Rosetta

Rosetta

[roh-zet-uh]
Rosetta, former name of Rashid, city (1986 pop. 51,789), N Egypt, in the Nile River delta. The city once dominated the region's rice market; rice milling and fish processing are the main industries of modern Rashid. Founded in the 9th cent., the city was formerly an important port but declined after the building (1819) of the Mahmudiyah Canal, which diverted its trade to Alexandria.

The Rosetta Stone is a granitoid slab inscribed in hieroglyphic, demotic, and Greek with identical texts of a decree by a council of priests during the reign of Ptolemy V. Part of a stele dating from 196 B.C., it was found (1799) by Napoleon's troops near the city, was taken (1801) by the British, and since 1802 has been displayed at the British Museum. It gave Jean-François Champollion, Thomas Young, and others the key to Egyptian hieroglyphic.

See study by R. B. Parkinson (1999).

The Rosetta Stone, with Egyptian hieroglyphs in the top section, demotic characters in the middle, elipsis

Inscribed stone slab, now in the British Museum, that provided an important key to the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs. An irregularly shaped block of black basalt with inscriptions in hieroglyphs, Demotic Egyptian, and Greek, it was discovered by Napoleon's troops near the town of Rosetta (Rashid), northeast of Alexandria, in 1799. The text concerns the deeds of Ptolemy V Epiphanes (205–180 BC) and dates from the ninth year of his reign. Its decipherment was begun by Thomas Young, who isolated the proper names in the Demotic version, and decisively completed by J.-F. Champollion, who grasped that some hieroglyphs were phonetic.

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Rosetta (رشيد Rashid) is a port city on the Mediterranean coast in Egypt. It is located 65 km (40 miles) east of Alexandria, at , in al-Buhayrah governorate. It was founded around AD 800.

With the decline of Alexandria following the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in the 16th century, Rashid boomed, only to wane in importance after Alexandria's revival. During the 19th century it was a popular British tourist destination, known for its charming Ottoman mansions, citrus groves and cleanliness.

The town of Rashid came to be known in the West as Rosetta, the name by which it was referred to by the French during Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign in Egypt. It is famous as the site where the Rosetta Stone was found by French soldiers in 1799.

History

It is the modern representative of the ancient Bolbitine, which lay a little farther north. In the Middle Ages Rosetta was a place of considerable commercial importance, and it continued to flourish until the construction of the Mahmudiyeh Canal and the improvement of the harbour at Alexandria diverted most of its trade to the latter city.

It also witnessed the defeat of the 1807 British Fraser campaign trying to occupy Egypt after the French army left Egypt.

Population

The population of Rashid has increased since the 1980s, as follows: in 1983 = 36,711 (approximate), in 1986 = 51,789, and in 1996 = 58,432.

Gallery

References

External links

  • Thomas Brinkhoff: City Population, http://www.citypopulation.de Egypt statistics
  • Detailed map of Egypt (with many ancient temples): UniMaps-Egypt

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