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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Poe: An introduction to hieratic Middle Egyptian through the text of The Shipwrecked Sailor

William Clay Poe,
The Writing of a Skillful Scribe. An introduction to hieratic Middle Egyptian through the text of The Shipwrecked Sailor,
Santa Rosa, CA, 2010. - 344 pp. - pdf-file (11.6 MB)

"This book is an introduction to the principal form of the literary language of ancient Egypt. It is assumed that most people who use this text will be interested primarily in the Egyptian language as a component of the study of the culture of ancient Egypt and so will not be focused primarily upon the structure of Egyptian grammar. A major rationale for the organization of the book has thus been to introduce the student as quickly as possible to the reading of a connected narrative. In order to do this, the book has been narrowly focused; it uses a single rather simple, but nevertheless elegant, piece of literature to present examples of the principal structures of Middle Egyptian. _The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor_ has been selected as the single source for all of the examples in the text for a number of reasons. First, the story contains examples of most of the principal grammatical structures used in Middle Egyptian. Second, the story is both a delightful tale and is written in a relatively straightforward and unsophisticated style, thus interesting the student while creating a minimum of frustration. Finally and most importantly, the common style and limited vocabulary represented by a single story permit the student to begin reading an actual piece of Egyptian literature, rather than examples taken out of context, in the shortest possible time."

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