August 27, 2016

2709 ETHIOPIA - Ge'ez script

In terms of writing systems, Ethiopia's principal orthography is the Ge'ez script, also known as Ethiopic, considered one of the oldest alphabets still in use in the world. Employed as an abugida (syllable alphabet) for several languages of Ethiopia and Eritrea languages, it first came into usage in the 6th and 5th centuries BC as an abjad to transcribe the Semitic Ge'ez language. Ge'ez now serves as the liturgical language of the Ethiopian and the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church.

Each symbol represents a syllable consisting of a consonant plus a vowel. The basic signs are modified in a number of different ways to indicate the various vowels. It originated as an abjad (consonant-only alphabet), the vowel indication starting to appear in 4th century AD during the reign of king Ezana, though might have developed at a earlier date. Modern Ge'ez is written from left to right, and has 26 consonantal letters.

About the stamp
The stamp, depicting Menelik's Bushbuck (Tragelaphus Scriptus Menelik), is part of a definitive series, about which I wrote here.

Ge'ez script - Wikipedia

Sender: Adam Wole (direct swap)
Sent from Addis Ababa (Addis Ababa / Ethiopia), on 17.08.2016

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