Remarks On Bunsen’s Late Work Upon Egypt -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 006:24 (Nov 1849)
Article: Remarks On Bunsen’s Late Work Upon Egypt
Author: Anonymous

Remarks On Bunsen’s Late Work Upon Egypt

The Chevalier Bunsen, who has been for some years the Prussian minister at the court of St. James, is publishing in German and in English, a work on Egypt, which has been anticipated with much pleasure by all who are acquainted with his talents, or who have taken

any interest in Egyptian discoveries. The author possesses, in many respects, eminent qualifications for the work which he has undertaken. He is now in the full maturity of his powers. His early studies were purely philological, and were completed at Göttingen under the direction of Heyne and Heeren. He then went to Paris, and under the guidance of De Sacy and others, attended to several of the oriental languages. Having studied Sanskrit, he formed a plan of visiting India in company with an Englishman, and proceeded to Florence for that purpose. His fellow traveller failing to meet him there, Bunsen went to Rome, where he found his early friend, Professor Brandis, then secretary of Niebuhr, the Prussian ambassador. Niebuhr became immediately interested in him, and animated and directed his studies. He was subsequently appointed Niebuhr’s private secretary, and then secretary to the embassy. After the departure of the distinguished historian, Bunsen became minister resident at the Papal Court. A visit of the bookseller Cotta at Rome, in the winter of 1817–18, occasioned the preparation of a very able and comprehensive work on the Antiquities of Rome, by Bunsen, Platner, Gerhard, and others. While in Rome, Bunsen formed the acquaintance of Champollion the Younger, with whom he studied the hieroglyphics on the Egyptian obelisks in that city. Since 1838, when he left Rome, Bunsen has resided for the most part in London, as Prussian ambassador. He is a gentleman no less distinguished for the excellence of his moral and religious character, for the liberality of his views,1 and for his generous feelings, than for the extent of his knowledge and his accurate learning.

Bunsen’s work, now before us, is entitled, “Egypt’s Place in Universal History: an Historical Investigation, in five Books.” It is to be included in three volumes. Two volumes of the German edition and one of the English are printed. The latter is not a mere version, but is in some respects a new work. “It owes,” says the author, “many valuable remarks and additions, particularly in the grammatical, lexicographic, and mythological part, to Mr. Samuel Birch of the British Museum.” The hieroglyphical signs, instead of being given in separate plates, are printed by the side of their respective interpretations. In the Coptic explanations in the Dictionary, the author has enjoyed the aid of Professor Morit...

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