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Autekreter Kesers Luki

Autocrator Caesar Lucius

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Aulli Uara anx t'etta.

Aelius Verus, living for ever.

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the Sun's son, lord of crowns, Kamtaus A-en-ta-nins netex

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The Rosetta Stone1 And The Stele Of Canopus.

The following remarks upon the decipherment of the Egyptian hieroglyphics may be fitly introduced by a description of the remarkable objects of antiquity whose names stand at the head of this chapter, of thi"g The Rosetta Stone is a slab of black basalt, which is Rosetta now preserved in the British Museum (Egyptian Gallery, Stone. Jjq 2^ jt was founci j-,y a Frencn artillery officer called Boussard, among the ruins of Fort Saint Julien, near the Rosetta mouth of the Nile, in 1799, but subsequently came into the possession of the British Government at the capitulation of Alexandria. It is inscribed with fragments of 14 lines of hieroglyphics, 32 lines of demotic, and 54 lines of Greek. A portion of the stone has been broken off from the top, and the right-hand bottom corner has also suffered injury. It now measures 3 ft. gin. x 2 ft. 4J in. x 11 in. We may arrive at an idea of the original size of the Rosetta Stone by comparing the number of lines upon it with the number of those Stele of upon the Stele of Canopus, which is inscribed in hieroglyphic, Canopus demotic and Greek, measures 7 ft 2in. x 2 ft. 7in. x ift. 2 in., St°neta anc* iS mscr'Dec* w'tn 36 lines of hieroglyphics, 73 lines of compared, demotic, and 74 lines of Greek. The demotic inscription is on the edge of the stele. This stele was set up at Canopus in the ninth year of the reign of Ptolemy III., Euergetes I. (B.C. 247—222), to record the decree made at Canopus by the priesthood, assembled from all parts of Egypt, in honour of the king. It records the great benefits which he had conferred upon Egypt, and states what festivals are to be celebrated in his honour, and in that of Berenice, etc., and, like the Rosetta' Stone, concludes with a resolution ordering that a copy of this inscription in hieroglyphics, Greek and demotic, shall be placed in every large temple in Egypt Now the Rosetta Stone is inscribed with 32 lines of demotic, and the Stele of Canopus with 73; but as the lines on the Rosetta Stone are rather more than double the length of those on the Stele of Canopus, it is pretty certain that each

1 A cast of the Rosetta Stone is exhibited in the Fitzwilliam Museum.

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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 , the crown of Lower Egypt; by the side of each uraeus, laid horizontally, would be fc^O-, and above ^ 7 ta anch, "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.6 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 Antiquariesa 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, VInscription hie'roglyphique de theRoseUa Rosette, Paris, 1867; and by Sharpe, The Rosetta Stone in Stonehieroglyphics and Greek, London, 1871, etc. The Demotic text has been studied by M. de Sacy, Lettre a M. Chaptal sur I'inscription /gypt. de Rosette, Paris, 1802; by Akerblad, Letter A M. de Sacy sur /'inscription /gypt. de Rosette, Paris, 1802; by Young, Hieroglyphics (collected by the Egyptian Society, arranged by Dr. T. Young, 2 vols., fol., 100 plates, 1823-1828), pi. xff.; by Brugsch, Die Inschrift von Rosette nach ihrent agyptisch-demotischen Texte sprachlich und sachlich erkldrt, Berlin, 1850; Salvolini, Analyse Grammaticale Raisonn/e de

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

3 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.

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