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The Rosetta Stone

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 374
  • Category: Culture

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The Rosetta Stone belongs to a well-known series of decree being the Ptolemaic decree. The Stone was created by the Hellenistic Ptolemaic Dynasty having ruled in Egypt from 205BC up to 30BC. Therefore, the stone is a Ptolemaic era stele having inscribed written texts in two Egyptian languages – hieroglyphic and classical Greek.

It is necessary to admit that Rosetta Stone was created in 196BB, than was discovered by a French archeologist in 1799 and its writings were translated by a Jean Francois Champollion in 1822. It is seen that the Stone has significantly contributed the understanding of Egyptian culture and history. Historians say that the Rosetta Stone was of great importance for history development as due to its writings it appeared to be possible to understand and to solve many previously undecipherable hieroglyphic writing. (Matthews & Platt 2004 )

Therefore, Rosetta Stone assisted historians in revealing information about various taxes, instructions how to erect statues. What is more important is that the Rosetta Stone gave an opportunity to guess meanings of certain Egyptian hieroglyphs. Further, it contained information and notes about Egyptian rulers, their history and codes. For example, the Stone announces: “In the reign of new king, who was the Lord of the diadems, great in glory, the stabilizer of Egypt, and also pious in matters relating to the gods, Superior to his adversaries, rectifier of the life of men, Lord of the thirty-year periods like Hephaestus the Great…”.

Actually, the complete text in classic Greek is approximately 1700 words and contains 20 paragraphs. Speaking about the Stone itself, it is necessary to mention that its tallest point is 114.4 cm high, its width is 72.3 cm and its thickness is about 28 cm. The stone weights about 760 kg and was originally considered made of basalt or granite, though nowadays it is found out that it is a granodiorite of grey-pinkish color. (Parkinson 1999)

Nowadays the Rosetta Stone has idiomatic meaning. It symbolizes the critical key in the process of solving a difficult problem, translation, decryption, etc.

Works Cited
Matthews, Roy and Platt, Dewitt. The Western Humanities. McGraw-Hill-Fifth Edition, 2004.
Parkinson, Richard. Cracking Codes: the Rosetta Stone, and Decipherment. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1999.

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