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The RosettA Stone, inscribed with a decree of the priests of Memphis, conferring divine honours on
To face p. 108. Ptolemy V., Epiphanes, King of Egypt, B.C. 195.
document is of about the same length. The Stele of Canopus has 74 lines of Greek to 54 on the Rosetta Stone, but as the letters are longer and wider, it is clear from this also that the Greek versions occupied about the same space. Allowing then for the difference in the size of the hieroglyphic characters, we should expect the hieroglyphic inscription on the Rosetta Stone to occupy 14 or 15 lines. When complete the stele must have been about twelve inches longer than it is now, and the top was probably rounded and inscribed, like that of the Stele of Canopus, with a winged disk, having pendent uraei, that on the right wearing 4 , the crown of Upper Egypt, and that on the left Y , the crown of Lower Egypt; by the side of each uraeus, laid horizontally, would be e-, and above A + fă ănch, “giver of life.” The inscriptions on the Rosetta Stone form a version of a decree of the priesthood assembled at Memphis in honour of Ptolemy V., Epiphanes, King of Egypt, B.C. 195, written in hieroglyphics, demotic and Greek. A facsimile of them was published by the Society of Antiquaries” in 1802, and copies were distributed among the scholars who were anxious to undertake the investigation of the texts. The hieroglyphic text has been translated by Brugsch in his Inscriptio Rosettana, Berlin, 1851; by Chabas, L'Inscription hieroglyphique de Rosette, Paris, 1867; and by Sharpe, The Rosetta Stone in /hieroglyphics and Greek, London, 1871, etc. The Demotic text has been studied by M. de Sacy, Lettre à M. Chaptal sur l'inscription gypt. de Rosette, Paris, 1802; by Akerblad, Letterd M. de Sacy sur l'inscription (gypt. de Rosette, Paris, 1802; by Young, Hieroglyphics (collected by the Egyptian Society, arranged by Dr. T. Young, 2 vols., fol., IOO plates, 1823–1828), pl. x ff.; by Brugsch, Die Inschrift von Rosette mach ihrem agyptisch-demotischen Teate sprachlich und sachlich erklärt, Berlin, 1850; Salvolini, Analyse Grammaticale Raisonnée de
! Other facsimiles are given in Lepsius, Auswahl, Bl. 18, and in Arundale and Bonomi, Gallery of Antiquities, pl. 49, p. 114.
* The Greek version of the decree of the Egyptian Priests in honour of Ptolemy the Fifth, surnamed Epiphanes, from the stone inscribed in the sacred and vulgar Egyptian and the Greek characters, taken from the French at the surrender of Alexandria. London, 1802. Nichols.
Contents of Rosetta Stone.
Principal works on the Rosetta Stone.
diff'rents feates des anciens Egyptiens, Vol. I., Terte hieroglyphique et démotique de la pierre de Rosette, Paris, 1836. This work was never finished. The Greek text has been edited by Heyne, Commentatio in inscriptionem gracam monumenti trini's titulis insigniti er Aegypto Londinum apportati, in tom. xv. of Comment. Soc. R. Sc. Gött., pp. 260–280; Ameilhon, Eclaircissements sur l'inscription grecque du monument trouvé à Rosette, Paris, 1803; Drumann, Commentatio in inscriptionem prope Rosettam inventam, Regiomont., 1822; and Drumann, Historisch-antiquarische Untersuchungen über Aegypten, oder die Inschrift von Rosette aus dem Griechischen ilbersetzt und erläufert, Königsberg, 1823; Lenormant, Essai sur le terte grec de l'inscription de Rosette, Paris, 1842; Letronne, Recueil des inscriptions grecques et latines d'Egypte, Paris, 1842; by Franz in Boeckh, Corpus Inscriptionum Graocarum, t. iii., 1853, p. 334 ff, No. 4697, etc.
The inscriptions upon the Rosetta Stone set forth that Ptolemy V. Epiphanes, while king of Egypt, consecrated revenues of silver and corn to the temples, that he suppressed certain taxes and reduced others, that he granted certain privileges to the priests and soldiers, and that when, in the eighth year of his reign, the Nile rose to a great height and flooded all the plains, he undertook, at great expense, the task of damming it in and directing the overflow of its waters into proper channels, to the great gain and benefit of the agricultural classes. In addition to the remissions of taxes which he made to the people, he gave handsome gifts to the temples, and subscribed to the various ceremonies which were carried on in them. In return for these gracious acts the priesthood assembled at Memphis decreed that a statue of the king should be set up in a conspicuous place in every temple of Egypt, and that each should be inscribed with the name and titles of “Ptolemy, the saviour of Egypt.” Royal apparel was to be placed on each statue, and ceremonies were to be performed before each three times a day. It was also decreed that a gilded wooden shrine, containing a gilded wooden statue of the king, should be placed in each temple, and that these were to be carried out with the shrines of the other kings in the great panegyrics. It was also decreed that ten golden crowns of a peculiar design should be made and laid upon the royal shrine; that the birthday and coronation day of the king should be celebrated each year with great pomp and show; that the first five days of the month of Thoth should each year be set apart for the performance of a festival in honour of the king; and finally that a copy of this decree, engraved upon a tablet of hard stone in hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek characters, should be set up in each of the temples of the first, second and third orders, near the statue of the ever-living Ptolemy. The Greek portion of the inscriptions appears to be the original document, and the hieroglyphic and demotic versions merely translations of it. Although it is nearly certain that, without the aid of the Greek inscription found on the socket of an obelisk at Philae, and the hieroglyphic inscription found on the obelisk which belonged to that socket, the hieroglyphic alphabet could never have been recovered from the Rosetta Stone, still it is around this wonderful document that all the interest in the decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphics clings. For many hundreds of years the interest of the learned of all countries has been excited by the hieroglyphic inscriptions of Egypt, and the theories propounded as to their contents were legion. Speaking broadly, the references to this subject by classical authors' are not very satisfactory; still there are some remarkable exceptions which will be referred to presently. Inasmuch as the names of Roman emperors, as late as the time of Decius, were written in hieroglyphics, it follows that the knowledge of this subject must have been possessed by some one, either Greek or Egyptian, in Egypt. “For a hundred and fifty years after the Ptolemies began to reign, the Egyptian hieroglyphics appear to have been commonly used, and the Egyptians were not prohibited from making use, so far as it seemed requisite, according to ritual or otherwise appropriate, of the native language and of its time-hallowed written signs.”” Little by little, however, the Greek language dis
* See Gutschmid, Scriptorum rerum Aegyptiacarum Series, in Philologus,
Rosetta Stone the base of decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics.
Late use of hieroglyphics.