Cypriot syllabary

Cypriot Syllabary

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Cypriot syllabary

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The Cypriot syllabary is a syllabic script used in Iron Age Cyprus, from ca. the 11th to the 4th centuries BCE, when it was replaced by the Greek alphabet. A pioneer of that change was king Evagoras of Salamis. It is descended from the Cypro-Minoan syllabary, in turn a variant or derivative of Linear A.


The island of Cyprus has always been known to possess its own script during the classical period. The Cypriot Syllabary however, only refers to the script used during iron age Greece. The script used during bronze age Greece is generally known as Cypro-Minoan script. Most texts using the script are in the Arcadocypriot dialect of Greek, but some bilingual (Greek and Eteocypriot) inscriptions were found in Amathus.


It has been established that the Cypriot Syllabary is derived from the Linear A script and most probably, the Minoan writing system. The most obvious change is the disappearance of ideograms, which were frequent and represented a significant part of Linear A. The earliest inscriptions of this script is found on clay tablets. Parallel to the evolution of cuneiform, the signs soon became simple patterns of lines. There are some evidence of a Semitic influence due to trade, but this pattern seemed to have evolved as the result of habitual use.


The structure of Cypriot Syllabary is very similar to...
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