Pbogress of Egyptology.
Erman's Hieroglyphic Grammar, cross references from one to the other
abound and make them doubly valuable.
Most of the articles mentioned in this Eeport are accompanied by
philological observations. We may also note as of great interest a
polemical article by Mr. Renouf in the Transactions of the IXtb
Congress of Orientalists, aud Professor Maspero's A travers la vocalisa-
tion Ugyptienne.1 For the comparative philologist grave questions are
raised with regard to the nature of the Egyptian " alphabetic " signs and
the connection of Egyptian with Semitic languages: fortunately, they do
not really concern the student who wishes only to improve his knowledge
of Egyptian : he can afford to look on with interest but without anxiety
while this ground is being contested, and he need not be in the least
hampered thereby while making his own conquests.
We cannot leave this subject without mentioning the names of Piehl,
Max Midler and Kurt Sethe, whose admirable articles are to be found in
the standard journals of Egyptology.
Dr. Spiegelberg having turned his attention to Demotic, we may
predict that his great knowledge of late hieratic will soon render him
exceptionally well fitted to attack the difficult problems offered by the
earliest Demotic writing. Professor Revillout has amassed a wonderful
collection of early Demotic papyri of the Saite and Persian periods, and
has published and translated a number of them.13 He has also edited a
number of bilingual tessarae with inscriptions in Greek and Demotic :
unfortunately he has been content to reproduce the demotic in printed
type, a method which detracts much from the value of the publication.
Religion and Mythology.
The manner in which the so-called Book of the Dead was formed is
well illustrated by Erman, who in a most instructive article" compares a
chapter in the texts of the Pyramid of Unas with the same chapter as
it reappears in two texts of the New Kingdom. The ancient text was
written in a very different orthography from that to which scribes of the
New Kingdom were accustomed : they endeavoured to re-write it, but
understood so little of their original that they were fain to leave several
groups unaltered, and more or less corrupted the whole. The two later
copies differ very much from each other ; the meaning in many passages
has been changed from that of the original, and in other cases the text is
mere nonsense. Such must be the condition of many other chapters to
which we have no key in early versions,