Demotic (600 BC – 400 AD) Demotic is the ancient Egyptian script that was used for everyday purposes, such as writing letters and legal documents, from around 600 BC to 400 AD. It evolved from the earlier hieratic script and was eventually replaced by the Greek alphabet after the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. Demotic script was typically written in ink on papyrus or linen and was characterized by its cursive, flowing style of writing. It originally consisted of around 28 signs and was written from right to left, though later versions could also be written from left to right. During its long history, Demotic underwent a number of changes and variations, and different dialects of the script were used in various regions of Egypt. Some of the most important texts written in Demotic include administrative documents, legal texts, and religious texts, as well as personal letters and literary works. Today, Demotic is an important source of information for scholars studying the history and culture of ancient Egypt, as it provides valuable insight into the everyday lives and practices of the people who lived during this fascinating period of history.
Demotic script is characterized by a flowing, cursive style of writing that is easier to read and write than hieroglyphs or hieratic script. It was written from right to left, though left-to-right versions also appeared in later periods. It originally consisted of around 28 signs, but over time, the number of signs was reduced, making the script even more versatile and easier to read and write. During the period when Demotic was in use, Egypt was under the rule of various foreign powers, including the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans. The script reflects the cultural influences of these different groups, with many texts written in Greek and incorporating Greek loanwords and names. Some of the most important texts written in Demotic include administrative documents, legal texts, and religious texts. Religious texts, in particular, played an important role in Demotic script, including the Coffin Texts, the Book of the Dead, and other funerary texts that were used to guide the deceased through the afterlife.