What is the oldest manuscript in the world? In what language is it written? What is the opic of the writing?
Well, I think it's a toss-up between the Chinese plate inscriptions found in caves recently, the hieroglyphics of the ancient Egyptians (found on tablets), or the cave writings found in France said to be the oldest. Maybe it could be said that the ancient Mayan civilization had the oldest known form of writing; they had carvings all around buildings in Machu Pichu.
The operant word being 'manuscript' I would say it has to be the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which was writting in heiroglyphics and fully illustrated. These were the prayers and answers to questions posed by Osiris in the Hall of Ma'at (Hall of Two Truths) to gain entry into eternity. Which to Egyptians was just like life on earth. Such books have been discovered in tombs , or remnants on papyrus, over three thousands years old. The Shang Dynasty, considered the first in China, also had writing, but these were not manuscripts. They are inscriptions on shells and bones that were put into a fire, the cracks resulting determined the answers to the questions posed. 3000 years ago. First manuscript in old English : Beowulf. The codex of the Maya are at most 600 years old and there are only 2.5 surviving, from hundreds detsroyed by the Spanish. Mostly tales of the Popul Vuh, the creation stories.
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