Cracking the Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life of Jean-Francois Champollion by Andrew RobinsonCracking the Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life of Jean-Francois Champollion by Andrew Robinson

Cracking the Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life of Jean-Francois Champollion

byAndrew Robinson

Hardcover | April 26, 2012

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In 1799 Napoleon's army uncovered an ancient stele in the Nile delta. Its inscription, recorded in three distinct scripts - ancient Greek, Coptic, and hieroglyphic - would provide scholars with the first clues to unlocking the secrets of Egyptian hieroglyphs, a language lost for nearly twomillennia. More than twenty years later a remarkably gifted Frenchman named Jean-Francois Champollion successfully deciphered the hieroglyphs on the stele, now commonly known as the Rosetta Stone, sparking a revolution in our knowledge of ancient Egypt. Cracking the Egyptian Code is the first biography in English of Champollion, widely regarded as the founder of Egyptology. Andrew Robinson meticulously reconstructs how Champollion cracked the code of the hieroglyphic script, describing how Champollion started with Egyptian obelisks in Rome andpapyri in European collections, sailed the Nile for a year, studied the tombs in the Valley of the Kings (a name he first coined), and carefully compared the three scripts on the Rosetta Stone to penetrate the mystery of the hieroglyphic text. Robinson also brings to life the rivalry betweenChampollion and the English scientist Thomas Young, who claimed credit for launching the decipherment, which Champollion hotly denied. There is much more to Champollion's life than the Rosetta Stone and Robinson gives equal weight to the many roles he played in his tragically brief life, from ateenage professor in Revolutionary France to a supporter of Napoleon (whom he met), an exile, and a curator at the Louvre. Extensively illustrated in color and black-and-white pictures, Cracking the Egyptian Code will appeal to a wide readership interested in Egypt, decipherment and code-breaking, and Napoleon and the French Revolution.
Andrew Robinson is a Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, Literary Editor of The Times Higher Education Supplement, and author of over 20 books, including Sudden Genius: The Gradual Path to Creative Breakthroughs, The Story of Writing, Writing and Script: A Very Short Introduction, and The Last Man Who Knew Everything.
Title:Cracking the Egyptian Code: The Revolutionary Life of Jean-Francois ChampollionFormat:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:April 26, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199914990

ISBN - 13:9780199914999

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsPrefaceAcknowledgementsPrologue1. Hieroglyphic Delirium before Champollion2. A Revolutionary Childhood3. Reluctant Schoolboy4. Egypt Encountered5. Paris and the Rosetta Stone6. Teenaged Professor7. The Race Begins8. Napoleon and Champollion9. Exile and Revolt10. Breakthrough11. An Egyptian Renaissance12. Curator at the Louvre13. To Egypt, At Last14. In Search of Ramesses15. First Professor of Egyptology16. The Hieroglyphs after ChampollionPostscript: Polymaths and GeniusesReferencesBibliographyIndex