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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Demotic is a late phase of the Egyptian language and writing which began in the middle of the seventh century BCE. When after 30 BCE Egypt became part of the Roman Empire, Demotic was still widely used by the Egyptian priestly elite. A large corpus of literary, paraliterary and documentary texts has survived mainly on papyri, sherds, and as graffiti. Only in the middle of the fifth century CE, by which time Christianity was established as the state religion, does Demotic cease to exist. This chapter gives an overview of the Demotic language and writing, as well as its rich textual material and different forms and genres, and also draws the reader’s attention to the international relations (mainly with the ancient Near East and with Greece, but also e.g. with India) which can be observed in Demotic texts.

Keywords: Egyptian, Demotic, language, writing, literary texts, paraliterary texts, documentary texts

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