'But of all other stupendous inventions, what sublimity of mind must have been his who conceived how to communicate his most secret thoughts to any other person, though very far distant either in time or place? And with no greater difficulty than the various arrangement of two dozen little signs upon paper? Let this be the seal of all the admirable inventions of man'.

Galileo Galilei

Alphabetic writing was invented in the Levant in about 1600 BC. In the alphabetic system, a single sign represents a sound and so, unlike early pictograms, which were used to represent objects, the number of characters needed for written communication is considerably reduced. At the town of Ugarit, in modern Syria, a cuneiform alphabet with 32 symbols was in use by about 1400 BC, and there were attempts at this time to simplify the Egyptian hieroglyphic system. By the early tenth century, the earliest known fully alphabetic Canaanite system had evolved, as evidenced by an inscription on the sarcophagus of Ahiram, ruler of Tyre. Phoenician and early Hebrew alphabets are related to this lesser known Canaanite system. When the Greeks adopted the alphabetic system, they introduced and adapted signs for representing vowels, since the Canaanite system was only used for consonants.

Taking inspiration from the Language Metanode, by dmd, I decided to compose a metanode of the alphabets of different languages that noders have created. I will try to separate them into the groups of languages once I research and make sure which languages belong to which groups. If you know of an alphabet node that isn't included, /msg me. Thanks!

I am currently using tres_equis's help and Gritchka's language nodes to help me flesh out the metanode.

An Advance from Sid Meier's Civilizaton.
The ancestors of modern alphabets were the iconographic and ideographic symbols developed by ancient man, such as cuneiform and heiroglyphics. The development of the alphabet was significant because it allowed ideas to be transferred by paintings on pottery, carvings in stone, or impressions in clay, rather than simply face to face by either voice or hand signals.
No prerequisites.
Allows for: Advances Code of Laws, Mapmaking, Writing, and Mathematics.


ambulating antelopes
bellies bearing beer
carrying cantelopes
deride damp deer

elegant elephants
feeling fitly fat
give generous gifts
handing hippos hats

ignorant iguanas
jealously jeer
keen kindly kites
lilting laughing leers

many merry meerkats
nearly never notice
one old orangutan's
pompous pronouncements

querulous quail
reject reports regarding
shimmering snow snakes
tearing through tunnels

undulating ungulates
veer vivaciously
wondering why whales
xerox xylophones

yellow yaks yell
zip zap zoo!

Al"pha*bet (#), n. [L. alphabetum, fr. Gr. αλφα + βητα, the first two Greek letters; Heb. aleph and beth: cf. F. alphabet.]


The letters of a language arranged in the customary order; the series of letters or signs which form the elements of written language.


The simplest rudiments; elements.

The very alphabet of our law. Macaulay.

Deaf and dumb alphabet. See Dactylology.


© Webster 1913.

Al"pha*bet, v. t.

To designate by the letters of the alphabet; to arrange alphabetically.



© Webster 1913.

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