Monday, April 11, 2016

Walk Like an Egyptian

Hello and welcome back to my blog! Today's topic is not about a song, but it's about my new Ancient Egyptian course from Bibliotecha Alexandria, or BAx for short.


My newest class is BAx's General Introduction to Ancient Egyptian Civilization, taught by Professors Ahmed Borham and Marwa Assem. The first thing I want to talk about is hieroglyphics, which comes from the Greek words "Hiero" (Holy) and "Glyphos" (Writing). Each hieroglyph, or individual character, may represent a letter, sound, or even a whole word. For example, the letter "N" is represented by water, "I"  is represented by a reed leaf, and both "C" and "K"  are represented by a basket. Therefore, "NICK" would be water, reed leaf, basket, basket. NOTE: These are the hieroglyphs I know of for the letters shown, but there may be more for each letter.

The other subject I want to discuss is an extension on hieroglyphics: the ancient number system. The ancient Egyptians only had 7 numbers: 1, 10, 100, 1000, 10000, 100000, and 1000000. 1 was represented by a single vertical line, 10 was represented by an arch, 100 was represented by a coiled rope, 1000 was represented by a lotus plant, 10000 was represented by a finger, 100000 was represented by a frog, and 1000000 was represented by a god with his arms raised above his head. In order to get a number like such as 32, the Egyptians would have to do 10 + 10 + 10 + 1 + 1.

An interesting way that math tied into myth back then was the one version of story of the Eye of Horus. In this version, the story goes as such: Set, the god of evil, attacked his nephew Horus, the god of falcons and heir to the godly throne. During the fight, Set tore out one of Horus's eyes and tore it into many pieces. Afterwards, once Set was defeated and banished to the desert, Thoth, the god of wisdom, healed Horus's eye by gluing it together with moonlight. To the ancient Egyptians, Horus's eye, when torn up, represented fractions. A brief example would be that the right side of the eye being one half, the pupil being one quarter, and the eyebrow was one eighth.

Thank you for visiting School Stories (Where School Is ALWAYS In Session!) today, and I hope to see you again next time! 

No comments: