Hieratic character, a mode of ancient Egyptian writing; a modified form of hieroglyphics, tending toward a cursive hand and formerly supposed to be the sacerdotal character, as the demotic was supposed to be that of the people.

It was a false notion of the Greeks that of the three kinds of writing used by the Egyptians, two — for that reason called hieroglyphic and hieratic — were employed only for sacred, while the third, the demotic, was employed for secular, purposes. No such distinction is discoverable on the more ancient Egyptian monuments; bur we retain the old names founded on misapprehension.
W. H. Ward

(Hi`er*oc"ra*cy) n. [Gr. "iero`s sacred + to be strong, rule.] Government by ecclesiastics; a hierarchy. Jefferson.

(Hi"er*o*glyph Hi`er*o*glyph"ic) n. [Cf. F. hiéroglyphe. See Hieroglyphic, a.]

1. A sacred character; a character in picture writing, as of the ancient Egyptians, Mexicans, etc. Specifically, in the plural, the picture writing of the ancient Egyptian priests. It is made up of three, or, as some say, four classes of characters: first, the hieroglyphic proper, or figurative, in which the representation of the object conveys the idea of the object itself; second, the ideographic, consisting of symbols representing ideas, not sounds, as an ostrich feather is a symbol of truth; third, the phonetic, consisting of symbols employed as syllables of a word, or as letters of the alphabet, having a certain sound, as a hawk represented the vowel a.

2. Any character or figure which has, or is supposed to have, a hidden or mysterious significance; hence, any unintelligible or illegible character or mark. [Colloq.]

(Hi`er*o*glyph"ic Hi`er*o*glyph"ic*al) a. [L. hieroglyphicus, Gr. "iero`s sacred + gly`fein to carve: cf. F. hiéroglyphique.]

1. Emblematic; expressive of some meaning by characters, pictures, or figures; as, hieroglyphic writing; a hieroglyphic obelisk.

Pages no better than blanks to common minds, to his, hieroglyphical of wisest secrets.
Prof. Wilson.

(Hi`er*arch"ic*al) a. [Cf. F. hiérarchique.] Pertaining to a hierarchy.Hi`er*arch`ic*al*ly, adv.

(Hi"er*arch`ism) n. The principles or authority of a hierarchy.

The more dominant hierarchism of the West.

(Hi"er*arch`y) n.; pl. Hierarchies [Gr. 'ierarchi`a: cf. F. hiérarchie.]

1. Dominion or authority in sacred things.

2. A body of officials disposed organically in ranks and orders each subordinate to the one above it; a body of ecclesiastical rulers.

3. A form of government administered in the church by patriarchs, metropolitans, archbishops, bishops, and, in an inferior degree, by priests. Shipley.

4. A rank or order of holy beings.

Standards and gonfalons . . . for distinction serve
Of hierarchies, of orders, and degrees.

(Hi`er*at"ic) a. [L. hieraticus, Gr. akin to "iero`s sacred: cf. F. hiératique.] Consecrated to sacred uses; sacerdotal; pertaining to priests.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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