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Scribes and Scripts

Scribes and Scripts

 

Note: This Page contains Indic text. without rendering support you may see irregular vowel positioning and a lack of conjuncts.

The scribes of yesteryear devoted a lifetime of study to language and writing, enabling them to record information.
In today’s world we have many mediums with which we can record our knowledge and newsworthy events.
However if it were not for the legacy of knowledge, handed down to us by our forbearers via the scribes of their day, we would not have had the knowledge to develop these mediums.
Today we define the beginning of history as the time of written history. Therefore the time before writing is termed as the prehistoric era.

 

Unfortunately many repositories where the ancient scribe’s work was collected, including the great library of Alexandria have been destroyed.

Fortunately some works have survived especially those inscribed in stone.

Code of Hammurabi Cuneiform law is viewed as the legal predecessor of Biblical law and Jewish law.

Codex Of Hammurabi

Codex Of Hammurabi

 

So through the ages humans have scribed in rock, wood and metal, written on papyrus, parchment and paper. Used printing presses and typewriters and now, computers. With the advent of computers a whole new language has evolved or to be more precise, Languages [hundreds if not thousands of them].
Therefore today many of our scribes go under  a different name:
A programmer or software developer is someone who programs computers, that is, one who writes computer software. The term computer programmer can refer to a specialist in one area of computer programming or to a generalist who writes code for many kinds of software. One who practices or professes a formal approach to programming may also be known as a programmer analyst, software engineer, computer scientist, or software analyst. A programmer’s primary computer language (Java, C++, etc.) is often prefixed to the above titles, and those who work in a web environment often prefix their titles with web.
Those proficient in computer programming skills may become famous, though this regard is normally limited to software engineering circles. Many of the most notable programmers are often labeled hackers. Programmers often have or project an image of individualist geekdom, resistance to “suits” (referring to both business suits literally and figuratively to the “Establishment”), controls, and unionization.
Ada Lovelace is popularly credited as history’s first programmer. She was the first to express an algorithm intended for implementation on a computer, Charles Babbage’s analytical engine, in October 1842.
Just as the Egyptians intentionally kept their hieroglyphs complicated to protect their trade – today there is an air of mystique manufactured around computer programming. Just as the term “computer script” is termed  “computer code”, implies.
MyScribeWeb intends to take some of the mystique out of the computer script environment from within the “Members Area“.

Ganesh The son of Shiva and Parvati.

Known as the elephant god remover of obstacles. Famous as the scribe of the Vedas. Ganesh, also called Ganapati, the elephant headed God of Wisdom and Success is the defender and remover of obstacles and has to be propitiated first before worshiping other Gods.

He is one of the sons of Siva and Parvati. He is known as “Sidhi Data’ or harbinger of success in the work. His elephant head is believed to be an emblem of wisdom. His head often has one full tusk, while the other is broken. It is said that he lost it in a fight or that he used it to scribe the Maha-Bharata for the sage Vyasa.

His mount or standard is a rat, a symbol in Hindu fable of the sagacity and trickery of this world, much like the fox in the west. So it is natural that the rat should first be conquered, then subdued and employed by the being who represents spiritual strength, whom he was bound to recognize as his superior, since his own cunning would tell him that Ganesh would prove a better guide than even his own perspicacity.

Ganesh

Ganesh

 

SANSKRIT

Sir William Jones, speaking to the Asiatic Society in Calcutta, February 2, 1786, said:
The Sanskrit language whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong, indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists.

Sanskrit in modern Indian scripts.

Phrases in Sanskrit

Phrases in Sanskrit

 

Devimahatmya manuscript

 

Devimahatmya Sanskrit

Devimahatmya Sanskrit

 

The adjective samskita- means “cultured”. The language referred to as samskitā vāk “the language of cultured” has by definition always been a “high” language, used for religious and learned discourse and contrasted with the languages spoken by the people. It is also called deva-bhāsā meaning “language of the gods”. The oldest surviving Sanskrit grammar is Pānini’s Astādhyāyī (“Eight-Chapter Grammar”) dating to ca. the 5th century BC. It is essentially a prescriptive grammar, i.e., an authority that defines (rather than describes) correct Sanskrit, although it contains descriptive parts, mostly to account for Vedic forms that had already passed out of use in Panini’s time.
Sanskrit belongs to the Indo-Aryan sub-family of the Indo-European family of languages. Together with the Iranian languages it belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch and as such is part of the Satem group of Indo-European languages, which also includes the Balto-Slavic branch.
When the term arose in India, “Sanskrit” was not thought of as a specific language set apart from other languages, but rather as a particularly refined or perfected manner of speaking. Knowledge of Sanskrit was a marker of social class and educational attainment and the language was taught mainly to members of the higher castes, through close analysis of Sanskrit grammarians such as Pānini. Sanskrit as the learned language of Ancient India thus existed alongside the Prakrits (vernaculars), which evolved into the modern Indo-Aryan languages (Hindi, Assamese, Urdu, Bengali etc.). Most of the Dravidian languages of India, despite being a separate linguistic family in their own right, are highly influenced by Sanskrit, especially in terms of loanwords. Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam have the highest incidence of loans while Tamil has the lowest. This influence of Sanskrit on these languages is recognized by the notions of Tat Sama (equivalent) and Tat Bhava (rooted in). Sanskrit itself has also been exposed to Dravidian substratum influence since very ancient times.

Great Scribes of India Include:

Tulasidas -“Ramacharita – manasa”
Bankim Chandra -“Vande Matararam”
Kalidas -“Rughuvamsha”
Tenali Ramakrishna – “Panduranga Mahatyam”
Namadeva – 2,375 compositions of Abhangs.
Maharishi Valmiki -“Ramayana”

 

 

 

EGYPTIAN SCRIBES

Hatshepsut

Statue of a Scribe Amenemhet, Buhen, Dynasty 18, reign of Scribe Hatshepsut (1479-?1458 b.c.), Diorite, 37 x 23 cm.)

 

Scribes were near the top of Egyptian society, and capable scribes could do very well. One, Horemheb, even became king.

Students were trained rigorously for about five years beginning at the age of nine. This was often a problem because the young pupils could see children of their own age playing in the fields. Papyri have been discovered containing reprimands from senior to junior scribes about neglecting lessons; physical punishment was sometimes recommended. One form of encouragement offered to pupils was a list of the drawbacks of other professions—exaggerated, of course. For example, jewelers and metalworkers were said to choke in the heat of their furnaces, weavers had to put up with cramped conditions. But the scribe could look forward to authority, freedom from taxes, national service during times of flood, and immortality through his writings.
Egyptian artists were professional scribes who specialized in draftsmanship for royal or funerary monuments. From unfinished tombs like that of King Horemheb it is possible to see all the stages involved in painting. First, junior draftsmen drew the scenes in red ocher on the dry plaster. Next, senior artists made corrections in black outline. The painters would then fill in the outlines with color, or sculptors would cut away the background plaster to form a relief for painting.

Scribes had to be experts in writing hieroglyphs, an elaborate form of picture writing using about 700 different signs. It was deliberately kept complicated so that not many people could master it and scribes could keep their special position. Hieroglyphs were used on state monuments, temples, tombs, and religious papyri. They could be written from left to right, right to left, or top to bottom. For business contracts, letters, and stories, scribes used a different form of writing (script), called hieratic, which was a fast-written version of hieroglyphs, always running from right to left. Later on, an even more rapid script evolved, called demotic. At the end of the Egyptian civilization, scribes also had to be able to write Greek, the language of their overlords.
[From John D. Clare, Living History –Pyramids of Ancient Egypt ]