Perhaps no subject has been involved in greater obscurity, or has caused a greater diversity of opinion amongst writers of both ancient and modern days, than the origin of the alphabet. Scarcely any two writers agree upon the point. It has been a matter of much controversy whether writing be really a human invention, or whether an art so eminently useful to man is not rather to be attributed to a special Divine revelation. Many writers ascribe the invention of letters to the Phoenicians, but without sufficient evidence. Sanchoniatho, the Phoenician historian, who flourished nearly contemporaneously with Moses and Cadmus, when the Assyrian empire was in the zenith of its power and greatness, ascribes the the primitive alphabet and language of the ancient ones of the earth as an invention to Taaut, the Ton of Misor, who is said to be the Menes of the Egyptians, or Mitfraim of the Scriptures. Philo, a learned Jew, who lived about A.D. 40, asserts that the invention must be referred to Abraham. Inscriptions on the stone tablets, obelisks, cylinders, and other remains discovered in Assyria is an unchanged form.
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