This book provides an introduction to the Meroitic language and writing system, which was used between circa 300 BC and 400 AD in the kingdom of Meroe, located in what is now Sudan and Egyptian Nubia. This book details advances in the understanding of Meroitic, a language that until recently was considered untranslatable. In addition to providing a full history of the script and an analysis of the phonology, grammar and linguistic affiliation of the language it features: linguistic analyses for those working on Nilo-Saharan comparative linguistics, paleographic tables useful to archaeologists for dating purposes and an overview of texts that can be translated or understood by way of analogy for those working on Nubian religion, history and archaeology.
Claude Rilly is Director of the French Archaeological Unit in Khartoum, Sudan. He is the author of two volumes on the Meroitic language and writing system and the editor of three volumes about Meroitic inscriptions. Alex de Voogt is Curator of African Ethnology in the Division of Anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He is the editor of several volumes of The Idea of Writing.
Preface; 1. Introduction to history and texts; 2. Meroitic writing; 3. Linguistic affiliation; 4. Meroitic phonology: facts and reconstruction; 5. Grammar: facts and hypotheses; Conclusions.