Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Secrets of the Rosetta Stone|
Genres: Television, Educational, Documentary
In Search of History — Secrets of the Rosetta Stone — Engraved in 196 BC, discovered in 1799 and deciphered in 1822, the Rosetta Stone unlocked the centuries-old puzzle of hieroglyphics. In doing so, the Rosetta Stone provid... more »
Great for polyglots (or their wannabes)
Jeffery Mingo | Homewood, IL USA | 12/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was under the assumption that modern mania over Egypt began with Leonard Wolfe in the 1920s. I thought once the Stone was found, it unlocked ancient Egyptian writing in a snap. This documentary helped enlighten me.
Almost a decade before Wolfe, Napoleon was fascinated by Ancient Egypt. (This work claims that trying to conquer Egypt was his downfall, I had been taught that trying to take Russia, with its icy weather, was.) It took 18 years to translate the stone. The French and British were in a race to do it. This is just like the race to reach the moon between the Americans and the Soviets or to learn more about HIV between American and French scientists.
I also learned what the stone said, how many lines of the two Egyptian writings were gone. It's a shame that they interviewed no Egyptian scholars and only British/Western ones.
This work is filled with cheesy reenactments. For example, the narrator states that a Frenchman was at home when British soldiers forced him at gunpoint to relinquish the Stone, yet the reenactment took place outside. I guess staging a 19th-Century, French barracks or house was too pricey. Still, the Stone doesn't have pictures, many hieroglyphs no longer have the paint and color they once did. Text, in any language, is boring and immobile. The documentary makers were right to spice things up with reenactments, but yes, they are cheesy."