08 April 2012

classical painting of the day


Above: Part of a painting by Francesco Majotto showing Mesrop Mashtots inventing the Armenian alphabet.

I recently noticed a weird similarity between a cipher I used in my diary when I was a high school kid and the Armenian alphabet. I never noticed this resemblance in previous years because the Unicode charts show the Armenian script in a squared-off and slightly diagonal form. My diary code resembled the rounder and non-slanted form seen here:

I don’t think I had any access to information about the Armenian script back in those days (pre-Internet times). The dictionaries and encyclopedias of that era often included a chart showing the Phoenecian, Hebrew, Greek and Roman alphabets side by side, but the odds of seeing a table of Armenian (or other exotic) glyphs while living in small-town Florida were next to nil.

So, this leaves me wondering if the similiarity is sheer coincidence, if I saw a sample of the Armenian alphabet and forgot seeing it, or if there is some supernatural force at work (ghosts, reincarnation, etc). None of these explanations seem likely.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I think it's interesting what you mentionhere; similarly, many langauges share phonetic or written forms of words, like "links" (left) in german vs. links (connections) in english.

These and other oddities in languages show us that all humans have inherently the same capacity for generating similar signs, words, grammars, etc... all of them constrained and contained in the innate and amazing capacity humans have for communicating ideas.