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“Egyptian," and not in ancient Egyptian. In this work are given the explanations of a number of ideographs which occur, for the most part, in Ptolemarc inscriptions; but, like the list of those given hy Chaeremon, no phonetic values of the signs are given. Nevertheless the list is of considerable interest. The best edition of Horapollo is that of Conrad Leemans,” but the text was edited in a handy form, with an English translation and notes by Samuel Sharpe and Dr. Birch, by J. Cory, in 1840.
In more modern times the first writer at any length on Mediaeval hieroglyphics was Athanasius Kircher, the author of some writers on hiero.
ponderous works 3 in which he pretended to have found the glyphics. key to the hieroglyphic inscriptions, and to translate them.
Though a man of great learning, it must be plainly said that, judged by scholars of to-day, he would be considered an impostor. In his works on Coptic there are, no doubt,
many interesting facts, but mixed with them is such an Kircher amount of nonsense that Jablonski says touching one of his and nski. statements, “ Verum hic ut in aliis plurimis fucum lectoribus
fecit Jesuita ille, et fumum vendidit"; from the same writer also, Kircher's arrogant assertions called forth the remark, “Kircherus, in quo semper plus inest ostentationis, quam solidae eruditionis." ( It is impossible to understand what grounds Kircher had for his statements and how he arrived at his results; as for his translations, they have nothing correct in them. Here is one taken at random from Oedipus
Aegyptische Geschichte, p. 151. The sepulchre of Gordian was inscribed in Egyptian. “Gordiano sepulchrum milites apud Circeium castrum fecerunt in finibus Persidis, titulum hujus modi addentes et Graecis, et Latinis, et Persicis, et Judaicis, et Aegyptiacis literis, ut ab omnibus legeretur.” Erasmus, Hist. Rom. Scriptorum, Basle, 1533, p. 312, at the top.
? Horapollinis Niloi Hieroglyphica. edidit, diversorum codicum recenter collatorum, priorumque editionum varias lectiones et versionem latinam subjunxit, adnotationem, item hieroglyphicorum imagines et indices adjecit C.L. Amstelod, 1835.
3 Obeliscus Pamphilius, ....... llieroglyphicis involuta Symbolis, detecta e tenebris in lucem asseritur, Rome, 1650, fol. Oedipus Aegyptiacus, hoc est, universalis hieroglyphicae veterum doctrinae, temporum injuria obolitae instau. ratio. Rome, 1652-54. Tomi I-IV, fol.
Prodromus Coptus, Rome, 1636. Lingua Aegyptiaca restituta. Rome, 1643.
• Jablonski, Opuscula, t. I. ed. Water, 1804, pp. 157, 211,
Aegyptiacus, t. III, p. 431, where he gives a translation of an inscription (A) printed on the plate between pp. 428 and 429. The hieroglyphics are written on a Ptah-Seker-Osiris figure and read :
and his translation runs:-“Vitale providi Numinis dominium, quadruplicem Mundani liquoris substantiam dominio confert Osiridis, cujus unà cum Mendesio foecundi Numinis dominio, benefica virtute influente, omnia quae in Mundo sunt, vegetantur, animantur, conservantur.” Other writers on hieroglyphics whose works Kircher consulted were John Peter Bolzanius Valerianus,' and Mercati," but no good results followed their investigations. In the year 1770 Joseph de Guignes determined the existence of groups of characters De Guig. having determinatives, and four years later he published his Mémoire,' in which he tried to prove that the epistolographic and symbolic characters of the Egyptians were to be found in the Chinese characters, and that the Chinese nation was nothing but an Egyptian colony. In 1797 Zoëga made a step in the right direction, and came to the conclusion that the hieroglyphics were letters and that the cartouches contained royal names. A few years later Silvestre de Sacy published a Silvestre
and Aker 1 Hieroglyphica, seu de sacris Aegyptiorum aliarumque gentium litteris blad. Commentatorium libri VII., duobus aliis ab eruditissimo viro annexis, etc., Basil., 1556.
? Degli Obelischi di Roma, Rome, 1589.
: Essai sur le moyen de parvenir à la lecture et à l'intelligence des Hiéroglyphes égyptiens. (In Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions, t. XXXIV. pp. 1-56.)
4 Ibid., t. XXXIX. p. 1 ff. o De Usu et Origine Obeliscorum, Rome, 1797, fol., p. 465.
letter on the inscriptions on the Rosetta Stone, and the work of this learned man was soon after followed by that of Akerblad who, in a letter to M. de Sacy? discussed the demotic inscription on the recently discovered Rosetta Stone, and published an alphabet of the demotic characters, from which a large number were adopted in after times by Young and Champollion. It would seem that Akerblad never gained the credit which was due to him for his really clever work, and it will be seen from the facts quoted in the following pages, how largely the success of Young's labours on the Demotic inscription on the Rosetta Stone depended on those of Akerblad. But side by side with the letters of de Sacy and Akerblad and the learned works of Young and Champollion, there sprang into existence a mass of literature full of absurd statements and theories written by men having no qualifications for expressing opinions on hieroglyphic
matters. Thus the Comte de Pahlin in his De l'étude des Absurd Hiéroglyphes, hesitated not to say that the inscription on one
of of the porticoes of the Temple at Denderah contained a the contents of translation of the hundredth Psalm, composed to invite all Egyptian texts.
people to enter into the house of the Lord. The same author said that to produce the books of the Bible, which were written on papyri, it was only necessary to translate the Psalms of David into Chinese and to write them in the ancient characters of that language.* Lenoir considered the Egyptian inscriptions to contain Hebrew compositions, and Lacour thought that they contained Biblical phrases. Worse than all these wild theories was the belief in the works of the
Kircher school of investigators, and in the accuracy of the Warbur. statements made by Warburton,' who, it must be confessed, ton's views on an Egyptian Lettre au Citoyen Chaptal, au sujet de l'Inscription égyptienne du alphabet. Monument trouvé à Rosette, Paris, 1802.
? Lettre sur l'inscription égyptienne de Rosette, Paris, 1802.
5 In Nouvelle explication des Hiéroglyphes, Paris, 1809–10, 4 vols.; and Nouveaux Essais sur les Hiéroglyphes, Paris, 1826, 4 vols. .
6 See his Essai sur les Hiéroglyphes égyptiens, Bordeaux, 1821.
i In his The Divine Legation of Moses demonstrated, to which is adjoint an Essay on Egyptian Hieroglyphics, London, 1738, 2 vols.
seems to have recognized the existence of alphabetic characters, but who in no way deserves the praise of Bailey, the Cambridge prize essayist, “Vir singulari quodam ingenii acumine praeditus, Warburtonus ; qui primus certe recentiorum ad rectam harum rerum cognitionem patefecit viam.” 1
Here naturally comes an account of the labours of Young Young and and Champollion, two men who stand out pre-eminently as
cemnenty as pollion. the true discoverers of the right method of decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics. As much has been written on the works of these savants, and as some have tried to show that the whole merit of the discovery belongs to Young, and others that it belongs to Champollion, it will not be out of place here to make a plain statement of facts, drawn from the best sources, and to give the opinions of the most eminent Egyptologists on this point; a few details concerning the lives of these remarkable men must, however, be first given.
Dr. Thomas Young was born at Milverton, in Somersetshire, on the 13th of June, 1773. His parents were both members of the Society of Friends. He lived during the first seven years of his life with his maternal grandfather, Mr. Robert Davis, at Minehead, in Somersetshire.. At the age of Early life
and studies two he could read fluently, and before he was four he had
of Young read the Bible through twice. At the age of six, he learnt by heart in six weeks Goldsmith's Deserted Villinge. When not quite seven years of age he went to a school, kept by a man called King, at Stapleton near Bristol, where he stayed for a year and a half. In March 1782, when nearly nine years of age, he went to the school of Mr. T. Thompson, at Compton, in Dorsetshire, where he remained four years. Here he read Phaedrus's Fables, Cornelius Nepos, Virgil, Horace expurgated by Knox, the whole of Beza's Greek and Latin Testament, the First Seven Books of the Iliad, Martin's Natural Philosophy, etc., etc. Before leaving this school he had got through six chapters of the Hebrew Bible. About this time he learnt to use the lathe, and he made a telescope and a microscope, and the Italian, Persian, Syriac, and Chaldee languages Young's all occupied his attention. From 1787 to 1792 he was private tutor to Hudson Gurney, at Youngsbury, in Hertfordshire,
Hieroglyphicorum Origo et natura, Cambridge, 1816, p. 9.
where he seems to have devoted himself to the study of English, French, Italian, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, Samaritan, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Ethiopic, as
well as to that of natural Philosophy, Botany, and Entomo. Young's logy.' In 1792 Young began to study Medicine and Anatomy medical
in London, and in 1793 he entered St. Bartholomew's Hospital studies.
as a pupil. In 1803 he read a paper before the Royal Society, and was elected a Fellow the following year (balloted for and elected, June 19). Shortly after he attended medical lectures in Edinburgh and Göttingen, and he subsequently went to Cambridge, where he took the degree of Bachelor of Medicine (1803), and afterwards that of Doctor of Physic (1808). In 1798 Young received a splendid bequest from his uncle Dr. Brocklesby, consisting of his house in Norfolk Street, Park Lane, his library, his prints, his pictures, and
about £10,000 in money; hence he was free to form his own Discovers scheme of life. In May, 1801, he discovered the undulatory undulatory theory of
theory of light, and his paper on this subject was read before light.
the Royal Society in the November following ; in the same year he accepted the office of Professor of Natural Philosophy at the Royal Institution. In 1802 he was appointed Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, and on the 14th of June, 1804, he married Eliza, the daughter of J. P. Maxwell, Esq., of Cavendish Square, and of Trippendence, near Farnborough, Kent. The attention of Young was called to Egyptian inscriptions by Sir W. Rouse Boughton, who had found in a mummy case at Thebes a papyrus written in cursive Egyptian characters, and to a notice of this which Young prepared for his friend, he appended a translation of the demotic text of the Rosetta Stone. As the details of his studies on the Rosetta Stone belong to the history of the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics, they are given further on (p. 141 ff.), but the reader will understand Young's
position better by reading Dean Peacock's chapter on “hieroYoung's glyphical researches” printed in his life of Young, pp. 258–344, study of hiero
and Mr. Leitch’s notes in the third volume of the collected glyphs. Works of Dr. Young. In 1816 Young was appointed
" For the list of books read by him at this time, see the Life of Thomas Young, by G. Peacock, London, 1855, pp. 14-17.