Skip to main content
Select Source:

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone an inscribed stone found near Rosetta on the western mouth of the Nile in 1799. Its text, a decree commemorating the accession of Ptolemy V (reigned 205–180 bc), is written in three scripts: hieroglyphic, demotic, and Greek; the deciphering of the hieroglyphs by Jean-François Champollion in 1822 led to the interpretation of many other early records of Egyptian civilization. The Rosetta Stone is sometimes taken as the type of a mysterious cryptogram which, when decoded, will unlock other mysteries.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rosetta Stone." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rosetta Stone." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/rosetta-stone

"Rosetta Stone." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/rosetta-stone

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone Slab of black basalt inscribed with the same text in Egyptian hieroglyphics, demotic (a simplified form of Egyptian hieroglyphs) and Greek script. By comparing the three versions, Thomas Young (in 1818) and Jean-François Champollion (in 1822) deciphered the hieroglyphs, leading to a full understanding of hieroglyphic writing.

http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rosetta Stone." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rosetta Stone." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rosetta-stone

"Rosetta Stone." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rosetta-stone

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone: see under Rosetta.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rosetta Stone." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rosetta Stone." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rosetta-stone

"Rosetta Stone." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rosetta-stone

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Rosetta Stone

ROSETTA STONE

The Rosetta Stone is a slab of black basalt, approximately 3 feet 9 inches long, 2 feet 4½ inches wide, and 11 inches thick, bearing a bilingual inscription in Egyptian and Greek. The top right-and left-hand corners and the right-hand bottom corner are missing. The stone was found in 1799 by a French officer named Boussard (sometimes given as Bouchard), near Rosetta (Rashid) in the Nile Delta. It passed into British possession when the French surrendered Egypt in 1801.

The inscription is divided into three sections, each in a different form of writing: Old Egyptian hieroglyphic, demotic (the ordinary Egyptian handwriting), and Greek. The first studies of the demotic text were those of Sylvestre de Sasy and J. D. Åkerbald in 1802. An Englishman, Thomas Young, demonstrated that the royal name "Ptolemy" occurring in the Greek text was found in the hieroglyphic version surrounded by an oval. This discovery provided Young with a clue to the phonetic values of the Egyptian symbols. In 1822, the alphabetic Egyptian characters provided by Young were corrected and enlarged by Jean François Champollion. This French scholar formulated a system of general deciphering that has been the foundation upon which all Egyptologists have worked. The deciphering of proper names provided the key to the Egyptian writing, but an understanding of the languages could not have been accomplished without the assistance of Coptic, the liturgical language of the Christian descendants of the ancient Egyptians.

The inscription is the decree of the Egyptian priests assembled at Memphis in 196 b.c. to celebrate the first

commemoration of the coronation of Ptolemy V. It proclaims the king's piety, his love of the Egyptians, the benefits he had conferred upon Egypt, and resolutions of gratitude to honor him. The stone is in the British Museum.

Bibliography: e. a. w. budge, The Rosetta Stone in the British Museum (London 1929). h. hartleben, Champollion: Sein Leben und sein Werk (Berlin 1906).

[j. j. o'rourke]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Rosetta Stone." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Rosetta Stone." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rosetta-stone

"Rosetta Stone." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rosetta-stone

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.