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Dr. Butler's edition of Eschylus will shortly be finished, the Indexes only remaining unprinted; they will complete the last volume.
We congratulate the literary world on the appearance of Dr. Maltby's Thesaurus Græca Poeseos. Our readers are already acquainted with our opinion of the value and extreme utility of this work to the Student, and indeed to every reader of the Greek poets having seen something of it during its progress through the press, we are enabled to speak in terms of confident and warm commendation both of the plan, and the execution. We feel satisfaction and exultation at seeing a work, which was suggested and recommended by Porson, completed in so able a manner. To the Prosody of Morell are affixed Notes by Dr. Maltby, who has himself added a systematic account of the Greek metres, availing himself of the lights thrown upon the subject by modern scholars. The appearance of the book is uncommonly beautiful it consists of about 1250 quarto pages, and is printed with the Porsonian types.
The publication of the Persæ of Eschylus has been already mentioned. There is another work lately printed at our press, which claims our notice; an ingenious and very learned dissertation upon the origin and language of the Pelasgi, by the Rev. Dr. Herbert Marsh. The title is Hora Pelasgica; the first part only is yet published. We shall probably in the next Number give an account of its contents; to which our readers are in some degree entitled, since it was originally intended by Dr. Marsh as an essay for insertion in the Museum Criticum: but the subject was found to have swelled to an extent which was incompatible with the limits of our publication.
An English translation of Matthia's Greek Grammar, from the German, is in hand.
LETTERS AND PAPERS
RELATING TO THE
EGYPTIAN INSCRIPTION OF ROSETTA.
I. Remarks on the ancient Egyptian Manuscripts. From the ARCHEOLOGIA XVIII. 61. [Read 19 May 1814.]
SPECIMENS of Egyptian manuscripts have been exhibited by Rigorde, Montfaucon, and Caylus, from linen bandages of mummies: Denon has published two others from papyrus. There are two rolls of papyrus in tolerable preservation in the gallery of the British Museum, and one in the possession of the Society of Antiquaries; and it is said that many others have lately been brought to Paris. It may be observed, that these manuscripts exhibit a greater diversity of characters than could be expected from the use of any one alphabet; but Mr. Akerblad does not hesitate to consider those, which he has seen, as written in the same character which is exhibited in the stone of Rosetta: and if we allow the truth of his conclusions respecting this inscription, it must be confessed that the letters employed in it have been combined and diversified in such a manner, as to present appearances of a much greater number. The specimens of the Zendish, the Sassanidian, and the Phenician alphabets, which have been subjoined, on the authorities of Anquetil, Silvestre de Sacy, and Henley, will serve to show not only how nearly some of the forms, assigned to the different letters by Akerblad, agree with those which are found in the oldest alphabets of the neighbouring countries, but also how great a diversity was allowed in these alphabets to the characters appropriated to each letter, and to the values assigned to each character. It is useless to enquire whether the common alphabet of the manuscripts and the inscription is more properly denominated the epistolographic, as most authors would probably term it, or the hieratic, as Akerblad is inclined to call it; and the X
VOL. II. NO. 6.
simple title Egyptian is sufficiently justified by the expression in the Greek inscription, in which it is mentioned as the character of the country. The opinion of Kircher, that the epistolographic alphabet resembled the more modern Coptic, appears, like many other opinions of this learned man, to be founded merely on conjecture. Mr. Büttner has assigned values to some of the characters, deduced from a comparison with the Phenician and other similar alphabets, but none of the results of this comparison are confirmed by Mr. Akerblad's interpretation of the inscription of Rosetta. It has been remarked, that characters resembling the figures 1, 2, 3, and 4, occur in most of the specimens: the two latter are less observable in the inscription, but the 3 may possibly be a combination implying NTE, of, the 2 and 4 the article P or PH, and the 1 an E or an R.
It may be alleged in favour of Mr. Akerblad's alphabet, that it is applicable not only to a variety of proper names occurring repeatedly in the inscription, but also to some, in particular, which are so placed in connexion with a character supposed to imply son or daughter, that there is scarcely a possibility of their being erroneously interpreted. It affords us also a variety of words closely resembling some which are found in the later Coptic; and there is another strong argument in its favour, "which has not been noticed:" the word Aetos, Mr. Akerblad observes, is repeated in the Egyptian, but not in the Greek; and he is disposed to attribute this circumstance to some accident; in fact, however, the word is repeated in the original inscription, though not in the incorrect copies of it which were first circulated. On the other hand, it is extremely difficult to account for the nonoccurrence of some Coptic words, which must unquestionably be in the inscription: for instance, the name of the month Mechir, which is mentioned in the Greek as a synonym of Xandicus or Xanthicus, and which, according to Kircher, answers in the Coptic to January, although the place which it ought to occupy in the inscription is easily ascertained by the context. Nor can we readily discover the Coptic months Thout and Mesore, which must also occur in a subsequent part, nor the term Pschent, implying a crown of a particular form; at the same time that the exact coincidence of the names of the Egyptian months, with the later Coptic, strengthens very materially the evidence of the near approach of the two languages
to identity. The frequency of occurrence of the different characters, in the inscription, by no means coincides with that of the Coptic letters, which Mr. Akerblad supposes to correspond with them, in other cases; and the difference appears to be too great to be wholly accidental.
It is not, however, impossible that future investigations may remove all the difficulties which still embarrass this subject; and at any rate the stone of Rosetta affords a far better prospect of furnishing us with some knowledge of the ancient characters of Egypt, than any other monument of antiquity, or than any elaborate speculations of a later date.
Added 9 November 1814. The whole of these observations may be considered as preliminary to an attempt, which has since been made, to compare the three inscriptions of the stone of Rosetta minutely with each other: the general results of this comparison, as the first foundations of the knowledge of" ancient Egyptian literature, may not be unworthy of some attention, even in an imperfect state.
II. Conjectural Translation of
(1) [In the ninth year, on the fourth day of Xanthicus], the eighteenth of the Egyptian month Mechir, of the young king, who received the government of the country from his father, lord of the asp bearing diadems, illustrious in glory, who has established Egypt, the just, the beneficent, the pious towards the gods, victorious over his enemies, who has improved the life of mankind, lord of the feasts of thirty years, like Vulcan the mighty king, like the Sun,
[Mr. Gough's] Translation of the Greek Inscription,“copied and" corrected by Porson. From Dr.CLARKE'S GREEK MARBLES. Cambr. 1809.
(1) In the reign of the young prince, who received the kingdom from his father, Lord of
kings," highly glorious, who settled the affairs of Egypt, and re- (2) spectful of the gods, pious, successful over his enemies, restorer of the life of man, lord of the triacontaeterides, like the great Vulcan king, even as the Sun,
(2) [the mighty king of the upper and] lower countries, the offspring of the parent loving gods, approved by Vulcan, to whom the Sun has given the victory, the living image of Jove, the offspring of the Sun, Ptolemy, the ever living, beloved by Vulcan, the god illustrious, munificent, (the son of) Ptolemy and Arsinoe the parent loving gods: the priest of Alexander and the saviour gods and the
(3) [brother gods, and the gods] beneficent, and the parent loving gods, and the king Ptolemy, the god illustrious, munificent, being Aëtus (the son of) Aëtus: Pyrrha the daughter of Philinus, being the prize bearer of Berenice the beneficent; Areia, the daughter of Diogenes, being the bearer
(4) [of baskets of Arsi] the brother loving; Irene, the daughter of Ptolemy being priestess of Arsinoe the parent loving it was this day decreed by the High priests, the Prophets, those who enter the sacred recesses to attire the gods, the wing bearers, and the sacred scribes, and the rest of the priests who came from the temples of Egypt,
(3) the great king of the upper and lower districts, descended from the gods Philopatores, whom Vulcan approved, to whom the Sun gave victory, the living image of Jupiter, son of the Sun, Ptolemy (4) ever living, beloved of Phtha, in the ninth year "of the priesthood of" Aëtos the son of Aëtos, of Alexander, and of the gods saviours, and the
gods brothers, and of the gods Euergetae, and the gods Philopatores, and (5) of the god Epiphanes, gracious," and victorious," of Berenice Euergetis Pyrrha, the daughter of Philinus, ca
nephorus; of Arsinoe Philadelphus, Areia daughter of Diogenes, being priestess; and of Arsinoe, wife of Philopator, Eirene, (6) daughter of Ptolemy, "being priestess;" on the 4th day of the month Xanthicus, and of the Egyptian Mechir the 18th. Decree. The High priests and Prophets, and those who go into the sanctuary to clothe the (7) gods, and the Pterophorae, and the sacred scribes, and other priests, all collected from the temples along the country