted it into many other languages.
It can be seen that the ancient Egyptian language symbolizes the moral values and God-believing culture of the Egyptians. They believe in the intimate connection between humans and Gods, as well as the “eternity” that a soul can achieve when connected to the spiritual world.