The Rosetta Stone and the Rebirth of Ancient Egypt (Wonders of the World)
Read the Bldg Blog interview with Mary Beard about the Wonders of the World series (Part I and Part II) The Rosetta Stone is one of the world's great wonders, attracting awed pilgrims by the tens of thousands each year. This book tells the Stone's story, from its discovery by Napoleon's... show more
Read the Bldg Blog interview with Mary Beard about the Wonders of the World series (Part I and Part II) The Rosetta Stone is one of the world's great wonders, attracting awed pilgrims by the tens of thousands each year. This book tells the Stone's story, from its discovery by Napoleon's expedition to Egypt to its current--and controversial-- status as the single most visited object on display in the British Museum. A pharaoh's forgotten decree, cut in granite in three scripts--Egyptian hieroglyphs, Egyptian demotic, and ancient Greek--the Rosetta Stone promised to unlock the door to the language of ancient Egypt and its 3,000 years of civilization, if only it could be deciphered. Capturing the drama of the race to decode this key to the ancient past, John Ray traces the paths pursued by the British polymath Thomas Young and Jean-Francois Champollion, the "father of Egyptology" ultimately credited with deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs. He shows how Champollion "broke the code" and explains more generally how such deciphering is done, as well as its critical role in the history of Egyptology. Concluding with a chapter on the political and cultural controversy surrounding the Stone, the book also includes an appendix with a full translation of the Stone's text. Rich in anecdote and curious lore, The Rosetta Stone and the Rebirth of Ancient Egypt is a brilliant and frequently amusing guide to one of history's great mysteries and marvels.
Publish date: July 27th 2007
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Pages no: 208
Edition language: English
If you have read about the Stone before or the European interest in Egypt, you most likely will know the information here. There is an interesting chapter about the ownership issues as well as the English vs. French debate. The best part of the book was the detailed section about the steps to deciph...
Interesting even if the prose was a bit stuffy