Fresh Notes On Egyptology -- By: Joseph P. Thompson

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 024:96 (Oct 1867)
Article: Fresh Notes On Egyptology
Author: Joseph P. Thompson


Fresh Notes On Egyptology

Joseph P. Thompson

During the current year there have been published in the department of Egyptology, two dictionaries,1 two grammars,2 two folio volumes of hieroglyphic texts,3 an early text of the “Book of the Dead,”4 and a complete translation of that national Ritual.5 The Zeitschrift für Aegyptische Sprache6 points triumphantly to this array of linguistic apparatus as the best answer to the attack sometimes made, even now, upon Egyptian studies as immethodical and unprofitable. Egyptian philology has been further enriched of late through the discovery of a bi-lingual inscription at Tanis, a site which had already proved exceedingly rich in remains of antiquity. Early in 1866, as Dr. Lepsius was exploring the Isthmus of Suez and the Delta in the vicinity of the ship canal, an employee of the Suez Company informed him that he had seen a Greek inscription among the ruins of San. Lepsius hastened to verify this statement, and succeeded in uncovering a stone seven feet high by two and a half in breadth, the upper part of which was covered with hieroglyphics numbering thirty-seven lines, and the lower with a corresponding Greek inscription in seventy-six lines. Having thoroughly cleansed the stone, his attendant, Mr. Weidenbach, took from it an impression upon prepared paper, from which the inscription has been lithographed in the size of the original.7 The inscription is dated on the

17th Tybi of the ninth year of Ptolemy III Euergetes I., which Dr. Lepsius reduces to the 7th of March of the year 238 B.C. It recites that king Ptolemaus and his wife Berenice had made large gifts to the temple for the support of the priests and the sacred animals, and had shown great zeal in upholding religion; that in his campaign in Asia, the king had recovered the images of the gods which the Persians had stolen from the Egyptian temples, had brought these back to Egypt and restored them to the places where they formerly stood; that, while waging victorious wars in divers lands, he had maintained peace at home; that, to provide against a famine apprehended by reason of an insufficient rising of the Nile, he had imported corn from Syria, Phenicia, and Cyprus, etc.

In grateful acknowledgement of these and other good deeds of the king and queen, the priests, in assembly, ordained that the rel...

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