HIEROGLYPHICS (Gr. iepte, sacred, and y\v<tfi, carving), the term used by Greek and Latin writers to describe the sacred characters of the ancient Egyptian language in its classical phase. It is now also used for various systems of writing in which figures of objects take the place of conventional signs. Such characters which symbolize the idea of a thing without expressing the name of it are generally styled " ideographs " (Gr. Idea, idea, and ypafaiv, to write), e.g. the Chinese characters.
See Egypt, Language; CUNEIFORM; INSCRIPTIONS and WRITING.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)