Page images

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 1, the crown of Upper Egypt, and that on the left the crown of Lower Egypt; by the side of each uræus, laid horizontally, would bes , and above A + ānch, “giver of life.” The inscriptions on the Rosetta Stone form a version of a Contents

c of Rosetta 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 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, Principal Berlin, 1851; by Chabas, LInscription 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

works on

Other facsimiles are given in Lepsius, Auswahl, Bl. 18, and in Arundale and Bonomi, Gallery of Antiquities, pl. 49, p. 114.

9 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 hiéroglyphique 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 græcam monumenti trinis titulis insigniti ex 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 übersetzt und erläutert, Königsberg, 1823; Lenormant, Essai sur le texte 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 Græcarum, t. iii., 1853,

p. 334 ff., No. 4697, etc. Beneficent The inscriptions upon the Rosetta Stone set forth that Ptolemy v. Ptolemy V. Epiphanes, while king of Egypt, consecrated Epiphanes. 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 Festivals coronation day of the king should be celebrated each year of prolemy 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 hi

phics. 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 Late use of

hierogly. knowledge of this subject must have been possessed by some phic 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, Bd. X., Göttingen, 1855, ss. 712 ff.

* Mommsen, Provinces of the Roman Empire, Vol. II. p. 243.

Greek writers ' upon Egyptian hierogly. phics.

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.

To Hecataeus of Miletus, who visited Egypt between B.C. 513-501, we owe, through Herodotus, much knowledge of Egypt, and he must be considered the earliest Greek writer upon Egypt. Hellanitus of Mytilene, B.C. 478–393, shows in his Aiyuttlakà that he has some accurate knowledge of the meaning of some hieroglyphic words. 2 Democritus wrote upon the hieroglyphics of Meroë, 3 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. 3 [Iepi Tūv kv Mepóy iepūv ypanuárwv. Diogenes Laertius, Vit. Democ., ed. Isaac Casaubon, 1593, p. 661.

* Kai på uły aŭtūv ipà, rå od 8 nuotikà rarbetau. Herodotus, II. 36, ed. Didot, p. 84.

5 Diodorus, III. 4, ed. Didot, p. 129.
6 Strabo, XVII. 1, § 46, ed. Didot, p. 693.

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 wrote a work on Egyptian hieroglyphics : tepi tậv iepôv Wouters ypappátwv, which has been lost. He appears to have been Egyptian

hierogly. attached to the great library of Alexandria, and as he was phics: 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 * as Xalpņuwv ó le poypajuateús, and by Suidas, 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 (TLÉTENS, born about A.D. 1110, died after John

a Tzetzes on A.D. 1180). Tzetzes was a man of considerable learning and literary activity, and his works e have value on account of the hierogly. lost books which are quoted in them. In his Chiliades? (Bk." V., line 395) he speaks of ó Aiyuntios iepoypappateùs Xaipuwv, and refers to Chaeremon's didáyuata Tôv iepôv ypappáTwv. 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

I reúnevoç tò aléov wg åAmbwv kai idiúrns. Strabo, XVII. 1, § 29, ed. Didot, p. 685.

? Contra Apion., I. 32 ff. On the identity of Chaeremon the Stoic philo. sopher with Chaeremon the iepoypappareus, see Zeller, Hermes, XI. S. 431.

3 His other lost work, Aiyuntlaká, treated of the Exodus.
4 Praep. Evang., v. 1o, ed. Gaisford, t. 1, p. 421.
- Sub voce 'lepogavpıká.

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.

B. M.

« PreviousContinue »