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Oriental History and Dean of the Faculty of Oriental Languages in the University of St. Petersburg; K. P. Patkanoff (an eminent Armenian scholar), and D. A. Chwolson (a distinguished Hebrew and Arabic linguist), both Professors of the same Faculty, and H. A. Kuhn, who is charged with the exploration of antiquities in Central Asia. Thus closed the London meeting of the International Congress of Orientalists.

During the course of this sitting, the members were invited to visit the Christy Museum of Pre-Historic Antiquities, Victoria Street, which they did at 3.30 P.M.


In accordance with the Propositions of Professor Lepsius, made to the Hamitic Section of the Congress of Orientalists, a Special Conference of Egyptologists was held at the residence of Dr. Birch, by his invitation, on Saturday, September 19, 1874. The eight following Egyptologists were present: Dr. Birch, Professor Lepsius, Professor Ebers, Professor Brugsch (Bey), Dr. Ludwig Stern, Professor Lieblein, Professor Eisenlohr, and Mr. Le Page Renouf. The following “Protocol” was resolved upon :



SECTION.- Saturday, Sept. 19, 1874. The three propositions which were brought before the Hamitic Section by Professor Lepsius concerned exclusively Egyptian Philology. They were, therefore, according to a resolution of the Section, discussed in a special sitting of the Egyptologists at the house of the President of the Congress and of the Hamitic Section, Dr. Birch, September 19, at 9 A.M. There were present: Professor Lepsius, from Berlin, in the chair; Dr. Birch ; Mr. Le Page Renouf; Professor Brugsch, from Göttingen; Professor Ebers, from Leipsic; Professor Eisenlohr, from Heidelberg; Professor Lieblein, from Christiania; and Dr. L. Stern, from the Egyptian Museum at Berlin.

I. The first business concerned the transcription of the Old Egyptian sounds. As in the case of all transcriptions of foreign tongues, the main problem was rather to fix for every sound a conventional and universally current mode of writing, than to discuss afresh the principles of transcription in general, or even to take up a narrower ground, and to determine the exact pronunciation of each sound. E.g. it was acknowledged that the transcription a, with dot above, and of a for the hieroglyphs “Reed” and “Arm" respectively, does not answer to the original purport of these two signs, since, like their linguistic analogues, the Hebrew letters “ Aleph ” and “ Ain,” they have a consonantal value. But since the transcription of the two hieroglyphs as above has been universally introduced, no change ought to be made in this respect. In like manner it was admitted to be an inconvenience that the weak-sounding hieroglyph, called the Mæander, denoted by the unpointed h, is far more rarely used in the Old Egyptian texts than the knotted cord, the symbol for which is the h with a dot beneath, and that, accordingly, it seems more to the purpose to put the diacritical point under the strong, instead of under the weak, h. But here, also, no change was made in the usage already introduced, and this so much the more, inasmuch as in the linguistic alphabet, also, the simple aspirate h is always written without any diacritical point or mark of distinction. In like manner for the hieroglyphs of the Two Parallel Diagonals=i and the Doubled Reed=i, or the former i lengthened; for the Bowl=k, the Throne=k, with dot below, the Angle=q; for the Semicircle=t, the Hand=t, with dot or point below, and the Snake=t, with acute accent to the right, the received marks of distinction were retained. For the hieroglyphs Inundated Garden and Pool also, although they are not interchangeable with one another in the Old Egyptian roots, it was taken as a settled point that the pronunciation of both was one and the same, or, at any rate, that they should both have the same notation. Accordingly the transcription for both remains 8, surmounted by the inverted circumflex accent.

On the other hand, for the sugartongs-shaped Lasso or Noose the new sign 0, identical with the Greek Theta, was accepted, after Professor Brugsch Bey had communicated a series of Old Egyptian words, in which, judging from comparison with other languages, this hieroglyph must have been pronounced lithpingly, or with an assibilation. The linguistic value of the sound is the assibilated T sound of the English th. Hence this form of the Greek Theta, used, like the other transcriptions, in the Lepsian Missionary Alphabet, seemed the proper transcription of the Lasso hieroglyph, and as against differing propositions this obtained the majority. It was acknowledged that the Lasso does not interchange with the other T's in the Old Egyptian roots. But since, on the other hand, this interchange is very frequent in the grammatical terminations, it was resolved to stick to the new transcriptions in transliterating the roots only. Thus is obtained the following alphabet of 25 sounds (Lauten), so far agreeing with the tradition preserved by Plutarch, that the Egyptians possessed an alphabet of 25 letters, on which tradition Brugsch Bey has always laid great stress: (1) Eagle=a; (2) Reed=a, with dot above; (3) Arm=ā; (4) Pair of Parallel Diagonals=i; (5) Doubled Reed=i; (6) Chick=u; (7) Bowl=k; (8) Throne=k, with dot below; (9) Angle=; (10) Sieve=x, or Greek Chi; (11) Mæander=h; (12) Knotted Cord=h, with dot below; (13) Semicircle=t; (14) Hand =t, with dot below ; (15) Snake=t, with acute accent to right; (16) Lasso=0, or Greek Theta; (17) Chairback, or Crotchet, and substantially identical with our own Crotchet S=8; (18) Inundated Garden=8, with inverted circumflex accent over it, sounding like our sh; (19) Square, or, as Dr. Birch, the Window-blind=p; (20) Leg= b; (21) Cerastes Serpent=f; (22) Mouth=r; (23) Lion Couchant=1; (24) Owl=m; (25) Zigzag, or Water Line=n.

II. Next to the important question of the transliteration of the Old Egyptian characters into their equivalents in the Missionary Alphabet, the perfect cataloguing of the hieroglyphs seemed the most pressing interest of Egyptological science. It was agreed that it is eminently desirable to possess a recognized complete list of the hieroglyphical signs, arranged according to classes. Not only should these classes themselves be fixed and determinate, but the individual signs should be assigned to their respective classes, not arbitrarily, but according to definite rule. For the purpose of such arrangement the objects represented by the hieroglyphs rather than the sounds indicated must be mainly kept in view. In a word, the method introduced by Champollion himself, and adopted, after him, in the various more or less exhaustive enumerations of the late Vicomte de Rougé, and Drs. Brugsch Bey and Birch, must be steadily followed. Professor Eisenlohr proposed that the hieratic forms of the hieroglyphs also should be added to the list, so far as they are known. This addition to the resolution was carried. It seemed the best plan that one of the savants should prepare and draught the list, and that this should then be circulated among the members of the body for confirmation, correction, completion, and enlargement. It is confidently expected that the directors of museums in particular will note whatever new and ad

missible signs may be found in their respective collections. Among the sarants present Dr. Ludwig Stern alone was found both able and willing to undertake the preliminary labour of draughting such a list, and his offer to do so was accepted by the assembly with thanks.

III. From this subject the Egyptologists passed to consider another of great interest and importance. It seemed of special moment for the furtherance of Egyptian studies that an edition of the Bible of the Old Egyptians, the Ritual, as Champollion called it, or the Book of the Dead, as Lepsius styles it, as critical and complete as possible, should be steadily kept in view. Such edition should present a threefold recension of that most venerable monument of Egyptian speech, archæology and religion, i.e. it should give us the Book of the Dead as its text existed-1. Under the Old Empire ; 2. Under the Theban Dynasties of the New Empire ; 3. Under the Psammetici (Dynasty XXVII.). The first steps towards the realization of this grand project must be the selection of a thoroughly qualified Egyptologist, to make a circuit of the different museums and other collections of Egyptian papyri and other monumental remains, in order that he may make himself acquainted with the different materials to be taken account of for such a purpose. For it would not suffice merely to request the directors of museums or private possessors to communicate information respecting such materials; communications of this kind would neither be complete, nor would they be based upon the same views as to what sort of information is desirable.

In order, however, to render possible the carrying out of such an undertaking, which far transcends the powers of an individual, from a pecuniary point of view, as well as for the purpose of securing for the plan the guarantee of the higher authority, it will be necessary to enlist the support of some National Academy or some Government, or of both. Professor Lepsius expressed his readiness to back such a proposal at Berlin with all his influence.

The next question concerned the person who might be qualified and willing to undertake such a journey of literary and antiquarian research. A special committee must be appointed to determine in detail the principles on which such an edition should be based, and this committee would also express its opinion as to the sort of materials to be amassed from the different museums, and as to the requisite amount. The editing itself of the several portions of the Book of the Dead, on

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