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Cuneiform
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
A writing system used by many languages of the ancient Near East and the first known writing system in history—beginning just before the earliest known Egyptian writings. In cuneiform, a stylus is impressed on clay in order to make characters called signs. The signs are formed by a pattern of one or more wedge-shaped impressions and represent either a word, syllable, or portion of a syllable. Cuneiform originated in southern Mesopotamia. Much of ancient Near Eastern literature was recorded in cuneiform, including the Code of Hammurabi and the Amarna letters.
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Cuneiform
Cuneiform A writing system used by many languages of the ancient Near East and the first known writing system in history—beginning just before the earliest known Egyptian writings. In cuneiform, a stylus is impressed on clay in order to make characters called signs. The signs are formed by a pattern
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Cuneiform
CUNEIFORM. From the Lat for “wedge-shaped,” the term describes writing systems in which signs were rapidly impressed with a reed stylus on a soft writing surface. The native terms for cuneiform writing, Sum gu-sum = Akk miḫiltum/mihiṣtum/mihištum (Vanstiphout 1988), refer to the stroke of the stylus.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Cuneiform
Cuneiform kū-nēʹə-fôrm [from Lat cuneus—‘wedge’; hence ‘wedge-shaped’]. A system of writing employing wedge-shaped impressions made by a stylus in plastic clay or cut with a chisel in stone or metal. Cuneiform is a very early (perhaps the earliest) and certainly the most widespread system of “writing”
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Cuneiform
CUNEIFORM* Ancient writing script in which nail or wedge-shaped marks are impressed into a writing material, usually clay, in specific patterns. Each pattern, or “sign,” represents a sound or word. The system was employed by the Akkadians, Elamites, Hittites, Hurrians, and Sumerians. Ugaritic is also
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Cuneiform Writing
cuneiform writing, a form of written communication done in wedge-shaped marks usually impressed on clay tablets. A massive body of writings in cuneiform script has been unearthed during the past hundred and sixty years. Most of these texts come from Mesopotamia and are written in the Sumerian and Akkadian
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Cuneiform
Babylonian clay tablet with stylus in correct position for writing Cuneiform. ORINSTCUNEIFORM. The name for the peculiar script developed in Mesopotamia around 3000 b.c. and used in modified form for many languages down to the 2nd cen. b.c. The name means, literally “wedge-shaped” since the individual
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Cuneiform
CuneiformA term for a variety of writing systems using “wedge-shaped” (Lat. cuneatus) graphemes. The triangular heads of the individual strokes of the symbols were created by pressing the point of a (usually) reed stylus into wet clay. The symbols were reproduced with a chisel for metal and stone inscriptions.
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Cuneiform
Cuneiform [kū nēˊə fôrm] (from Lat. cuneus “wedge”).* A writing system employing wedgeshaped signs formed by a stylus on clay tablets and, secondarily, inscribed in stone or metal. Originally pictographic symbols, the signs came to have syllabic (or, in the case of Ugaritic, alphabetic) value.
Catholic Bible Dictionary
Cuneiform
CUNEIFORM The most widely used form of writing in the ancient Near East. The name is derived from the wedge (Latin cuneus) shapes that are characteristic of cuneiform writing. They were produced by pressing a triangular reed into a soft clay tablet. Once inscribed, the clay tablet was dried in the sun
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
cuneiform
cuneiform (Lat. cuneus, ‘wedge’). The characters of wedge-shaped or arrow-headed components in which the ancient Akkadian, Persian, and other inscriptions were written. It was probably invented by the Sumerians, who developed it out of what was originally a pictorial form of writing, and was widely
Harper’s Bible Dictionary
Cuneiform Writing
Cuneiform Writingcuneiform writing, a form of written communication done in wedge-shaped marks. A massive body of writings in cuneiform script has been unearthed during the past hundred and forty years. Most of these texts come from Mesopotamia, are impressed on clay tablets, and are written in the