Notes On Egyptology -- By: Joseph P. Thompson

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 026:101 (Jan 1869)
Article: Notes On Egyptology
Author: Joseph P. Thompson


Notes On Egyptology

Rev. Joseph P. Thompson

Mons. F. Chabas, of Chalon-sur-Saone, who has a high reputation as an interpreter of the hieratic text, has deciphered and published a curious manuscript itinerary, of the fourteenth century B.C., in a comely quarto of upwards of four hundred pages, under the title Voyage d’un Egyptien en Syrie, en Phénicie, en Palestine, au XIVme siècle avant notre ère.1 Mons. Chabas gives the hieratic text of the original papyrus in fac-simile, a transcription of the same into its equivalents in hieroglyphics and in Coptic letters, an analytic translation, a glossary of geographical and Egyptian words, a philological disquisition, and several essays upon the people and countries named in the itinerary. This itinerary has been the subject of essays by Drs. Hincks, Birch, Brugsch, and other Egyptologists; and a translation of a few pages of it by Ch. Wicliffe Goodwin, Esq., appeared in the Cambridge Essays for 1858. Mons. Chabas has spent upwards of two years in translating and annotating the whole journal, and in the greater part of this work has had the special collaboration of Mr. Goodwin. The result is a valuable contribution to geographical science and also to Egyptian philology; an acute and learned analysis of a very obscure document. Among the geographical names which Mons. Chabas thinks he has identified in the Itinerary, are Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, Aleppo, Gaza, Berytus, Joppa, Sarepta, Adullam, Beitsean, Hazor, Magiddo, Jordan, and Ezion-geber.

This narrative is found in a papyrus which formed part of the collection of M. Anastasi, formerly Swedish Consul in Egypt, and is now the property of the British Museum, where it is registered under the name Anastasi I. It is clearly written in the hieratic character of the period of the nineteenth and twentieth dynasties, and consists of twenty-eight pages, containing in all two hundred and thirty-one lines. The author, who was a learned scribe, mentions incidentally that he was educated at a college of Ramses II., and other data assign this work to the fourteenth or fifteenth century before our era, a little prior to the Exodus of the Hebrews; the writer, however, did not record his own experiences, but edited the letters or journal of a high public functionary, a Mohar, whose manuscript was submitted to his literary revision. This personage, who was often charged with official embassies remote from Egypt, kept up a consecutive correspondence with his scribe, who reduced its materials into shape for publica-

tion. The scribe eulogizes his hero as a brave commander, an eloquent orator, an accomplished scholar — one who was igno...

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