Jean-François Champollion

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Jean-François Champollion

France 1790 – 1832

Comments: translated the Rosetta stone, 1822, discovered by Pierre-François Bouchard of Napoleon's army in Egypt; polylinguist, spoke and wrote Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Amharic, Sanskrit, Avestan, Pahlavi, Arabic, Syriac, Chaldean, Persian and Ge'ez in addition to his native French; translated Dendera zodiac, inspired Napoleon; Egyptians; tremendous insight into not just Egyptian hieroglyphs but how alphabets evolve; Greek equivalents of proper names of the Egyptians in Herodotus's Histories helped Champollion decipher that lost Alphabet and language through the use of proper NAMEs on stone monuments and the Greek early texts; young genius, burnt himself out and died young; raised by a Father who sold books and a Brother who was a chief Librarian; used Athanasius Kircher's Coptic Dictionary and access to Coptic Christian priests to better understand the Demotic language on the Rosetta Stone, compare it to the Greek, and then look for the matching hieroglyphs; Rosetta has become a common term for "Bridge to Understanding" or "Translation, as in The Rosetta space probe, 2004 and language courses ;

Teachers: Herodotus; Antoine Count de Gébelin; Thomas Young;

Students: E. A. Wallis Budge; Ippolito Rosellini; Victor Loret ; Edouard Naville; Henri Mouhot (1826 - 1861) of Angkor Wat in Cambodia; Br. Giovanni Battista Belzoni (1778-1823);

Friends: Leopold II, grand-duke of Tuscany; Charles X, King of France; Baron Dominique Vivant Denon; Napoleon;

Organizations: Collège de France; the Louvre;

Author: Précis du système hiéroglyphique, 1824; Monuments de l'Égypte et de la Nubie (1845);

Resources:; ; Writing and Civilization: From Ancient Worlds to Modernity lecture series by Professor Marc Zender; ; ;;