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The hieroglyphics of Horapollo Nilous
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The Hieroglyphics of Horapollo Nilous
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The Hieroglyphics of Horapollo Nilous by Horapollo
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Hieroglyphic Semantics in Late Antiquity
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Horapollo was later captured and after torture converted to Christianity. To this Horapollo the Hieroglyphica was attributed by most 16th-century editors, although there were more occult opinions, identifying Horapollo with Horus himself, or with a pharaoh. Photius cod. Hieroglyphica is a text extant from the early medieval period ascribed to Horapollo, but it may be a pseudepigraph.
The text of the Hieroglyphica consists of two books, containing a total of explanations of Egyptian hieroglyphs. The books profess to be a translation from an Egyptian original into Greek by a certain Philippus, of whom nothing is known.
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The inferior Greek of the translation, and the character of the additions in the second book point to its being of late date; some have even assigned it to the 11th century. The text was discovered in on the island of Andros, and was taken to Florence by Cristoforo Buondelmonti it is today kept at the Biblioteca Laurenziana, Plut.
By the end of the 15th century, the text became immensely popular among humanists, with a first printed edition of the text appearing in , translated into Latin in by Filippo Fasanini, initiating a long sequence of editions and translations. From the 18th century, the book's authenticity was called into question, but modern Egyptology regards at least the first book as based on real knowledge of hieroglyphs, although confused, and with baroque symbolism and theological speculation, and the book may well originate with the latest remnants of Egyptian priesthood of the 5th century.