Faculty of Arts


Egyptian Language 1A


Welcome to the arcane world of hieroglyphs!

Read ancient tales of wonder and marvel! (And learn a new language in the process.)

The language of the ancient Egyptians, written in hieroglyphs, was deciphered in 1822 by Jean-François Champollion. From that point, the literature of the Egyptians slowly began to come from the shadows, until today, when it is read and discussed all over the globe. Egyptian itself is a beautiful and playful language. The Egyptians revelled in visual and linguistic puns, and the sign system of hieroglyphs was ideal for both. The writing system, once enigmatic and thought to be esoteric, is now known to be used both within the literature and the art, and can be interpreted in multiple ways and on multiple levels.

This course begins with teaching you how to write the individual signs, and ends, with ANCHIST 220, in reading some of the wonderful and fantastical tales from the literature. The coursebook provides a detailed explanation of the grammar, through which you are guided slowly. It is not an easy language to learn, but it is very rewarding.


Coursework only

Availability 2020

Semester 1


Lecturer(s) Dr Jennifer Hellum


James Allen Middle Egyptian, 3rd  edition, Cambridge, 2014.


ANCHIST 210: 15.0 points


15 points at Stage I in Ancient History or Classical Studies, and 30 points passed

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