Middle Egyptian : an introduction to the language and culture of hieroglyphs


Middle Egyptian : an introduction to the language and culture of hieroglyphs

James P. Allen

Cambridge University Press, 2010

2nd ed., rev

  • : hbk
  • : pbk

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Text in English and Egyptian



Middle Egyptian introduces the reader to the writing system of ancient Egypt and the language of hieroglyphic texts. It contains twenty-six lessons, exercises (with answers), a list of hieroglyphic signs, and a dictionary. It also includes a series of twenty-five essays on the most important aspects of ancient Egyptian history, society, religion and literature. The combination of grammar lessons and cultural essays allows users to not only read hieroglyphic texts but also to understand them, providing readers with the foundation to understand texts on monuments and to read great works of ancient Egyptian literature in the original text. This second edition contains revised exercises and essays, providing an up to date account of current research and discoveries. New illustrations enhance discussions and examples. These additions combine with the previous edition to create a complete grammatical description of the classical language of ancient Egypt for specialists in linguistics and other fields.


  • List of figures
  • Preface
  • Lesson 1. Language and writing
  • Lesson 2. The sounds of Middle Egyptian
  • Lesson 3. Multiliteral signs
  • Lesson 4. Nouns
  • Lesson 5. Pronouns
  • Lesson 6. Adjectives
  • Lesson 7. Adjectival and nominal sentences
  • Lesson 8. Prepositions and adverbs
  • Lesson 9. Numbers
  • Lesson 10. Adverbial sentences
  • Lesson 11. Nonverbal sentences
  • Lesson 12. Nonverbal clauses
  • Lesson 13. Verbs
  • Lesson 14. The infinitival forms
  • Lesson 15. The pseudoverbal construction
  • Lesson 16. The imperative and particles
  • Lesson 17. The stative
  • Lesson 18. The perfect
  • Lesson 19. The subjunctive
  • Lesson 20. The perfective and imperfective
  • Lesson 21. The prospective and passive
  • Lesson 22. The other forms of the suffix conjugation
  • Lesson 23. The participles
  • Lesson 24. The relative forms
  • Lesson 25. Special uses of the relative forms
  • Lesson 26. Middle Egyptian grammar
  • Sign list
  • Dictionary
  • Answers to the exercises
  • Index.

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