The Kharosthi alphabet was invented sometime during the 3rd century
BC and was possibly derived from the Aramaic
alphabet. It was widely used in northwest India and central Asia until
the 4th century AD.
Unlike the Brahmi script, which was invented at
around the same time and spawned many of the modern scripts of India and
South East Asia, Kharosthi had no descendants.
Kharoshti was deciphered by James Prinsep and others around the middle of
the 19th century. Since then further material has been found and the script
is now better understood.
- Kharosthi is a syllabic alphabet - each letter has an inherent vowel
/a/. Other vowels are indicated using diacritics.
- It was written from right to left in horizontal lines.
Used to write:
Gandhari and Sanskrit
Kharosthi information (includes free Kharosthi font)
Kharosthi Unicode proposal submitted by Andrew Glass, Stefan Baums, and Richard Salomon - the above
script chart and text sample is based on this
A Preliminary Study of Kharosthi Manuscript Paleography, by Andrew Glass
ALPHABETUM - a Unicode font
specifically designed for ancient scripts, including classical
& medieval Latin, ancient Greek, Etruscan, Oscan, Umbrian,
Faliscan, Messapic, Picene, Iberian, Celtiberian, Gothic, Runic,
Old & Middle English, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Old Nordic, Ogham,
Kharosthi, Glagolitic, Old Cyrillic, Phoenician, Avestan, Ugaritic,
Linear B, Anatolian scripts, Coptic, Cypriot, Brahmi, Old Persian cuneiform:
Writing system used to write Sanskrit
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