« ZurückWeiter »
The next remarkable circumstance names. Each name, as it gave way to be noticed is, that M. Champollion, before the system, added something in his publication of 1821, (which was to the alphabet, until a complete and suppressed, and for our knowledge of consistent phonetic series was formthe existence of which we are be- ed, capable of unlimited application. holden to M. Klaproth,“) two years It is to be regretted that Champollion after that of Dr Young's exposition, should have suppressed his obligation denied the existence of the phonetic to Mr Bankes, and rested his alleged principles, of which he soon became discovery of the name on the Greek the great maturer ; insisting that the inscription, which, of itself, could not sacred Egyptian characters were have indicated the particular shield of " signs of things, not signs of sounds." Cleopatra among several contained in In another year, however, appeared his the hieroglyphics ; not less than that letter to N. Dacier,ť a composition he should affect to have been only displaying genius and acquirements of anticipated in publication, not in disthe highest order, in which the public covery, by Dr Young-with such conwere presented with an extended hiero- clusive proof to the contrary in existglyphic as well as an enchorial alpha- énce as that adduced by Klaproth. bet, grounded on uniform principles, His rapid and masterly conception of and capable of universal application, the system, and resolution of its prinat least so far as the decipherment of ciples, when once he saw occasion to proper names.
admit their existence, makes it all his The immediate cause of Champol- own, without interfering with the lion's change of opinion, and of his merits of those who had previously rapid success, must not here be passed demonstrated the existence of those over, although he appears himself to principles, but were not so fortunate have lost sight of it. It is precisely as to resolve them, or to form just analogous to that which pointed out conclusions regarding their extent. to Akerblad the groups from whence It appears that eight months only in. he derived the first enchorial alpha- tervened between Champollion's first bet. The name of Cleopatra was acquaintance with the obelisk of Phiclearly identified by Mr Bankes on læ, and the promulgation of his letter the obelisk brought by Belzoni from to M. Dacier, that is from January to Phila, by means of a laborious com- September, 1822 : and, when this parison of monuments, founded on brief interval is compared with the Dr Young's previous detection of the matured results of that memoir, the names of Ptolemy and Berenice, and latter must be viewed as amongst the confirmed by a Greek inscription on most surprising examples of genius the base of the obelisk. A lithogra- and industry on record. Had not the phic copy of the inscription, having question been thus taken up by such the identified name indicated in pen- a man as Champollion, it is sufficiently cil, was transmitted by Mr Bankes to clear that it could never have advanthe Institute, through M. Letronne : ced beyond Dr Young's inferential and this new name, being subjected exposition of 1819. It seems, on the to analysis by Champollion, was found other hand, quite improbable that, to correspond letter for letter with the were it not for that exposition, fol. Greek of Cleopatra ; and in agree- lowed up by the detection of the ment with the force of the same cha- group representing the name of Cleoracters, so far as they appeared in the patra, Champollion's views would names of Ptolemy and Berenice. It ever have received a right direction. also supplied the alphabetic value of The grand step was now taken ; most of the hieroglyphics which Dr and thenceforward the elucidation of Young either mistook or passed over. hieroglyphic remains proceeded with The number of letter-values thus ob- rapidity. The monuments of the tained was found enough for the re- Pharaohs, and of their Grecian and solution of other Greek and Roman Roman successors, were classed ac
• Examen, p. 3.
İSee the Right Hon. C. P. Yorke's account of this transaction, in the note to the work of Mr Salt.
cording to their respective antiquity, era until the present time, would and the progress of Egyptian art de- appear unbroken ; and it furnishes a termined. From this decisive epoch, parallel coequal in antiquity and duraDr Young, aided by the systematic tion with the sacred and profane litelabours of Champollion, directed his rature of the rest of the world. studies successfully and almost exclu- The Coptic versions of the Scripsively to the enchorial manuscripts ; tures present us with the Coptic or acquiring new and unanswerable proofs Egyptian dialects, as they were known that his efforts were rightly directed, in the age of the latest hieroglyphic and crowning these efforts, and the inscriptions and enchorial writing, labour of his valuable life, with his (when the enchorial or ancient na“ Rudiments of an Egyptian Dic- tional character, became finally supertionary," in the enchoral character, seded by the present Coptic alphabet), which appeared as a supplement to the and, consequently, with the data for Rev. H. Tattam's “ Grammar of the rendering the hieroglyphic and enEgyptian Language,” in 1836. He, chorial alphabets, if well established, nevertheless, continued to collect and available for the interpretation of the publish much original hieroglyphic latter inscriptions and papyri; and, materials ;* leaving the interpretation more remotely, in reference to those of them to his more successful rival. of the ages before the language had But we feel called upon to state, by suffered the changes and corruptions way of a slight counterpoise to the necessarily incidental on the sojournpeccadilloes of Champollion, that Dr ment of the Jewish nation, and the Young never fully admitted the au- successive Persian, Macedonian, and thenticity of a system which supplied Roman dominations. For, it is not to the defects of his own original and be supposed that the tongue of the fundamental conceptions; we mean Pagan inhabitants, the authors of the with regard to the phonetic hierogly- inscriptions and of the enchorial manuphics. For, our learned countryman scripts, remained in its original puspeedily agreed to his rival's compre- rity at a time when that of the Chrishensive views in regard to the general tians (whose descendants of the prealphabetic force of the enchoriul cha- sent day proclaim themselves, by their racters, as his ulterior researches and physical conformation, to be the true publications demonstrate; and in this representatives of their mummied and respect, like Champollion, he found it sculptured ancestors) was a mongrel necessary to relinquish his original language; retaining, however, unopinion, that both the hieroglyphic questionable proofs of its descent. We and enchorial characters were ideo. here differ from the opinion of Chamgraphic, or signs of things rather than pollion and his disciples, that the inof sounds, with the exception of limited scriptions present no variation of lanalphabets, or syllabaries, used for the guage from the age of Sesostris till expression of proper names and words that of Antoninus; and we fully agree in foreign languages.
with MM. Klaprotht and Janelli, The original discoverers assumed that under the Pharaohs, the Persians, the Coptic to be the language of the the Ptolemies, and the Cæsars, it was, hieroglyphics; and if the existing Cop- to a certain extent, different ; although tic be the legitimate representative of we cannot, with the first-mentioned the tongue of the Pharaohs-a fact writer, consent to follow the course of admitted by all, except those scholars corruption to the Arabian domination, whose delight is to amuse themselves (Eramen, p. 16), having before us the with startling theories,—the chain of Biblical versions four centuries older. Egyptian literature, during a period We must likewise dissent, until evi. of 3600 years, or from about the eigh- dence be adduced to the contrary, from teenth century before the Christian the view advanced by Janelli, Count
See “ Hieroglyphics” of the Egyptian Society, and the Royal Society of Literature, 1823, 1828. Plates 1 to 80. † Examen Critique, &c. Paris, 1832.
Alcune Questioni, &c. Neapoli, 1830. See Report on this System, Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature, Vol. III. Part I.
Robiano,* and the learned author of ture of Egypt: the second, from the the treatise on “ The Enchorial Lan- proved existence of three distinct diaguage of Egypt,"t that the sacerdotal lects, in the age of the versions alluded and vulgar tongues—the hieroglyphic to above -- the Bashmuric, or lower and enchorial-were radically different Egyptian; the Sahidic, or Thebaic; and languages. Ancient writers uniformly the Coptic, properly so called, or the speak of the several kinds of writing Memphitic. This last-mentioned fact or letters (opaypata) used in Egypt, is conclusive for the antiquity of the not of several languages, as Herodo- parent tongue, however varied or cortus, Manetho, Eratosthenes, the Ro- rupted in its descent; while it is consetta Inscription, Diodorus, Clemens, firmed by another fact not less remarkand Porphyry. Manetho, as quot- able, because in complete keeping with ed by Josephus and Syncellus, f in- the results of hieroglyphic discovery. deed, mentions the sacred and vul. The alphabet used in the expression of gar dialects; but this we believe to the several dialects, although considerrefer to a difference between the hiero- ably exceeding the Greek alphabet, graphic and enchorial, not much, from which it is mainly derived, in if at all, exceeding that between the length, when reduced to its interexisting dialects of the Coptic ; a dif- changeable letters, is found to repreference probably arising from the su- sent the primitive hieroglyphic alphaperior antiquity of the hierographic. bet, which does not go beyond twelve Eratosthenes calls the language of the or thirteen original sounds. In fine, sacred Theban sculptures, simply “the the Bashmuric, so far as the scanty Egyptian ;'S and Tacitus acquaints remains of that rude dialect permit us us that the exploits of the great to judge, is the nearest existing repreRhampses, were sculptured in the lan- sentative of the hieroglyphic of the guage of the country—patrium ser- monuments, and the Sahidic of the monem, [-the word patrium being Demotic or Enchorial inscriptions ; here equivalent to that of “ Enchorial” while the Coptic or Memphitic seems on the pillar of Rosetta, in reference to supply a further link in descent by to the national characters. So, Por- its closer affinity with the language of phyry (de Vitâ Pythagor.) tells us, the Ptolemies. This philological dethere were three modes of writing partment of the enquiry has been ma" the language of the Egyptians." terially promoted by the valuable
Egypt, like all other primitive na- Coptic lexicons of Tattam** and Peytions, had its peculiar race and lan- ron,and by the hieroglyphic researches guage, and, like most of them, its se- of Salvolini, Rosellini, Wilkinson, and veral families and dialects. The first Sharpe. of these propositions is demonstrable We have thus traced the materials from the ethno-geographical detail of from the quarry to the edifice; notithe tenth chapter of Genesis, in which cing the several stages of the discovery, we find those names of the offspring from its birth until it became an availof Mizraim, Pathrusim, Naphtuhim, able and profitable appendage to hisCaphtorim, &c., which were perpetu: torical literature-so far as appeared ated in the chorographical nomencla- necessary to enable our readers to sea
* Etudes sur l'Ecriture, &c. de l'Egypte. Paris, 1834.
This excellent paper appeared in the Dublin University Magazine, No. 3. | See · Ancient Fragments,' p. 168. Joseph. contr. Apion, lib. i. Syncellus ed Par., p. 40. § Syncell. P. 147.
| Annal. lib. 2. " It is with feelings of high satisfaction that we perceive that the labours of Mr Tattam are about to be extended in a way which is likely to prove equally serviceable to the cause of Biblical and to that of Egyptian literature, by a voyage to Egypt, under the sanction and at the expense of Government, and with a view to completing the Coptio Scriptures and Lexicon, from the unpublished and unknown manuscripts which abound in the Egyptian monasteries. We have seen testimonials in favour of the plan, and of Mr Tattam's unquestionable competency, signed by all our leading philologists and Egyptian scholars, which we conceive to be irresistible. The certainty of another complete version of the Scriptures, of the early ages of Christianity, being one of the results, causes it to be an object of national importance, which it is incumbent on any Government to promote, independently of its literary and antiquarian interest.
parate, and to form a just view of, the remarkable record referred to the same claims of the original promoters. order of succession in which they are Without waiting further to follow the found in history. various steps whereby our acquaint- The termination of the Tablet was, ance with the Egyptian language has by this discovery, at once raised from been advanced, and the method of the close of the monarchy to that of hieroglyphic analysis improved upon, the great eighteenth dynasty of Thę. we shall at once direct the attention ban kings; and, as the shields which of our readers to the historical frame- appear on most of the principal mowork by whicḥ, as already intimated, numents were found registered on this the phonetic system has been mainly record, the probable antiquity and the rendered available to the purposes of relative ages of those monuments, and history, through the chronological re- consequently the progress of Egyptian ference of the monuments and of the art, soon became settled questions. sculptured representations of different The general principles of the hieroages.
glyphic chronological records vere It is now just twenty years since ascertained, and the second grand the first discovery by Mr Bankes of step, not less important than that the most remarkable and important which proved a hieroglyphic alphabe. of all the knową hieroglyphic records tic system, was taken. And although -the chronological succession of the in Champollion's reference of the ca: Pharaohs, recorded on porțions of 4 talogued monumental series to history, wall in a ruined palace at Abydos. he committed some mistakes and over The original fragments, in common sights not less glaring than those of with the fundamental record of Ro- Dr Young, the fact was indisputable, setta, are now the property of our Na. that we had before us a contemporary tional Museum--an acquisition which, hieroglyphic index to the chronology for antiquity and historical interest of the monuments, which belonged to and importance, may be almost ranked that remote age to which the voice of with an original autograph of the Pen- history refers the glory of ancient tateuchi, or the Book of Judges. Egypt,
It was immediately obvious that the The discovery of other contempoformer (the Tablet of Abydos) con- rary hieroglyphic lists, by Mr Wilkinsisted of series of royal names or titles son and Mr Burton, (in the temple of enclosed in elliptical scrolls, like the Karnak, the palaces of the MemnoPtolemaic names and titles on the pil. nium and Medinet Abon, and the lar of Rosetta, and other monu- tombs at Benihassan), although not ments; and Dr Young fell into the $0 methodically disposed as that of mistake of connecting the termina- Abydos, soon abundantly authenticattion of those lists with the time of ed the latter; and, moreover, extended Psammetichus and his successors, whọ the existing portion of it both in as, preceded the Persian conquest in the cent and descent; and the partial sixth century before the Christian errors of Champollion were rectified era, because the prenominal shield of by our countrymen. The original the Soane sarcophagus, and of the scope of the Tablet of Abydos, and the tomb whence it was derived (that number of royal shields that it con. opened by Belzoni), which Dr Young tained, were manifest, notwithstanding had erroneously referred to Psaminis, the obliteration of the commencethe successor of Pharaoh Necho, oc- ment; and the deficient portion was cupied the third place from the con- supplied from the other lists, in the clusion of the middle line of the Tablet. copy published in the second part of
The improved principles of Cham- the second volume of the Transactions pollion, however, soon corrected this of the Royal Society of Literature, by mistake ; and that scholar ascertained, Mr Cullimore. It was found, that in that, instead of a series of phonetic this Tablet, and the supplemental renames, as Dr Young had conjectured, cord of Medinet Abon, we possess an the Tablet of Abydos represented a original chronological series, ascendo succession of royal titles or prefixes, ing thirteen reigns above the accesthe same which appeared connected sion of Amos and the eighteenth dy. with the respective phonetic names of nasty, and, descending nineteen reigns their possessors, on separate monu- below that of Amos--being seven ments; and which are by this most reigns below the point at which the Tablet of Abydos terminates. In other the Greek versions of these royal words, we have before us the sculptur- names, which, by connecting them. ed original of the succession, descend- selves with a series of titular Indices, ing to the close of the nineteenth dy- . in the order in which these appear in nasty of Diospolites“, which Josephus the tablets, give us historical combinahas transcribed from Manetho the tions of words whereby to test the Egyptian historian, in his first book alphabetical; and hence supply us in a against Apion; and which Josephus, limited, but, for the purposes of history, in common with all original authori- most effectual manner, with the lan. ties, refers to the thousand years which guage to which the phonetic principles separated the ages of Abraham and are applicable ; and thus elicit new Solomon,t including the founders of all proofs of the authenticity of these the great sculptured monuments. Such principles, and of the integrity of anwere the sources whence Manetho de- cient historians, as well as materials clares that his history of the dynas- for rectifying their oversights. ties, founded on the records of the In effect, the hieroglyphic and Greek Egyptian Temples, was originally de- versions of the succession, provide us rived: so that a more complete corro- with means for testing and proving the boration of ancient history than that phonetic system, not obtainable from which has been so wonderfully restor- any other source. We have, on the ed to us, cannot well be imagined. one hand, an original series of words,
Had not the statements of Manetho, ' and, on the other, the same series writJosephus, and similar passages of pri- ten out in Greek characters, with promitive history descended to us, these bably few variations beyond those extraordinary monumental records, arising from the pronunciation of the which, as already noticed, have no scribes. Every word, or at least its parallel for antiquity and importance, place, is identified. This could alone except in the contemporary sacred an- result from corresponding tables of nals of the Jews, would necessarily proper names. No accumulation of verhave remained for ever an insoluble, şions of common language-of words or, perhaps, unnoticed mystery, and and phrases which change their order phonetic discovery been useless for in the hands of every translator, could probing the history of remote ages. be in the least degree so effectual; and Such statements prepare us for the
ccordingly far more certain of previous question, without which no the corresponding words of the hierodiscovery was ever matured-what it glyphic and Greek lists of succession, is that we expect—to what definite than we are, or perhaps ever can be, end are our enquiries directed? The of the corresponding words of any two expectation of a phonetic system of of the three versions of the fundamental hieroglyphics was natural
. Its exist- record of Rosetta, however certain of ence was even asserted by ancient the general identity in substance. writers, although hardly suspected by We are now arrived at the work the moderns, till the Egyptian and which has given occasion for the preGreek texts of the pillar of Rosetta sent article.
Mr Cory's “ Ancient were seen in juxtaposition.
Fragments,” already often referred to, pectation that the same hieroglyphics consist of a collection of those state. contained records important to history, ments from primitive writers, on which was also natural; and that such was the expectations of the historical disthe fact was equally asserted by the coverer are based-equally those of ancients-Egyptian, Greek, and Ro. the decipherer of the brick tablets of man. But in the absence of the his. Babylon and Nineveh, and the sculptorical counterparts, this expectation tured records of Persepolis, as those would have been vague and useless. of the hieroglyphic decipherer, and
With the Greek version of the pillar which shed reciprocal light on each of Rosetta before them, the ingenuity other. This collection, moreover, con. of decipherers replaced the wanting tains the several versions and varied phonetic powers of the characters ; readings of such statements, which, but no ingenuity could have replaced although not unattended by omissions
we are acc
* Ancient Fragments, p. 130 and 172, &c. † Jos. Antiq. I. viii. c. 6. Contra Apion, lib. 1. Anc. Frag. p. 159, 169, et seq.