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Phoenician Alphabet Ancient Tyre, Mother of Modern Writing

  According to the Egyptians language is attributed to Taautos who was the father of tautology or imitation. He invented the first written characters two thousand years BC or earlier.   Taautos came from Byblos also known as Jubal the land of the Gealites, Phoenicia, that shows a continuous cultural tradition going back as far as 8,000 B.C.  Taautos played his flute to the chief deity of Byblos who was a moon-goddess Ba'alat Nikkal.  Note: Taautos was called Thoth by the Greeks and the Egyptians called him Djehuti also known as Min. The mythology of Taautos appears in that of Thoth and Dionysus, or Njörth the snake priest who was, at times, the consort to the moon-goddess.  The snake priest was also represented by the symbol of a pillar, a wand or a caduceus.  This symbol would itself become a god Hermes or Mercury. 

The Greeks equated Thoth with the widely-traveled Hermes.  According to Egyptian tradition Osiris traveled the world with Thoth. Under the protective umbrella of Hindu culture, snake charmers playing their nasal punji echo the same tradition. Alphabetic writing was already well established in the Late Bronze Age at Ugarit where a cuneiform script was used. The Phoenician alphabetic script was borrowed to write well before the first millennium BC. The Phoenicians were not mere passive peddlers in art or commerce. Their achievement in history was a positive contribution, even if it was only that of an intermediary. For example, the extent of the debt of Greece alone to Phoenicia may be fully measured by its adoption, probably in the 8th century BC, of the Phoenician alphabet with very little variation (along with Semitic loan words); by "orientalizing" decorative motifs on pottery and by architectural paradigms; and by the universal use in Greece of the Phoenician standards of weights and measures. Having mentioned this, the influence on or from Linear A and B scripts is unknown.
Phoenician words are found in Greek and Latin classical literature as well as in Egyptian, Akkadian, Arabic, Aramaic and Hebrew writings. The language is written with a 22-character alphabet that does not indicate vowels. Although the Phoenicians used cuneiform (Mesopotamian writing) in what we call Ugaritic, they also produced a script of their own. The Phoenician alphabetic script of 22 letters was used at Byblos as early as the 15th century B.C. This method of writing, later adopted by the Greeks, is the ancestor of the modern Roman alphabet. It was the Phoenicians' most remarkable and distinctive contribution to civilization. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder was a great admirer of the Phoenicians, he credited them with many discoveries, including the invention of trade. Although Pliny was not adverse to exaggerating, scholars do accept his evidence that Phoenicians were the first traveling salesmen. Because they needed an efficient method of keeping records, they invented an alphabet from which every alphabet of the world has descended. Along with an alphabet came the equipment for using it: pen, ink and, of course, papyrus, parchment and finally paper. A wax-writing tablet was found in an ancient Uluburun shipwreck (most likely to have been Canaanite Phoenician) off the coast of Turkey.
The oldest of the attested Semitic languages, Akkadian, was the vehicle of a great ancient literature written in a logosyllabic cuneiform writing system of Sumerian origin. Records of other ancient Semitic languages exist in various forms. Amorite, another ancient Semitic language, is known from proper names; Ugaritic  was written in a quasi-alphabetic cuneiform script unconnected with the Akkadian. The Canaanites of Phoenicia used a still undeciphered syllabic script, the Proto-Byblian, in the 2nd millennium BC, while those of Palestine and the Sinai Peninsula employed another undeciphered writing, the Sinaitic script, which may be alphabetic in nature. All the other Semites used and, for the most part, still use consonantal quasi-alphabets with no means or only imperfect means to distinguish the vowels.
All such alphabets are descended from the Phoenician linear quasi-alphabet of 22 signs, first attested at Byblos  also called Jubal or Gebal, and known as the land of the Gegalites, they are credited with helping king Hiram of Tyre assist Solomon build the temple of God, 1st Kings 5:18. and externally similar to the Proto-Byblian script. All the European alphabets are descendants of the Phoenician, and all the Asiatic alphabets are descendants of the Aramaic variants of the Phoenician. The Phoenician alphabet is a forerunner of the Etruscan, Latin, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, and Syriac scripts among others, many of which are still in modern use. It has also been suggested that Phoenician is the ultimate source of Kharoshthi and of the Indic scripts descending from Brahmi. Garbini suggests that while the origins of Phoenician may have been a reform of the Proto-Sinaitic/Canaanite script (see linked charts at the bottom of this page), it came into its own from the 9th century BC, when it “became a very elegant script with long, slightly slanting vertical lines, minuscule loops and flat letters.” Phoenician is quintessentially illustrative of the historical problem of where to draw lines in an evolutionary tree of continuously changing scripts in use over thousands of years. The twenty-two letters in the Phoenician block may be used, with appropriate font changes, to express Punic, Neo-Punic, Phoenician proper, Late Phoenician cursive, Phoenician papyrus, Siloam Hebrew, Hebrew seals, Ammonite, Moabite, and Palaeo-Hebrew. The historical cut that has been made here considers the line from Phoenician to Punic to represent a single continuous branch of script evolution. The wax writing tablet  is a replica of an original discovered in the Uluburun (Canaanite?) shipwreck off the coast of Turkey. Phoenician is written from right to left horizontally. Phoenician language inscriptions usually have no space between words; there are sometimes dots between words in later inscriptions (e.g. in Moabite inscriptions). Typical fonts for the Phoenician and especially Punic have very exaggerated descenders. These descenders help distinguish the main line of Phoenician evolution toward Punic from the other (e.g. Hebrew) branches of the script, where the descenders instead grew shorter over time. From a South Arabian variant of the earliest Semitic alphabet the Ethiopians developed a syllabic writing still in use for the languages of Ethiopia. Maltese uses the Latin alphabet Read more: Phoenician Alphabet