TheHellenisticPtolemaic dynasty,which ruled Egypt from 305 BC to 30 BC, issued a series of decrees over the course of their reign known as Ptolemaic Degrees. The Rosetta Stone is a well-known example of one of the decrees.
The Rosetta Stone was included in the third part of a series of three decrees, the first from Ptolemy III (the Decree of Canopus), the second from Ptolemy IV (The Memphis Stele), and the third from Ptolemy V.
There are approximately two copies of the Stone of Canopus, two of the Memphis Stele (one imperfect) and two and a half copies of the text of the Rosetta Stone, including the Nubayrah Stele and a pyramid wall inscription with “edits”, or scene replacements, completed by subsequent scribes.
Multiple copies of the stones were erected in multiple temple courtyards, as specified in the text of the decrees.
stone 1: Stele of Canopus, (no. 1), found 1866, 37 lines hieroglyphs, 74 lines Demotic (right side), 76 lines Greek ‘capitals’, fine limestone.
stone 2: Stele of Canopus, no. 2, found 1881, 26 lines hieroglyphs, 20 lines Demotic, 64 lines Greek ‘capitals’, white limestone. 3rd partial of hieroglyphic lines (location: Louvre).
stone 1: Stele No. 1, found 1902, hieroglyphs, demotic, and Greek, dark granite.
stone 2: Pithom Stele, No. II, found 1923, hieroglyphs (front), 42 lines Demotic (back), virtually complete providing almost total translation, and Greek (side), sandstone.
- 196 BC, Decree of Memphis (Ptolemy V), (203–198 BC)
stone 1: Rosetta Stone, “Stele of Rosetta”, found 1799, (remaining) hieroglyphs, 14 lines, 32 lines Demotic, 54 lines Greek ‘capitals’, dark granite-(granodiorite).
stone 2: Stele of Nubayrah, found early 1880’s, hieroglyphs, lines 1-27 used to complete missing Rosetta Stone lines, demotic, Greek capitals, limestone. site 3: the Temple of Philae, inscribed hieroglyphs, for Decree of Memphis (Ptolemy V), on walls, also overwritten, by scenes, and figures of humans/gods. Totals: 6 stones, or stelae, 1 partial, and 1 temple wall inscription writing.
As you realize from the above all Degrees have three written texts
- Egyptian Hieroglyphs
- Egyptian Demotic
- Ancient Greek
|VII.—THE INSCRIPTIONS ON THE ROSETTA STONE
The bilingual (not trilingual) inscription on the Rosetta Stone is written from right to left in the two forms of Egyptian writing and in Greek. It was the fashion at one time to compare the inscription on the Rosetta Stone with the great Inscription which Darius I had cut upon the rock at Bahistun in Persia, and to describe each of these documents as trilingual. But it must be remembered that the Decree on the Rosetta Stone is bilingual, though written in three kinds of writing, and that the Bahistun Inscription is trilingual, and written in three languages (Persian, Susian, and Babylonian) in three different kinds of cuneiform character. The Greek portion of the inscription on the Rosetta Stone is written in uncials ; it contains 54 lines of text, the last 26 of which are imperfect at the ends.
“The Rosetta Stone” By E A Wallis Budge, Page 40
|The Rosetta stone which should really be called the Memphis Decree after the place where the document was probably first composed and “published”, is often described as a trilingual stela. This is not quite accurate. First of all, no version of the text could be properly described as an accurate translation of the others. Secondly, the stela presents roughly the same text written in three different scripts, but not in three languages. There are really only two unrelated tongues here, Greek and Egyptian, but the latter occurs in two dialects, each in its own script.|
“Semitic Papyrology in Context” Kael Marinus Braun, Page 3
|In its present state the Rosetta Stone is an irregularly shaped slab of compact black basalt which measures abot 3 ft. 9 in. by 2 ft. 4 1/2 in. by 11 in. and the top corners and the righthand bottom corner are wanting. It is inscribed with 14 lines of hieroglyphic text, 32 lines of Demotic and 54 lines of Greek. The inscription on the Stone is bilingual and is written in Egyptian and in Greek. The Egyptian portion is in hieroglyphs and also in Demotic characters.|
The Mummy: A Handbook of Egyptian Funerary Archaelogy By E A Wallis Budge, Page 124
|Rosetta Stone. The Rosetta Stone, written in Greek, Demotic and Egyptian hieroglyphics, is a decree produced at a general council of priests..|
“In Defense of Nature: The History Nobody Told You about” by Richard Michael Pasichnyk, P. 163
|At the top of the Rosetta Stone are Egyptian hieroglyphics, in the middle is Egyptian demotic script, and at the bottom is Greek.|
“Academic American Encyclopedia”, Page 160
|It is made of black granite, its top register written in hieroglyphic, the middle demotic.|
“Discoveries and Documents: An Introduction to the Archaeology of the Old Testament”, Page 7 by Edgar Jones, 1974
|The Rosetta stone consists of fourteen lines of Egyptian hieroglyphics (shown above); thirty-two lines of Egyptian Demotic, and fifty-four lines of ancient Greek|
Historical Deception: Untold story of Ancient Egypt”, By Moustafa Gadalla, page 23
|Then in the summer of 1799, the Rosetta Stone was discovered. This slab of basalt was engraved with three versions of the same story, written in hieroglyphs on top, Egyptian cursive demotic script in the middle and the more familiar greek in the bottom.|
Knowledge Management Handbook By Jay Liebowitz
|Copies of the decree in the Egyptian (Hieroglyphic and demotic) and Greek languages were ordered to be cut on stele, which were to be set up in every temple of the first, second, and third class in Egypt.|
Short History of the Egyptian People 1914 By E. A. Wallis Budge, page 155
|He recognized the shorthand nature of the demotic writing on the Rosetta Stone|
“Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt”, Page 192 by Kathryn A. Bard, Steven Blake Shubert, 1999
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