The Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta stone is an ancient artifact that has captivated the attention of the whole world, from linguists, historians, and archeologists for many centuries as it was carved in 196 BC. The Rosetta stone was discovered by The French scholar Jean Francois Champollion (1798 to 1801) during the invasion of Napoleon in Egypt two thousand years after its creation. The Rosetta stone is a granite slab that bears inscriptions in three ancient languages as ancient Greek, Demotic, and Egyptian hieroglyphs, make this amazing discovery is a breakthrough in understanding the ancient Egyptian language which has been a mystery for centuries.
The decipherment of the Rosetta stone is remarkable and transformed our understanding the ancient Egyptian life and what was behind it, without discovering the key of this great stone, the history of five thousand years would remain a mystery. To this day and age, The Rosetta stone remains one of the most incredible relics of the mysterious world of the ancient Egyptian world and it is a testament to the creativity, ingenuity, and pride of Ancient Egyptian civilization. Our article today will help you to know more about the Rosetta stone, its significance, in which languages it was written, what is the purpose of such texts, and its impact on understanding the Ancient Egyptian writing system.
What Is the Rosetta Stone?
The Rosetta stone was inscribed with text in three languages, Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Ancient Greek, and Demotic script. The stone was called the Rosetta stone as it was discovered in the city of Rosetta, in Egypt which lies on the Nile River branch of the Mediterranean Sea. This stone has a message carved into it, and it contains fourteen lines of the hieroglyphic script, thirty-two lines in Demotic, and fifty-four lines of Ancient Greek.
These inscriptions were used to display a decree issued on behalf of King Ptolemy V Epiphanes in 196 BC during the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. The use of three scripts was intended to ensure that the decree could be understood by a wide range of people, including government officials, priests, and rulers of Ancient Egypt. The Rosetta stone was discovered first by a French captain called "Pierre Bouchard" in 1799 AD and was deciphering the stone by the French scholar Jean Champollion in 1799 AD.
The Importance of the Rosetta Stone
The Rosetta stone is considered one of the most important artifacts of the whole world, mainly due to its main role in helping scholars and historians to understand the hieroglyphic language, which had been a great key to discovering the mystery for thousands of centuries.
When the Rosetta stone was discovered, scholars knew how to read Ancient Greek, but not hieroglyphics, which had not been used for centuries. The Greek inscription on the stone was the key to unlocking the hieroglyphs, as it provided a parallel text that scholars could use to decipher Egyptian writing.
Where Is the Rosetta Stone Today?
The Rosetta stone remains a symbol of human ingenuity and determination in unlocking the secrets of the past. Today, it is on display at the British Museum which had been a mystery for centuries. It is on display at the British Museum in London, where it continues to inspire new generations of scholars and enthusiasts from all over the world.
The Rosetta Stone Languages
The secret of the Rosetta stone was its inscription in multiple scripts and languages. Before the fall of the Roman Empire, the Ancient Egyptian language had not been completely understood.
The Ancient Greek Text
The Greek language on the Rosetta stone was widely known to scholars, but they were not professional in using such language in the Hellenistic era. This language was curved on the Rosetta stone to make the Greek rulers of Egypt should support the king, as those rulers could not speak the language of the public people or cannot read hieroglyphs. The Egyptian pharaoh published these three languages to announce his claim to be the rightful king of Egypt.
The Greek inscription provided us with a main key to decoding the equivalents of Ancient Egyptian. The Greek text on the stone allowed scholars to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphics and Demotic script which had been a mystery for centuries.
You may wonder, why the Rosetta stone was curved with three languages?! As we explained in Ancient Greek that it was for some rulers in Egypt, while Demotic texts were for most of the public Egyptians so that the common Egyptians could read them and understand the instructions of the king.
Ancient Egyptian people used the hieroglyphic from the first dynasty (2925-2775 BC), it was used in inscriptions, and hieratic script, and it was written in ink. Hieroglyphics were written vertically and later horizontally. The part of hieroglyphics on the Rosetta stone was a script containing small pictures that were used in Ancient Egypt for religious texts. This Ancient language was lost over time in the fourth century CE until the discovery of the Rosetta stone.
What is the Shape of the Rosetta Stone?
The Rosetta stone is a tablet of black rock called "Granodiorite". It stood for two meters high, and the top of the stone was broken at an angle. The back of this stone is rough and the face of it is crammed with different languages and it is smooth. The Rosetta stone is inscribed in three languages which are (Ancient Greek, Demotic text, and Hieroglyphic text). The Rosetta stone measures 112.3 by 75.7cm, 2.5 feet wide, 28.4 cm thick and it weighs 1680 lbs.
The hieroglyphic text on the stone is 14 lines, 54 lines of the ancient Greek language, and 32 lines of the domestic language. The Rosetta stone was written in three different languages to affirm the cult of King Ptolemy V, after one year of his coronation. The Rosetta stone is now an iconic symbol of language and communication and is exhibited at the British Museum in London.
The Rosetta Stone Text
The text on the Rosetta stone starts with great praise of the ruler of Egypt, "Ptolemy V" and his achievements as a good ruler. The King built new temples and restored old ones, he brought great prosperity to ancient Egypt, many prisoners have been released during his reign, he provided grain for the Egyptian people, and taxes have been reduced. King Ptolemy was recognized as beloved of "Ptah", and also as the God Ptolemy Epiphanes, So. the birthday of the great king and the date of his coronation should be celebrated with libations as a festival, every 17th of the month will be a celebration in honor of the great king.
To summarize the above, thanks to the French scholar Jean Champollion as he changed our understanding of the ancient world. The inscriptions on the Rosetta stone provided a key to understanding the ancient Egyptian language which in turn led to a greater understanding of the culture and history of ancient Egyptian people. In a way, the contents of the Rosetta stone do serve as another link between the modern world and the past, 5000 years ago are just like today.
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What Should I Wear While Being in Egypt?
You should wear whatever you want. It is advised to wear something light from cotton or linen, comfortable and put on sunblock during your time in Egypt in the summer and wear comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the sandy terrain.
What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?
You should bring a brimmed hat and sunglasses if you not used to the Egyptian sun &pack everything you could ever need and put in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.
Are All Nile Cruises Available at Any Time?
Yes, it is available all years. as the Nile from Aswan to Luxor takes three to four days of sailing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the total cost of 600$ and the Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan take four to five days in Saturday, Monday and Thursday for the coast of 650$.
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Is it safe to travel to Egypt?
Yes, it is absolutely safe to travel to egypt, You will feel secure in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is very peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt and construct an entire environment dedicated for ensuring the lives of all tourists.
What are Egypt's Visa Requirements?
They are very simples, If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries(check the link), have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD entry fee in cash. As for the E-Visa for 30 days, you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could be one of the countries eligible for a free visa for 90 days.
What is the Weather is Like?
The temperature of Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c, Summer in Egypt is somehow hot and winter is cool and mild but sometimes it becomes cold at night. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 23 ¡ÆC in the summertime and average high temperatures vary from 17 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 32 ¡ÆC in the summertime while the temperature is moderate all along the coasts.
What is the Best Time of Visit Egypt?
It is known the best time to travel to Egypt is in the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a bit tropical, a warm atmosphere with a winter breeze. You will also be notified a week before your trip if the weather is unsafe or if any changes have been made.
Should I Give Tips in Egypt?
It is totally up to you, but if you choose to you can tip the servers at your restaurant 5-10% by handing it to them directly and 5 Egyptian Pounds as a general tip of anyone.
Can I Enter the Pyramids?
Yes, you can enter the pyramids for the small fee of 20$.
How to Enjoy Egypt During Ramadan?
Ramadan is a special time of year for Muslims that should be celebrated by non-Muslims and feel the essence of the Islamic culture. You can fast with the Muslim or just observe but you are always welcome to join the celebrations and festivals.