Meroïtic & Samaritan

Ian James
© May-November 2009

These fonts were developed in response to finding so few nice representations of ancient scripts on the web. Many were poorly drawn, making them appear primitive and unsophisticated. Only after finding good ancient examples, does one appreciate how lovely the scripts really were, and how sophisticated was their heritage. See also the important Avestan script. These are all written right-to-left.


The Meroitic script is an alphabet originally derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs, used to write the Meroitic language of the Kingdom of Meroë (Kush). It first appears in the 2nd century BC. This chart (November 2009) uses a regularized font based on cursive text from a late period:

Here is a sample of this Meroitic font using text from Lost Languages, Andrew Robinson, 2002 (and originally from The World’s Writing Systems, Daniels & Bright, 1996):


Samaritan was based on Phoenician and Old Hebrew. This chart is from May 2009, in an old style:

Extract from a Samaritan bible, using this font:


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Same extract in a more modern style, with a font based on 19th century typesetting examples:

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All material on this page © Ian James, unless otherwise stated.
Last modified Sep.11,2012