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In one of the earliest runic records which we possess, the pendant found at Vadstena in Sweden in 1774, and dating from about 01,",: A o, 600 (see Plate), the signs are divided up into three wmnw series of ei ht (the twenty fourth. D4, being omitted for want 0 room). Upon the basis of this division a system of cryptography (in the sense that the symbols are unintelli ible without knowledge of the runic alphabet) was developed, wherein the series and the position within the series of the letter indicated, were each represented by straight strokes, the strokes for the series being shorter than those for the runes or the series being re resented by strokes to the left, the runes by strokes to the right. 0 a medial line.l From this system probably developed the ogam writing employed among the Celtic peoples of Britain and Ireland. The 0 am inscriptions in Wales are frequently accompanied by Latin egends, and they date probably as far back as the
th and 6th centuries A D. Hence the connexion between Celt and
euton as regards writing must go back to a period preceding the Viking inroads of the 8th century. Taylor, however, conjectures (The Alphabet, ii. p 227) that the ogams originated in Pembroke, “ where there was a very ancient Teutonic settlement, possibly of JUIES, who, as is indicated by the evidence of runic inscriptions ound in Kent, seem to have been the only Teutonic people of southern Britain who were acquainted with the Gothic Futhoro." However this may be, the ogam alphabet shows some knowledge of phonetics and some attempt to classify the sounds accordingly. The symbols are as followszz—
much discussion authorities on Slavonic seem generally a reed that it was the Glagolitic (the name is derived from the Old ulgarian, Le old ecclesiastical Slavonic glagohi, “ word "). According to Professor Leskien (Grammalik der allbulgarischen (altkirchenslavischen) SPrachc, Heidelberg, 1909, p. xxi.), Cyril had probably made a prolonged and careful study of Slavonic before proceeding on his missionary journey, and probably in the first instance with a view to preaching the Gospel to the Slavs of Macedonia and Bulgaria, who were much nearer his own home, Thessalonica, than were those of Moravia. The Glagolitic was founded upon the ordina Greek minuscule writing of the period, as was shown by Dr Imchaylor,' though the writing of the letters se rater without abbreviations and an obvious attempt at artistic e ect has gradual‘i differentiated it from Greek writing. This alphabet, which is much more difficult to read than the bolder Cyrillic founded on the Greek uncial, survived for ordinary purposes in Croatia and in the islands of the Quarnero till the 17th century. The Servians and Russians a parently always used the Cyrillic, and its advantages graduallJy ousted the Glagolitic elsewhere, though the service book in the old ecclesiastical language which is used by the Roman Catholic Croats is in Glagolitic.‘
While the Carian and Lycian were probably inde ndent of the Greek in origin, so, too, at the Opposite end of the editerranean was the Iberian. On the other hand, the Phrygian was “‘01”, very closely akin to the Greek in al habet as well as in ' linguistic character. The Greek alphabet, with which it was most
The form of the ogam alphabet made it easy to carve hastily; hence in the old sagas, when a hero is killed we find the common formula, " His grave was dug and his stone was raised, and his name was written in ogam." According to Sophus Mu'llcr (Nordische Altertumskunde, ii. p. 264), it was from Britain that the use of runes upon gravestones was derived, a use which, to 'udge from the number of bilingual inscriptions in Britain, the Ce ts derived from the Romans.
The special forms of the al habet—the Cyrillic and the Glagolitic —which have been adopted v certain of the Slavonic peoples are both spning directly irrm the Greek alphabet of the ninth century A.D. with the considerable additions rendered necessary b the much greater variety of sounds in Slavonic as compared with greek. Apart from other evidence, the use of B with the value of v, of H as wel! as I with the value of i, of <l> with the value off, and Xwith that of the Scotch ch, would be proof that the alphabet was not borrowed till long after the Greek classical period, for not till later did 3, ¢_ x become spirants and n become identified with L. The confusion of B with v necessitated the invention of a new s mbol B in the Cyrillic, E in the Glagolitic for b, while new s mbo s were also required for the sounds or combinations of sounds (zh), dz, it (shl), c (tr)v 6 (ch in church), 5‘ (sh), 12, i, y (u without protrusion of the lips), é (a close long e sound), for the combination of o, a and c with consonantal I (En dish ) and for the nasalized vowels g, (nasalizcd o in pronunciation an the combinations je and ja (Eng ish y , yo). In all these matters Glagolitic differs very little from Cyril ic; it has only one symbol for 1a (ya) and 5 because both in this dialect were ronounccd the same. It has also only one symbol for e and jc (yelJ for the phonetic reason that je always appears in the old ecclesiastical Slavonic, for which the alphabets were fashioned, at the be inning of words and after vowels: cp. the English use of the symbo u in mi: 0ken and uniform. Glagolitic has a symbol for the palatalized g 5), but it is used only in the transcription of Greek words, '7 having become y early between vowels in the popular dialects.
Such an elaborate al habet could hardly have been invented except by a scholar, an tradition, probably rightly, has attached the credit for its invention to Cyril (ori inally Constantine), who along with his brother Methodius procee ed in A.D. 863 to Moravia from Constantinople, for the purpose of converting the -Slavonic inhabitants to Christianity. The only uestion which concerns us here is which of the two alphabets was t e earlier in use, and after
‘A species of cryptography exactly like this, based upon the " abjad " order of the Arabic letters, is still in use among the Eastern Persians (E. G. Browne, A Year amongst the Persians, p. 39! f.).
* Cf. Rhys, Outlines of Manx Phonology, p. 73 (Publications of the Manx Society, vol. xxxiii.); Rhys and Brynmor Jones, The Welsh People, pp 3, 502. An interpretation of the oldest ogam inscriptions is given by Whitley Stokes in Bezzmberger’s Beitrdgc, xi. (1886), g r43 Besides the collections of 0 ms by Brash (I879) and
erguson (1887), a new collection by ll/ r R. A. S. Macalister is in course of publication (Studies in Irish E ‘graphy, i897, i902, 1907). Professor Rhys, who at one time consi ered runes and ogam to be connected, now thinks that 0 am was the invention of a grammarian in South Wales who was familiar with Latin letters.
closely connected, was the Western, for the evidence is strongly in favour of the form Y having the value of x, not ill, in Phrygian, as
it certainly has in the Etruscan inscription found on Lemnos in 1886, which is in an alphabet practically identical.
To a much later era belongs the Armenian alphabet, which, accordin to tradition, was revealed to Bishop Mesrob in a dream. The fan might have been Grecizcd had it not, about Ammluh A.D. 387, been divided between Persia and Byzantium, the greater part falling to the former, who discouraged Greek and favoured Syriac, which the Christian Armenians did not understand. As those within Persian territory were forbidden to learn Greek, an Armenian Christian literature became a necessity. Taylor contends that the alphabet is Iranian in origin, but the circum. stances justify Gardthausen and Hiibschmann in claiming it for Greek. That some symbols are like Persian only shows that l'I:/lels_roizi was not able to rid himself of the influences under which
e we .
Of the later development of Phoenician amongst Phoenician people little need be said here. It can be traced in the gm 11' of the mercenaries of Psammetichus at Abu Simbel in Upper gypt, where Greeks, Carians and Phoenicians all cut their names upon the legs of the colossal statues. Still later it is found on the stele of Byblos, and on the sarcophagus of Eshmunazar (about 300 B.C.). The most numerous inscriptions come from the excavations in Carthage, the ancient colony of Sidon. One general feature characterizes them all, though they differ somewhat in detail. The symbols become longer and thinner; in fact, cease to be the scri t of monuments and become the script of a busy trading peop e. While the Phoenician al habet was thus fertile in developing daughter alphabets in the West, the progress of writing was no less great in the East, first among the Semitic peo les, and throu h them among other peoples still more remote. The carrying of t e alphabet to the Greeks by the Phoenicians at an early perio affords no clue to the period when Semitic ingenuity constructed an alphabet out of a heterogeneous multitude of signs. If it be possible to assign to some of the monuments discovered in Arabia by Glaser a date not later than i 00 B.C., the origin of the alphabet and its dissemination are carried ack to a much earlier period than had hitherto been supposed. Next in date amongst Semitic records of the Phoenician t pe to the bowl of Baal-Lebanon and the Moabite stone comes the Hebrew inscription found in the tunnel at the Pool of Siloam in 1881, which possibly dates back to the rei n of Hezekiah (700 B.C.). The only other early records are seals wit Hebrew inscriptions and potters' marks upon clay vessels found in Lachish and other towns.‘
aArchiv fi'ir slavische Philologie, v. 191 ff., where the Glagolitic and the cursive Greek, the Cyrillic and the Greek uncial are set side by side in facsimile.
4 For further details and references to literature see the intro~ duction to Leskien's Grommet/i1: (not to be confused with his Handbuch), from which this is abbreviated.
‘ These are figured most accessibl in Lidzbarski's article on the al habet in the Jewish Encyclopas in, vol. i. (1901); see also his talile of symbols added to the 27th edition of Gesenius' Hebrdischer
Like the Phoenician, these Hebrew signs are distinctly cursive in character, but, as the legend on the coins of the Maccabees shows, became stereotyped for monumental use, while the Jews after the exile gradually adopted the Aramaic writing, whence the square Hebrew script is descended. The Samaritans alone stuck fast to the old Hebrew as part of their contention that they, and not the Jews, were the true Hebrews.
The oldest records in Aramaic were found at Sindjirli, in the north of Syria, in 1890, and date to about 800 n.c. At this epoch the Aramaic alphabet, or at any rate the alphabet of these Anm‘lc‘ records, is but little different from that shown upon the Moabite stone. Either two sounds are confused under one symbol, or these recards re resent a dialect which, like Hebrew and Assyrian, shows sh, z, an , where the ordinary Aramaic representation is l, d, and t, the Arabic th, dh, and th. The Aramaic became in time by far the most important of the northern Semitic alphabets. Even while long and im rtant documents in Assyria were still written on clay tablets, 111 cuneiform, a docket or précis of the contents was made upon the side in Aramaic, which thus became the alphabet of cursive writing—a fact which ex lains its later development. Two changes, the inception of whic is early, but the completion of which belongs to the Persian riod, gave the impulse which Aramaic obeyed in all its later dcve opments. These were (a).the Opening of the heads of letters, so that both a, dalcth
, and rcsh 4 become respectively , Ll, and H,while0becomes
first U and ultimately V. In the later development the heads tend to be reduced in size, and finally to disappear. (b) As was natural in cursive writing, angles tend to become rounded, and the tails of the letters, which in Phoenician are ver long, are curved round in the middle of words so as to join on to the Succeeding letter. These characteristics were naturally emphasized in the Aramaic writing on papyrus which, beginning about 500 3.6., during the Persian soverer nty in Egypt, lasted on there till about 200 B.C. The gradua development of this script into the square Hebrew, and the more ornamental writing of Palmyra, may be traced in the works of Her erand Lidzbarski.l
In t e land of the Nabataeans, a people of Arabian origin, the Aramaic alphabet was employed in a form which ultimately de
veloped into the modern Arabic alphabet. Probably the an”; earliest example of the Aramaic script in Arabia is the stele of Tema, in north-western Arabia, whereon is commemorated the establishment of a worship of an Aramaic divinity. This monument, now in the Louvre, is not later than the 5th century B.C. In it the writing preserves its ancient form, the heads of the closed letters being only very slightly 0 ned. The Nabataean inscriptions belong to a iffcrent egoch an a different style. They were first discovered by Charles ou hty in 1876—1877, who was followed between 1880 and 1884 by iiber and Euting, to whom a complete collection of these records is due. The records are fortunatel dated, and belong to the period from 9 n.c. to 11.1). 75. A further evelopment can be traced in the grafliti With which pilgrims adorned the rocks of Mount Sinai down to the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. By the hel of these inscriptions it is possible to trace the development of the modern Arabic where so many of the forms of the letters have become similar that diacritic pomts are essential to distinguish them, the original causes of confusion being the continuous development of cursive writi and the adoption of ligatures. Arabic writing, as known to us rom documents of the early Mahommedan period, exhibits two principal t pes which are known respectively as the Cufic and the nashkz. The former soon fell into disuse for ordinary purposes and was retained only for inscriptions, coins, &c.; the latter, which is more cursive in character, is the parent of the Arabic writing of the present day. Another form of the Aramaic alphabet, namel , the so-called Estrangela writing which was in use amongst the hristians of northern Syria, was carried by Nestorian missionaries into Central Asia and became the ancestor of a multitude of alphabets spreading through the Turkomans as far east as Manchuria.
There still remains a branch of the Semitic languages which, except for one or two of the languages belonging to it, was practically S 0' unknown till recent years. This 15 the Sout Semitic.
0" n Till the 19th century the earliest form known of this sen k' alphabet was the Ethiopian or Geez, in which Christian documents have been reserved from the early centuries of our era, and which is still use b the Abyssinians for liturgical purposes. The travels of two Englis naval officers, Wellsted and Cruttenden, through Yemen in southern Arabia in 1835, first called attention to the earlier monuments of Arabia. Fulgence Fresnel first established the importance of the inscriptions discovered by these Englishmen, and in 1843, when French consul at Jeddah, obtained through a French traveller, Francois Arnaud, information about other monuments of the same kind. In 1869 Joseph Halévy brought back
nearly seven hundred inscriptions from Yemen, and this number has been increased from other quarters by several thousands, through the energy of several adventurous scholars, but chiefly by Eduard Glaser's re ated journeys. The south Arabian inscriptions to which the terms imyaritic and Sabaean are a plied fall into two roups, the Sabaean proper and the Minaean. Ii‘hese are distinguis ed by differences in grammar and phraseology rather than in alphabet. The relative age of the Minaean and Sabaean monuments is a matter of dispute amongst Semitic scholars. Inscriptions in a kindred dialect were brought from El-Ola, in the north of the Hedjaz, by; Professor Euting. To these D. H. Mullerz gave the title of Li yanite, from the name of the tribe (Lihjan) to which they belong. Their date is supposed to be earlier than that of the Sabaean and Minaean. Minaean inscriptions were found at the same lace, the Minaeans having had a trading station there. In 1893 . Theodore Bent copied carefully at Yeha in Abyssinia a few inscriptions, some of which had been already copied in 1814 by the English traveller Salt. These inscriptions are of the greatest importance, because they demonstrate, according to D. H. Miiller,‘ that the Sabaeans had colonized Abyssinia as early as 1000 B.C. Other inscriptions copied by Bent at Aksum belong to the 4th century A.D. and later. Two of the earliest are written in Sabaean characters, but in the language which is known as Geez or Ethiopic. From about A.D. 500 Ethiopic was written in an alphabet which according to Miiller was no gradual growth but an ingenious device of a Greek scholar of this period at the court of Abyssinia. The Sabaean, like other Semitic, inscriptions are generally written from right to left, but a few are fiovu‘rpodmfiov; the Ethiopic is written from left to right, and makes a marked advance upon the ordinary Semitic manner of writing by indicating the vowels. This is done by varying the form of the consonant according to the vowel which follows it. The Ethiopic system is thus rather a syllabary than an alphabet. It is noticeable that the changes thus established were made upon the basis of the old Sabaean script, which in its oldest form is evidently closely related to the old Phoenician, though it would be remature to say that the Sabaean alphabet is derived from the hoenician. It is as likely, considering the date of both, that they are equally descendants from an older source. The characteristics of the Sabaean are great squareness and boldness in outline. It has twenty-nine symbols, whereby it is enabled to differentiate certain sounds which are not distinguished from one another in the writing of the northern Semites. As we have seen, it is a tendency in northern Semitic to open the heads of letters, and therefore it is possible that the Sabaean form for Jod 9 may
be older4 than the Phoenician Similarly if P? means mouth, Hommel is right in contending that the Sabaean o is more like the object than the Phoenician J, if we suppose the form, like
or the Phoenician W and a for the Phoenician turned through an angle of 90°. So also if Kaf corresponds to the Babylonian
Kappa, “hollow-hand," the Sabaean form H which Hommel‘ interprets as the outline of the hand with the fingers turned in and the thumb raised is a better pictograph than the various meaningless forms of k ( >1, &c.).
The rock inscriptions in the wild district of Safah near Damascus which have been collected by Halévy are also written in an Arabic dialect, but, owing chiefly to their careless execution, they are to a lar e extent unintelligible. The character appears to be akin to the baean. It has been suggested that they were the work of Arabs who had wandered thus far from the south.
There still remain fordiscussion the alphabets of the Indo-Euro n
oples of Persia and India from which the other alphabets o the
arther East are descended. When Darius in 516 B.C. caused the great Behistun inscription to beengraved, it was "H," the cuneiform writing, alread long in use for the languages of Mesopotamia, that was adopt for this purpose. We have seen that at Babylon itself the Aramaic language and character were well known. It is probable therefore, a priori, that from the Aramaic alphabet the later writing of Persia should be developed. The conclusion is confirmed by the coins, the only records with Iranian script which go back so far; but the special form of Aramaic from which the Iranian alphabet is derived must at present be left undecided. The later developments of the Iranian al )habct are the Pahlavi and the Zend, in which the M55. of the . vesta are written. Of these manuscripts none is older than the 13th century A.D. The Pahlavi is properly the alphabet of the Sassanid kings who ruled in Persia from A.D. 226 till the Arab conquest in the 7th century A.D. Under the Sassanids the old Persian worship, which had fallen with the Achaemenid dynasty in Alexander's time, and
2 Miiller, Epi raphisrhe Denkmdler aus .‘lrabicn (Vienna, 1889).
“ Epigraphiscfu: Denkmaler aus Abessinien (Vienna, 1894). Praetorius (Z.D.M.G. lviii. p. 724) holds that the oldest Sabaean inscriptions may date from about 700 B.C., that the Libyan inscriptions i1“) at earliest of the Hellenistic period and the Safa inscriptions still ater.
‘ Praetorius (Z.D.M.G. lviii. p. 461 f.) attempts to trace the develo ment of the Sabaean form from the Phoenician.
‘ ommel, de-arabische Chrcstomathie (Munich, 1893), p. 5.
had been neglected by the subsequent Arsacid line, was revived and the remains of its liturgical literature collected. The name is, however, also applied to the alphabet on the coins of the Parthian or Arsacid dynasty, which in its beginnings was clearly under Greek influence; while later, when a knowled e of Greek had disappeared, the attempts to imitate the old legen s are as grotesque as those in western Europe to co y the inscriptions on Roman coins. The relationship between the Pa lavi and the Aramaic is clearest in the records written in the “ Chaldaeo-Pahlavi " characters; the
a conclusion which is not invalidated by the fact that some important modifications are found beyond this area, nor by Dr Stein‘s discovery of a great mass of documents in this alphabet at Khotan in Turkestan, for, according to tradition, the ancient inhabitants of Khotan were emigrants banished in the time of King Agoka from the area to which Biihler assigns this alphabet (see Stein’s Preliminary Report, 1901, p. 5!). Rapson2 has pointed out that both Kharosthi and Brahmi letters are found upon Persian silver sigloi, which were coined in the Punjab and belong to the period
Hadji-abad, where the Arsacid and Sassanian alphabets are found side by side. Taylor (The Alphabet, ii. p. 248 f.) regards the former as probably derived from the “ ancient alphabet of Eastern Iran, a sister alphabet of the Aramaean of the satrapies," while the Sassanian belongs to a later stage of Aramaic.
The alphabets of India all spring from two sources: (a) the Kharosthi, (b) the Brahmi alphabet. The history of the former is mam fairl clear. It was always a local alphabet. and never
attained the importance of its rival. According to Biihlcr,l its range lay between 69° and 73° 30' E. and 33° to 35° N.,
‘ Bllhler, Indian Studies, iii. (2nd ed., 1898), p. 93. The account
the Kharosthi alphabet is derived from the alphabet of the. Aramaic inscriptions which date from the earlier part of the_ Achaemenid perio . The Aramaic alphabet passed into India with the staff of subordinate ofiicials by whom Darius organized his conquests there. The people of India already possessed their Brahmi alphabet,
of these alphabets is drawn from this work and from the same author's Indische Paldographie in the Grundn'ss der indo-arischen Philologie, to which is attached an atlas of plates (Strassburg, 1896), and in which a full bibliography is given.
~ 2For a coin and a, gild token with inscriptions see Rapson'a Indian Coins (in Grundnss d. ind-or. Phil), Plate I.
but had this other alphabet forced upon them in their dealings with their rulers. The Kharosthi is then the gradual development under local conditions of the Aramaic alphabet of the Persian period. As Stein's explorations show, both alphabets may be found on 0p osite sides of the same piece of wood.
The history of the Brahmi alphabet is more difficult. In its later forms it is so unlike other alphabets that man scholars have regarded it as an invention within India itself. T e discovery of earlier inscriptions than were hitherto known has, however, caused this view to be discarded, and the problem is to decrde from which form of the Semitic alphabet it is derived. Taylor (The Alphabet, ii. p. 314 ff.), following Weber, argues that it comes from the Sabaeans who were carrying on trade with India as early as 1000 B.C. Even if the alphabet had not reached India till the 6th century B.C., there would be time, he contends, for the peculiarities of the Indian form of it to develop before the period when records begin. The alphabet, according to Taylor, shows no resemblance to any northern Semitic script, while its stiff, strai ht lines and its forms seem like the Sabaean. Biihler, on the ot er hand, shows from litera evidence that writing was in common use in India in the 5th,
ossib y in the 6th, century B.C. The oldest alphabet must have een the Brdhmi lipi, which is found all over India. But he rejects Taylor's derivation of this al habet from the Sabaean script, and contends that it is borrow from the North Semitic. To the antry of the Hindu he attributes its main characteristics, viz. (a) letters made as upright as possible, and with few exceptions equal in height; (b) the majorit of the letters constructed of vertical lines, with appendages attache mostly at the foot, occasionally at the foot and at the top, or (rarel ) in the middle, but never at the top alone; (0) at the tops of the characters the ends of vertical lines, less frequently straight horizontal lines, still more rarely curves or the points of angles opening downwards, and quite exceptionally, in the symbol ma, two lines rising upwards. A remarkable feature of the alphabet is that the letters are hun from and do not stand upon a line, a characteristic which, as Buh er notes (Indian Studies, iii. . 57 n.), belongs even to the most ancient MSS., and to the Aso a inscriptions of the 3rd century B.C. When these 5 cially Indian features have been allowed for, Bilhler contends t at the s mbols borrowed from the Semitic alphabet can be carried back to t e forms of the Phoenician and Moabite alphabets. The proof deals with each symbol separately; as might be expected of its author, it is both scholarly and ingenious, but, it must be admitted, not very convincing. Further evidence as to the early history of this alphabet must be discovered before we can definitely decide what its ori in may be. That such evidence will be forthcoming there is little dou t. Even since Biihler wrote, the vase, the top of which is reproduced (see Plate), has been discovered on the borders of Nepal in a stupa where some of the relics of Buddha were ke t. The inscription is of the same type as the Asoka inscriptions, ut, in Biihler 5 opinion (Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, xxx., 1898, p. £89), is older than Asoka's time. It reads as follows: iyam salilanid one Budhasa bha avate sakiyanam sukitibhatinam sabho inikanam saPutadalanam. “ is casket of relics of the blessed Bu dha is the pious foundation (so Pischel, no doubt rightly,Zeitsch. d. deutsch. morg.Gesell.lvi. 158) of the Sakyas, their brothers and their sisters, together with children and wives."
How this alphabet was modified locally, and how it spread to other Eastern lands, must be sought in the specialist works to which reference has already been made. Its extension to new and hitherto unknown langua es was in 1910 in process of being rapidly demonstrated by Englis and German expeditions in Chinese Turkestan.
AUTHORITIES—Owing to the rapid increase of materials, all early works are out of date. The best general accounts, though already somewhat antiquated, are: (1) The Alphabet (2 vols., with references to earlier works), by Canon Isaac Taylor (1883). reprinted from the stereotyped lates with small necessary corrections (1899); and (2) Histoire de Iécriture dans l'antiquité,,by M. Philippe Berger (Paris, 1891, 2nd ed. 1892). An excellent popular account is The Story 111/ the Alphabet, b E. Clodd (no date, about 1900). Faulmann's
llustrierte Geschic te der Schrift (1880) is a o ular work with good illustrations. For the beginnings of the alpliabet, Dr A. ]. Evans's Scri ta Minoa (vol. i., 1909) is indispensable, whether his theories hol their ground or not. The Semitic alphabet is excellently treated by Lidzbarski in the Jewish EncycloPaedia (1901); his Nonlsemilische Epigraphik (1898) has excellent facsimiles and tables of the al habets, and there are many contributions to the history of the alp bet 1n the same writer's Ephemcrisrfiir semilischc Epigraphik (Giesscn, since 1900). See also “ \Vritin ' (by A. A. Bevan) in the Encyclopaedia Biblica, and “ Alphabet "%by Isaac Taylor) in Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. A very good article, now somewhat antiquated, is Schlottmann's “ Schrift und Schriftzeichen " in Riehm's Handwo'rterbuch des biblischen Allertums (1884, reprinted 189v ). For Greek epigraphy the fullest and also most recent work is W. Larfeld's Handbuch der riechischen Epigraph”: (vol. ii., 1902; vol. i., 1907) (see es ially
erkunft and Alter des ricchischen Alphabets, i. 330 5.). or the history of the Greek alp abet the fundamental work was A. Kirchhofi's Studien zur Geschichte des griechischen Alphabets (4th ed., 1887): his theories were ado ted and worked out on a much lar er scale in E. S. Roberts‘s lntroriiution to Greek Epigraphy, pt. i. “ he
Archaic Inscriptions and the Greek Al habet " (1887), pt. ii. (with E. A. Gardner) “The Inscriptions oi> Attica " (1905). See also Salomon Reinach's Traité d' épi raphie grecque (1885). In Iwan von Muller's Handbuch der klassisc en Altertumswissenschaft important articles on both Greek and Latin epigraphy and alphabets have a peared (Greek in edition 1 by G. Heinrichs, 1886; in edition 2 by \8. Larfeld, 1892; Latin by Emil Hubner). See also “ Alphabet, ' by W. Dcecke, in Baumeister's Denkma'ler des klassischen Altertums (1884). and by Szanto (Greek) and Joh. Schmidt (Italic) in Pauly's Realencycloflddie edited by Wissowa (1894). Mommsen's Die unleritalischen Dialekte (1850) is not without value even now. Other literature and references to fuller biblio raphies in separate departments have been given in the notes. 'lsewhere in this edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica the articles on the various languages and under the headings INSCRIPTIONS, PALAEOGRAPHY, ermc, &c., should be consulted, while separate articles are given on each letter of the English alphabet. The writer is indebted to Dr A. J. Evans for a photograph of the Cretan linear script, and to Professors A. A. Bevan and Rapson of Cambrid e, and to Mr F. W. Thomas, librarian of the India Office, for hep in their respective departments of Semitic and Indian languages. (P. GI.)
'AL-PHASI, ISAAC (1013—1103), Jewish rabbi and codifier, known as Riph, was born near Fez in 1013 and died at Lucena in 1103. ’Al-Phasi means the “ man of Fez ” (medieval Jews were often named after their birthplaces). He was forced to leave F ea when an old man of 75, being accused on some unknown political charge. He then settled in Spain where he was held in much esteem. His magnanimous character was illustrated by two incidents. When ’Al-phasi’s opponent Isaac ’Albalia died, ’Al-phasi received ’Albalia’s son with the greatest kindness and adopted him as a son. When, again, ’Al-phasi was himself on the point of death, he recommended as his successor in the Lucena rabbinate, not his own son, but hlS pupil joseph ibn Migash. The latter became the teacher of Maimonides, and thus ’Al-phasi’s teaching as well as his work must have directly influenced Maimonides. ’Al-phasi’s fame rests on his 'I‘almudical Digest called Halakhoth or Decisions. The Talmud was condensed by him with a special view to practical law. He omitted all the homiletical passages, and also excluded those parts of the Talmud which deal with religious duties practicable only in Palestine. ’Al-phasi thus occupies an important place in the development of the Spanish method of studying the Talmud. In contradistinction to the French rabbis, the Spanish sought to simplify the Talmud and free it from casuistical detail. ’AI-phasi succeeded in producing a Digest, which became the object of close study, and led in its turn to the great Codes of Maimonides and of Joseph Qaro.
ALPHEGE [ELFHEAB], SAINT (954—1023), archbishop of Canterbury, came of a noble family, but in early life gave up everything for religion. Having assumed the monastic habit in the monastery of Deerhurst, he pased thence to Bath, where he became an anchorite and ultimately abbot, distinguishing himself by his piety and the austerity of his life. In 984 he was appointed through Dunstan’s influence to the bishopricof Winchester, and in 1006 he succeeded [Elfric as archbishop of Canterbury. At the sack of Canterbury by the Danes in 1011 )Elfheah was captured and kept in prison for seven months. Refusing to pay a ransom he was barbarously murdered at Greenwich on the 19th of April 1012. He was buried in St Paul's, whence his body was removed by Canute to Canterbury with all the ceremony of a great act of state in 1023.
Lives of St. Alphege in prose (which survives) and in verse were written by command of Lanfranc by the Canterbury monk Osbern (d. c. 1090), who says that his account of the solemn translation to Canterbury in 1023 was received from the dean, Godric, one of Alphege's own scholars.
ALPHEUS (’Ahdxibs; mod. Ruphia), the chief river of Peloponnesus. Strictly Ruphia is the modern name for the ancient Ladon, a tributary which rises in NE. Elis, but the name has been given to the whole liver. The Alpheus proper rises near Asea; but its passage thither by subterranean channels from the Tegean plain and its union with the Eurotas are probably mythical (see W. Loring, in Journ. Hell. Studies, xv. p. 67). It consists for the most part of a shallow and rapid stream, occupying but a small part of its broad, stony bed. It empties itself into the Ionian sea. Pliny states that in ancient times it was navigable for six Roman miles from its mouth. Alpheus