The discovery of the Rosetta Stone furnished the key to Egyptian hieroglyphics; and archaeology, no less than the more practical sciences, acknowledges its debt of gratitude to the man who first brought the valley of the Nile into close touch with the thought of the West.
ROSETTA (Coptic Rashit, Arabic Rashid), a town situated at the western or "Rosetta" mouth of the Nile on the west bank.
When the other branches and the Alexandria canal silted up, Rosetta prospered like its sister port of Damietta on the eastern branch; the main trade of the overland route to India passed through it until Mehemet Ali cut a new canal joining Alexandria to the Nile.
Rosetta is now much decayed.
The celebrated Rosetta Stone which supplied Champollion with the key for the decipherment of the ancient monuments of Egypt was found near Fort St Julien, 4 m.
Traces of its pavement and canal have been found near the Rosetta Gate; but better remains still of streets and canals were exposed in 1899 by the German excavators outside the E.
The brick enclosure wall of the temple is still plainly visible near the little village of Sa el hagar (Sa of stone) on the east bank of the Rosetta branch, but the royal tombs and other monuments of Sais, some of which were described by Herodotus, and its inscribed records, have all gone.
Of the present Rosetta branch of the Nile.
8,675 Grasleiten Pass (Vajolet Glen to the Grasleiten Glen), foot path 8,521 Passo di Pravitale (Rosetta Plateau to the Pravitale Glen), foot path.
8,465 Passo delle Comelle (same to Cencenighe), foot path ï¿½ 8,462 Passo della Rosetta (San Martino di Castrozza to the great limestone Rosetta Plateau), foot path..
It was built to consist of two bridges one over the eastern or Damietta branch of the river having 71 arches, the other, over the Rosetta branch, having 61 arches, each arch being of 5 metres or 16.4 ft.
The arches were designed to be fitted with self-acting drop gates; but they were not a success, and were only put into place on the Rosetta branch.
- Map showing the Damietta and Rosetta dams on the Nile.
In 1861 it was at length said to be finished; but it was not until 1863 that the gates of the Rosetta branch were closed, and they were reopened again immediately, as a settlement of the masonry took place.
During the summer of 1898 the Rosetta barrage was worked under a pressure of 14 ft.
This area is watered by the Damietta and the Rosetta branches of the Nile, and by a network of canals.
Of the Rosetta branch of the Nile, lies Edku, 22 m.
Burlus Begins a little eastward of the Rosetta channel, and stretches bow-shaped for 64 m.
Between Ale~xandria and Port Said are the towns of Rosetta (q.v.), pop. 16,810, and Damietta (q.v.), pop. 29,354, each built a few miles above the mouth of the branch of the Nile of the same name.
The Rayya Behera, known in its lower courses first as the Khatatba and afterwards as the Rosetta canal, follows the west bank of the Rosetta branch of the Nile and has numerous offshoots.
Long), which connects Alexandria with the Rosetta branch, taking a similar direction to that of the ancient canalwhich it succeeded.
The antiquities collected by the expedition, including the famous Rosetta stone, were ceded to the British government at the capitulation of Alexandria, in 1801.
Although attempts were made to read Egyptian hieroglyphs so far back as the 17th century, no promise of success appeared until the discovery of the Rosetta stone in 1799 by the French engineers attached to Napoleons expedition to Egypt.
The hieroglyphic text upon the Rosetta stone was toO fragmentary to furnish of itself the key to the decipherment.
It appears thatYoung rould place the hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek texts of the Rosetta stone very correctly parallel; but he could not accurately break up the Egyptian sentences into words, much less :ould he attribute to the words their proper sounds.
And is the true demotic. Before the Macedonian conquest the cursive ligatures of the old de1notic gave birth to new symbols which were carefully and distinctly formed, and a little later an epigraphic variety was engraved on stone, as in the case of the Rosetta stone itself.
This fleet was destroyed by a far smaller one sent by the Bagdad caliph to Rosetta; but Egypt was not freed from the invaders till the year 921, when reinforcements had been repeatedly sent from Bagdad to deal with them.
Mehemet Ali and al-Bardisi therefore descended to Rosetta, which had fallen into the hands of a brother of All Pasha, and having captured the town and its commander, alBardisi purposed to proceed against Alexandria; but the troops demanded arrears of pay which it was not in his power to give, and the pasha had cut the dyke between the lakes of Aboukir and Mareotis, thus rendering the approach to Aleicandria more difficult.
In the meanwhile al-Alfi the Great embarked at Rosetta, and not apprehending opposition, was on his way to Cairo, when a little south of the town of Manfif he encountered a party of Albanians, and with difficulty made his escape.
The British resident, Major Missett, having represented the importance of taking Rosetta and Rahmanieh,to secure supplies for Alexandria, General Fraser, with the concurrence of the admiral, Sir John Duckworth, detached the 31st regiment and the Chasseurs Britanniques, accompanied by some field artillery under Major-General Wauchope and Brigadier-General Meade, on this service; and these troops entered Rosetta without encountering any opposition; but as soon as they had dispersed among the narrow streets, the garrison opened a deadly fire on them from the latticed windows and the roofs of the houses.
The possession of Rosetta being deemed indispensable, Brigadier-Generals Sir William Stewart and Oswald were despatched thither with 2500 men.
The Egyptian troops at Kafr Dauar, Abukir and Rosetta surrendered without opposition, and those at Damietta followed on the 23rd of September, after being threatened with attack.
In 1866 Lepsius again went to Egypt, and discovered the famous Decree of Tanis or Table of Canopus, an inscription of the same character as the Rosetta Stone, in hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek.
Colebrooke, began to make known the treasures of Sanskrit literature, which the great scholars of Germany and France proceeded to develop. In Egypt the discovery of the Rosetta stone placed the key to the hieroglyphics within Western reach; and the decipherment of the cuneiform character enabled the patient scholars of Europe to recover the clues to the contents of the ancient libraries of Babylonia and Assyria.
The finding of the Rosetta stone left us no longer dependent upon Greek, Latin or Hebrew sources, and now fifty centuries of Egyptian history lie before us.
In 1833 Whiteside married Rosetta, daughter of William Napier, and sister of Sir Joseph Napier (1804-1882), lord chancellor of Ireland.