« PreviousContinue »
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 uræi, that on the right wearing Q, the crown of Upper Egypt, and that on the left 8, the crown of Lower Egypt; by the side of each uræus, laid horizontally, would beca, and above A † tā ânch, “ giver of life.”
The inscriptions on the Rosetta Stone form a version of a Contents decree of the priesthood assembled at Memphis in honour of Stone. Ptolemy V., Epiphanes, King of Egypt, B.C. 195, written in hieroglyphics, demotic and Greek. A facsimile 1 of them was published by the Society of Antiquaries 2 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, Principal Berlin, 1851; by Chabas, L'Inscription hiéroglyphique de the Rosetta Rosette, Paris, 1867; and by Sharpe, The Rosetta Stone in Stone. hieroglyphics and Greek, London, 1871, etc. The Demotic text has been studied by M. de Sacy, Lettre à M. Chaptal sur l'inscription égypt. de Rosette, Paris, 1802; by Akerblad, Letter à M. de Sacy sur l'inscription égypt. de Rosette, Paris, 1802 ; by Young, Hieroglyphics (collected by the Egyptian Society, arranged by Dr. T. Young, 2 vols., fol., 100 plates, 1823-1828), pl. x ff.; by Brugsch, Die Inschrift von Rosette nach ihrem ägyptisch-demotischen Texte 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.
différents textes des anciens Egyptiens, Vol. I., Texte hiérogly-
p. 334 ff., No. 4697, etc.
certain taxes and reduced others, that he granted certain
that ten golden crowns of a peculiar design should be made and laid upon the royal shrine; that the birthday and Festivals coronation day of the king should be celebrated each year of Ptolemy with great pomp and show; that the first five days of the Epiphanes. 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 Philæ, 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 Rosetta
Stone the around this wonderful docuinent that all the interest in the decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphics clings. For deciphermany hundreds of years the interest of the learned of all Egyptian countries has been excited by the hieroglyphic inscriptions of hieroglyEgypt, 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 Late use of
hieroglyknowledge of this subject must have been possessed by some phics. 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
Little by little, however, the Greek language dis
See Gutschmid, Scriptorum rerum Aegyptiacarum Series, in Philologus, Bd. X., Göttingen, 1855, ss. 712 ff.
: Mommsen, Provinces of the Roman Empire, Vol. II. p. 243.
placed the Egyptian, and the writing in common use among the people, called to-day “demotic” or “enchorial,” and anciently “epistolographic," completely usurped the place of the “hieratic” or cursive form of hieroglyphic writing. Although the Greeks and Romans appear not to have studied hieroglyphics thoroughly, only repeating, generally, what they were told about certain signs, nevertheless writers like Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, Hermapion, Chaeremon, Clemens Alexandrinus, and Horapollo, contribute information
on this subject of considerable value. Greek
To Hecataeus of Miletus, who visited Egypt between writers upon
B.C. 513-501, we owe, through Herodotus, much knowledge Egyptian of Egypt, and he must be considered the earliest Greek writer hieroglyphics. upon Egypt. Hellanitus of Mytilene, B.C. 478–393, shows
in his Aiyumrtiakà that he has some accurate knowledge of the meaning of some hieroglyphic words. ?
Democritus wrote upon the hieroglyphics of Meroë, 8 but this work is lost. Herodotus says that the Egyptians used two quite different kinds of writing, one of which is called sacred (hieroglyphic), the other common. (demotic). Diodorus says that the Ethiopian letters are called by the Egyptians “ hieroglyphics.” 5 Strabo, speaking of the obelisks at Thebes, says that there are inscriptions upon them which proclaim the riches and power of their kings, and that their rule extends even to Scythia, Bactria, and India. Chaeremon of Naucratis, who lived in the first half of the first century after Christ, and who must be an entirely different person from Chaeremon the companion of Aelius Gallus (B.C. 25),
"See De rerum Aegyptiacarum scriptoribus Graecis ante Alexandrum Magnum, in Philologus, Bd. X. s. 525.
See the instances quoted in Philologus, Bd. X. s. 539.
IIepi Tūv év Mepóy iepūv ypanuárwv. Diogenes Laertius, Vit. Democ., ed. Isaac Casaubon, 1593, p. 661.
4 Και τα μεν αυτών ιρά, τα δε δημοτικά καλέεται. Ηerodotus, ΙΙ. 36, ed. Didot, p. 84.
5 Diodorus, III. 4, ed. Didot, p. 129.
7 According to Mommsen he came to Rome, as tutor to Nero, in the reign of Claudius. Provinces of Rome, Vol. II. pp. 259, 273.
derided by Strabo," and charged with lying by Josephus, Greek
writers wrote a work on Egyptian hieroglyphics & tepi tậv iepôv ypaquátwv, which has been lost. He appears to have been Egyptian attached to the great library of Alexandria, and as he was phics.
hierogly. a “sacred scribe," it may therefore be assumed that he had access to many important works on hieroglyphics, and that he understood them. He is mentioned by Eusebius 4 as Χαιρήμων ο ιερογραμματεύς, and by Suidas,5 but neither of these writers gives any inforination as to the contents of his work on hieroglyphics, and we should have no idea of the manner of work it was but for the extract preserved by John Tzetzes (TGÉTCns, born about A.D. 1110, died after John A.D. 1180). Tzetzes was a man of considerable learning and
Egyptian literary activity, and his works have value on account of the hierogly.
phics. lost books which are quoted in them. In his Chiliades? (Bk. V., line 395) he speaks of ο Αιγύπτιος ιερογραμματεύς Χαιρήμων, and refers to Chaeremon's διδάγματα των ιερών γραμμά
In his Exegesis of Homer's Iliad he gives an extract from the work itself, and we are able to see at once that it was written by one who was able to give his information at first hand. This interesting extract was first brought to the notice of the world by the late Dr. Birch, who published a paper on it in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature, Vol. III., second series, 1850, pp. 385-396. In it he quoted the Greek text of the extract, from the edition of Tzetzes' Exegesis, first published by Hermann, and added remarks and hieroglyphic characters illustrative of it, together with the scholia of Tzetzes, the text of which he emended in places. As this extract is so important for the history of
1 Γελώμενος δε το πλέον ως αλαζών και ιδιώτης. Strabo, ΧVΙΙ. 1, 8 29, ed. Didot, p. 685.
? Contra A pion., I. 32 ff. On the identity of Chaeremon the Stoic philosopher with Chaeremon the iepoypapuateus, see Zeller, Hermes, XI. s. 431.
3 His other lost work, Aiyuatiaká, treated of the Exodus.
6 For an account of them see Krumbacher, Geschichte aer Byzantinischen Literatur, München, 1891, pp. 235-242.
7 Ed. Kiessling, Leipzig, 1826, p. 191.
8 Draconis Stratonicensis Liber de Metris Poeticis. Joannis Tzetzae Exegesis in Homeri Iliadem. Primum edidit God. Hermannus, Lipsiae, 1812.