From: Simon Montagu (email@example.com)
Date: Thu May 27 2004 - 02:22:00 CDT
Peter Constable wrote:
> So, the question is whether contemporaneous use within a single
> community suggests that they were viewed as the same or distinct. Either
> is possible. If they were considered "font" variants, then you might
> expect to see different documents using one or the other, or see
> different elements within a single document using one or the other. But
> if you see documents containing equivalent content repeated in each,
> then that might well suggest they were viewed as distinct.
The examples brought by Dean Snyder from ancient Judah seem to be either
different documents using one or the other (for a loose definition of
"documents") or different elements (the Tetragrammaton, scribal
redactions) within a single document using one or the other.
The examples from modern coins vary. The 10-shekel at
http://www.bankisrael.gov.il/catal/c41.gif has equivalent content
repeated in each, but the 1 shekel at
http://www.bankisrael.gov.il/catal/c39.gif does not.However, I
discovered when using a shekel coin to do my own survey of the
legibility of PH in modern Israel that most people simply assume that it
does: almost everyone who thought that the PH was writing at all thought
that it said "Shekel".
So if Peter's premise is correct, and it seems reasonable to me, the
limited evidence seems to suggest that Palaeo-Hebrew and Square Hebrew
were viewed as font variants by Hebrew speakers 2,000 years ago, and as
separate scripts by Hebrew speakers today.
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