Hieratic

Definition of Hieratic

Hi`er`at´ic
a.1.Consecrated to sacred uses; sacerdotal; pertaining to priests.
Hieratic character
a mode of ancient Egyptian writing; a modified form of hieroglyphics, tending toward a cursive hand and formerly supposed to be the sacerdotal character, as the demotic was supposed to be that of the people.
It was a false notion of the Greeks that of the three kinds of writing used by the Egyptians, two - for that reason called hieroglyphic and hieratic - were employed only for sacred, while the third, the demotic, was employed for secular, purposes. No such distinction is discoverable on the more ancient Egyptian monuments; bur we retain the old names founded on misapprehension.
- W. H. Ward (Johnson's Cyc.).

Related Words

beaux arts, fine arts, nonrepresentational
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