Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

The next remarkable circumstance it gave way before the system, added to be noticed is, that M. Champollion, something to the alphabet, until a in his publication of 1821, (which was complete and consistent phonetic se. suppressed, and for our knowledge of ries was formed, capable of unlimited the existence of which we are beholden application. It is to be regretted that to M. Klaproth, *) two years after that Champollion should have suppressed of Dr. Young's exposition, denied th his obligation to Mr. Binkes, and resiexistence of the phonetic principles, ed his alleged discovery of the name of which he soon became the great on the Greek inscription, which, of itmaturer; insisting that the sacred self, could not have indicated the par. Egyptian characters were “ signs of ticular shield of Cleopatra among seve. things, not signs of sounds.In another ral contained in the hieroglyphics; not year, however, appeared his letter to less than that he should affect to have M. Dacier, t a composition displaying been only anticipated in publication, genius and acquirements of the highest not in discovery, by Dr. Young—with order, in which the public were pre. such conclusive proof to the contrary' sented with an extended hierogly. in existence as that adduced by Klapphic as well as an enchorial alphabet, roth. His rapid and masterly congrounded on uniform principles, and ception of the system, and resolution capable of universal application, at of its principles, when once he saw least so far as the decipherment of pro- occasion to admit their existence, per names.

make it all his own, without interfer. The immediate cause of Champol. ing with the merits of those who had hon's change of opinion, and of his rapid previously demonstrated the existence success, must not here be passed over, of those principles, but were not so although he appears himself to have fortunate as to resolve them, or to lost sight of it. It is precisely analo- form just conclusions regarding their gous to that which pointed out to Aker- extent. It appears that eight months blad the groups from whence he de- only intervened between Champolrived the first enchorial alphabet. The lion's first acquaintance with the obename of Cleopatra was clearly identi. lisk of Philæ, and the promulgation of fied by Mr. Bankes on the obelisk his letter to M. Dacier, that is, from brought by Belzoni from Philæ, by January to September, 1822:— and means of a laborious comparison of when this brief interval is compared monuments, founded on Dr. Young's with the matured results of that meprevious detection of the names of moir, the latter must be viewed as Plolemy and Berenice, and confirmed amongst the most surprisir.g examples by a Greek inscription on the base of of genius and industry on record. the obelisk. A lithographic copy of Had not the question been thus taken the inscription, having the identified up by such a man as Champollion, it is narne indicated in pencil, was trans. sufficiently clear that it could never mitted by Mr. Bankes to the Institute, have advanced beyond Dr. Young's through M. Letronne: and this new inferential exposition of 1819. It name, being subjected to analysis by seems, on the other hand, quite imChampollion, was found to correspond, probable that, were it not for that exletter for letter, with the Greek of position, followed up by the detec. Cleopatra; and in agreement with the tion of the group representing the force of the same characters, so far as name of Cleopatra, Champollion's views they appeared in the names of Ptole- would ever have received a right dimy and Berenice. It also supplied rection. the alphabetic value of most of the The grand step was now taken; hieroglyphics which Dr. Young either and thenceforward the elucidation of mistook or passed over. The number hieroglyphic remains proceeded with of letter-values thus obtained was found rapidity. The monuments of the enough for the resolution of other Greek Pharaohs, and of their Grecian and and Roman names. Each name, as Roman successors, were classed ac.

Examen, p. 3. + See " Precis du Systeme Hieroglyphique,” &c. Paris, 1828. 2d edition.

• See the Right Hon. C. P. Yorke's aecount of this transaction, in the note to the work of Mr. Salt.

rials;

cording to their respective antiquity, present time, would appear untroken; and the progress of Egyptian art de- and it furnisl.es a parallel coequal in termined. From this decisive epoch, antiquity and duration with the sacred Dr. Young, aided by the systematic and profane literature of the rest of the labours of Champollion, directed his world. studies successfully and almost exclu The Coptic versions of the Scriptures sively to the enchorial manuscripts ; present us with the Coptic or Egypt an acquiring new and unanswerable proofs dialects, as they were known in the that his efforts were rightly directed; age of the latest hieroglyphic inscripand crowning these efforts, and the tions and enchorial writng, (when the labour of his valuable life, with his enchoria), or ancient national character, “ Rudiments of an Egyptian Diction- became finally superseded by the preary,” in the enchorial character, which sent Coptic alphabet,) and, conseappeared as a supplement to the Rev. quently, with the data for rendering H. Tattam's “ Grammar of the Egyp- the hieroglyphic and enchorial alphatian Language,” in 1836. He, never- bets, if well established, available for theless, continued to collect and pub- the interpretation of the latter inscriplish much original hieroglyphic mate. tions and papyri; and, more remotely

, leaving the interpretation of in reference to those of the ages before them to his more successful rival.- the language had suffered the charges But we feel called upon to state, by and corruptions necessarily incidental way of a slight counterpoise, to the on the sojournment of the Jewish na. peccadilloes of Champollion, that Dr. tion, and the successive Persian, MaYoung never fully admitted the authen- cedonian, and Roman dom nations ticity of a system which supplied the For, it is not to be supposed that the defects of his own original and funda- tongue of the Pagan inhabitants, the mental conceptions; we mean, with authors of the inscriptions and of the regard to the phonetic hieroglyphics.- enchorial manuscripts, remaired in its For, our learned countryman speedily original purity at a time when that of agreed to his rival's comprehensive the Christians (whose descendants of views in regard to the general alpha- the present day proclaim themselves, betic force of the enchorial characters, by their physical conformation, to be as his ulterior researches and publica- the true representatives of their mumtions demonstrate; and in this respect, mied and sculptured ancestors) was a like Champollion, he found it neces- mongrel language; retaining, however, sary to relinquish his original opinion, unquestionable proofs of its descentthat both the hieroglyphic and encho- We here differ from the opinion of rial characters were ideographic, or Champollion and his disciples, that signs of things rather than of sounds, the inscriptions present no variation with the exception of limited alphabets, of language from the age of Serosor syllabaries, used for the expression tris till that of Antonius; and we fully of proper names and words in foreign agree with MM. Klaprotht and Jalanguages.

nelli,f that under the Pharaohs, the The original discoverers assumed the Persians, the Ptolemies, and the CeCoptic to be the language of the hiero- sars, it was, to a certain extent, differglyphics; and if the existing Coptic be ent: although we cannot, with the first the legitimate representative of the mentioned writer, consent to follow the tongue of the Pharaohs—a fact admit- course of corruption to the Arabian doted by all, except those scholars whose mination, (Examen, p. 16,) having be. delight is to amuse themselves with fore us the Biblical versions four centustartling theoriesthe chain of Egyp- ries older. tian literature, during a period of 3600 We must likewise dissent, until eviyears, or from about the eighteenth cen- dence be adduced to the contrary, from tury before the Christian era until the 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 dia. guage of Egypt,”+ 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 mdically 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 of letters (ypapara) 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, I 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 principally derived, in i at all, exceeding that between the length, when reduced to its interexisting dialects of the Coptic; a dif- changable 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 sculptors, simply " the the Bashmuric, so far as the scanty Egyptian;" § 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 sculpt:red 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 ; bere 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 the partment of the inquiry has been malanguage 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 sev- of Salvolini, Rosellini, Wilkinson, and eral 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 ; noticthe tenth chapter of Genesis, in which ing the several stages of the discovery, we find those names of the offspring from its birth until it became an availof Mizraim, Pathrusim, Napthuhim, able and profitable appendage to his. Caphtorim, &c., which were perpetu- torical literature—so far as appeared ated in the chorographical nomencla- necessary to enable our readers to sep

• Etudes sur l'Ecriture, &c. de l'Egypte. Paris, 1834. + This excellent_paper appeared in ihe Dublin University Magazine, No. 3.

See · Ancient Fragments,' p. 168. Joseph. contr. Apion, lib. i. Syncellus ed Par., p. 40. $ Syncell. p. 147.

ll Annal. lib. 2. " It is with feelings of high satisfaction that we perceive that the labours of Mr. Taltam 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 Coptic Scriptures and Lexicon, from the unpublished and unknown manuscripts which ab und 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 Scriptores, 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. VOL. XLIV.

10

arate, 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 Thewe 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 monuwork by which, as already intimated, ments 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 Egypference of the monuments and of the tian art, soon became settled questions. sculptured representations of different The general principles of the hieroages.

glyphic chronological records were 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 alphabetof all the known hieroglyphic records ic system, was taken. And although --the chronological succession of the in Champollion's reference of the catPharaohs, recorded on portions of a alogued monumental series to history, wall in a ruined palace at Abydos. he committed some mistakes and overThe 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 Penta- history refers the glory of ancient teuch, 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 pile nium and Medinet Abon, and the lar of Rosetta, and other monu- tombs at Benihassan), although not ments; and Dr. Young fell into the so methodically disposed as that of mistake of connecting the termina. Abydos, soon abundantly authenticated tion of those lists with the time of the latter ; and, moreover, extended Psammetichus and his successors, who the existing portion of it both in aspreceded the Persian conquests 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 toinb whence it was derived (that number of royal shields that it conopened by Belzoni), which Dr. Young tained, were manifest, notwithstanding had erroneously referred to Psammis, 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, ascendsuccession of royal titles or prefixes, ing thirteen reigns above the accesthe same which appeared connected sion of Amos and the eighteenth dywith 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 sculptured names, which, by connecting them. original of the succession, descending selves with a series of titular Indices, to the close of the nineteenth dynasty in the order in which these appear in of Diospolites*, which Josephus has the tablets, give us historical combinatranscribed from Manetho, the Egyptian tions of words whereby to test the historian, in his first book against alphabetical; and hence supply us in a Apion; and which Josephus, in com- limited, but, for the purposes of history, mon with all original authorities, refers most effectual manner, with the lanto the thousand years which separated guage to which the phonetic principles the ages of Abraham and Solomon,t are applicable; and thus elicit new including the founders of all the great proofs of the authenticity of these prinsculptured monuments. Such were ciples, and of the integrity of ancient the sources whence Manetho declares historians, as well as materials for that his history of the dynasties, rectifying their oversights. founded on the records of the Egyptian In effect, the hieroglyphic and Greek Temples, was originally derived: so versions of the succession, provide us that a more complete corroboration of with means for testing and proving the ancient history than that which has phonetic system, not obtainable from been so wonderfully restored to us, any other source. We have, on the 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 have remained forever an insoluble, or, versions of common language-of perhaps, unnoticed mystery, and pho- words and phrases which change their netic discovery been useless for probing order in the hands of every translator, the history of remote ages.

could be in the least degree so effectual; Such statements prepare us for the and we are accordingly far more certain previous question, without which no of the corresponding words of the hiediscovery was ever matured—what it roglyphic and Greek lists of succession, is that we expect—to what definite than we are, or perhaps ever can be, of end are our inquiries directed ? The the corresponding words of any two of expectation of a phonetic system 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. The ex- Fragments,” already often referred to, pectation that the same hieroglyphics consist of a collection of those statecontained records important to history, ments from primitive writers, on which was also natural; and that such was the expectations of the historical discothe fact was equally asserted by the verer are based-equally those of the ancients Egyptian, Greek, and Ro- decipherer of the brick tablets of Babyman. But in the absence of the histo- lon and Nineveh, and the sculptured torical counterparts, this expectation records of Persepolis, as those of the would have been vague and useless. hieroglyphic decipherer, and which

With the Greek version of the pillar shed reciprocal light on each other. of Rosetta before them, the ingenuity This collection, moreover, contains the of decipherers replaced the wanting several versions and varied readings of phonetic powers of the characters; such statements, which, although not but no ingenuity could have replaced unattended by omissions and imperfec

* Ancient Fragments, pp. 130 and 172, &c. + Jos. Antiq. 1. viii. c. 6. Contra Apion, lib. 1. Anc. Frag. pp. 159, 169, et seq.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »