Daily Ancient Magic #10: Demotic

Demotic is an ancient Egyptian language and script. It was used from about the 7th century BC to the 5th century AD.

The word „Demotic“ derives from ancient Greek and can be translated e.g. „common“[1]. The Egyptians themselves called their script in modern pronunciation „Sesch-n-Schat“, which means „book script“ or „document script“.

The demotic script is written from right to left and does not include vowels. It was replaced by the less complicated Coptic script, which uses the Greek alphabet plus some special characters.


Detail from a bilingual Demotic-Greek magical papyrus, the so-called „Great London-Leiden Magical Papyrus“. 2nd or 3rd century, inventory number AMS 65. (C) Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

Link to the papyrus: https://www.rmo.nl/collectie/collectiezoeker/collectiestuk/?object=172306

[1] http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/morph?l=dhmotiko%2Fs&la=greek&can=dhmotiko%2Fs0&prior=dhmo/ths#lexicon