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Egyptian Hieroglyphic Grammar: With…
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Egyptian Hieroglyphic Grammar: With Vocabularies, Exercises, Chrestomathy…

by Samuel A. B. Mercer

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Be aware that this text is exactly what its title says it is: a grammar. The text is terse and to the point - out of the book's 184 pages, only the first 86 actually contain English text. The rest are the selection of Egyptian readings (or "Chrestomathy" as he calls it) and the sign list.

Furthermore, the copies printed by Ares are exact duplicates of the original edition (1926, London). When this was written, it was still a fairly safe assumption that anyone reading it had already studied Latin and probably Greek. As a result, you will find this rough going if you're not already familiar with grammatical terms. I had some Latin and Anglo-Saxon before I was assigned this book as an introductory text. Most of my classmates did not have that background. I learned a good deal from this book; they, mostly, did not.

In short, if you don't know what a "dual pronoun" is, you need a newer, friendlier book. I have some recommendations.

For a comprehensive introductory textbook aimed at those with a serious interest in mastering Middle Egyptian, try "Middle Egyptian: an introduction to the language and culture of hieroglyphs" by James P. Allen. If your interest is more casual, you may find "How To Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs" by Mark Collier and Bill Manley helpful. Both base their examples on texts found in museum pieces.

Alan Gardiner's "Egyptian Grammar" is still fairly comprehensive, but decidedly dated. Avoid anything by E.A.W. Budge - he published prolifically, but also sloppily. There are a great many errors in Budge's work, which will cause you no end of headaches if you try and use his texts as study guides.

Lastly, for a good dictionary try "A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian" by Raymond Faulkner. Note that this book is handwritten lecture notes in published form, so it can be hard to read. The English index was published as a separate volume, the "English-Egyptian index of Faulkner's Concise dictionary of Middle Egyptian" by David Shennum. These two are expensive; refer to them at a library if you can. ( )
  Selanit | Jul 1, 2007 |
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