Buy Used
$7.97
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by giggil
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Library Sale Item.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Rosetta Stone and the Rebirth of Ancient Egypt (Wonders of the World) Hardcover – July 27, 2007


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$39.98 $1.55
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
Take%20an%20Extra%2030%25%20Off%20Any%20Book

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more.


Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Holiday Deals in Books
Holiday Deals in Books
Find deals for every reader in the Holiday Deals in Books store, featuring savings of up to 50% on cookbooks, children's books, literature & fiction, and more.

Product Details

  • Series: Wonders of the World
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (July 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674024931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674024939
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,380,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A wonderful introduction not only to the Rosetta Stone and its story, but also to the growth and development of modern Egyptology, this slim book begins with Cambridge professor Ray's childhood encounter with the stone in the British Museum in 1958. From there, Ray traces the history of the stone from the time of its discovery in 1799 to its deciphering in 1822 by Jean-François Champollion, a journey populated with big personalities and world events. Balancing the stone's present-day life with its ancient one, Ray gives readers enough information about the world of Ptolemy Epiphanes-during whose reign the stone was forged-to understand the larger context, but doesn't slow the narrative with extraneous details. Ray also offers an illuminating overview of dead language studies and the colorful figures who devote their lives to it. Like the rest of editor Mary Beard's Wonders of the World series (Richard Jenkyns's Westminster Abbey, Robert Irwin's The Alhambra, etc.), this informative text has an appealing, conversational tone that non-specialists should find especially welcoming.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The renowned key to Egyptian hieroglyphics, the Rosetta Stone is an awe-inspiring object; seeing it inspired Ray to pursue a career in Egyptology. Ray balances his acumen with accessibility in presenting the stele's history, which takes several forms. From a historical perspective, the text, a 196 BCE agreement between the Ptolemaic pharaoh and the Egyptian priesthood, opens a window on a culture and polity in distress. Another history is intellectual, that of the Rosetta Stone's spectacular role in the decipherment of hieroglyphics. Because this can be a technical topic, Ray imparts more information on the decipherer—French linguist Jean-François Champollion (1790–1832)—than on the thought process behind his achievement. His genius, short life, and interaction with British scholar Thomas Young, who made progress in decipherment before Champollion, attach yet another history to the Rosetta Stone. Finally, ruminating on whether it, or antiquities generally, should be repatriated, Ray underscores that its history continues. Concise and informative. Taylor, Gilbert

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
8
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 9 customer reviews
It is a well-written story of the discovery, deciphering, traditions, and consequences of the Rosetta Stone.
M. Heiss
The Stone is, after all, the very key to our understanding of ancient times as well as the development of language in general.
Jordan Wilson
The book, intended for the general reader, is never guilty of talking down and for that one can be thankful.
J Scott Morrison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I knew little about the Rosetta Stone other than what I had learned in school many years ago. Every schoolchild learns that the Rosetta Stone, found in 1799 along the Nile delta, had the same text in three different languages -- Egyptian hieroglyphics, Egyptian demotic (the language of the people), and Greek -- that allowed scholars to, for the first time, decipher Egyptian hierglyphics, thus making it possible to read all the already-found (and subsequently-found) hieroglyphic texts that up to that time had simply not been decipherable. This made possible, really, the study of ancient Egypt as never before, and indeed the whole field of Egyptology. John Ray, professor of Egyptology at Cambridge, writes a fascinating history of the Stone, its discovery, early attempts at deciphering it, the partial success of Thomas Young and the final decipherment by Jean-Francois Champollion. He also gives a history of Greek occupation of Egypt leading up to the creation of the Rosetta Stone in 196 BC early in the reign of Ptolemy V. And he addresses the question of who really owns these treasures of antiquity such as the Stone, the Elgin Marbles and so on. He also gives his own translation of the actual Rosetta Stone text.

Part of what makes this book so compulsively readable is Ray's dry sense of humor. He sneaks in wry comments in the most unexpected places and I found myself chuckling frequently. The book, intended for the general reader, is never guilty of talking down and for that one can be thankful.

Recommended.

Scott Morrison
2 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chuck Brooks on September 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The story of the Rosetta Stone's role in recovering the splendor of Pharaonic Egypt in its own words is generally well known, at least in outline. This delightful book by an eminent expert in the field provides a very readable wealth of context and detail, from the Stone's original purpose and creation, to its current repository at the British Museum. The accidental discovery of the stone by Napoleon's troops is highlighted by the struggle for the Stone's possession. The decipherment story is very much like a mystery novel, with large egos and intense competition among the international contenders. The author makes clear that Champollion certainly was the clear winner. The challenge has aspects that reach into the nature of human intelligence and communication, and while others may provide pieces and hints without complete explanations, the `aha' moment of insight is singularly personal. This is something the author has direct knowledge of in his solution of the unreadable Carian script that also had a home in Egypt. Although a small book, the nine chapters are complemented by the Stone's text, along with an extensive reading list for those wanting more specific details over a wide range of topics and references.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Sajdak on December 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Engaging story of the discovery of the Rosetta Stone, the battles for possession, the efforts to decode it, and the rebirth of Egyptian history that followed. It's a story full of interesting characters and plot twists. As a linguist, I might have enjoyed more detail on the actual decoding, but it was a delightful read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jordan Wilson on March 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In The Rosetta Stone and the Rebirth of Ancient Egypt, John Ray introduces the enigmatic Rosetta Stone as being a key to our understanding of Ancient Egyptian culture as well as our own. In seamlessly weaving together a condensed chunk of human history, Ray convincingly asserts that without the Stone, ostensibly an exalted piece of granite, Egyptology (the scientific study of Ancient Egyptian culture) would still be in its infancy. Ray also handles the sticky issue of the Stone's rightful "owner" in an impressively objective way. Anyone with even a vague interest in Ancient history or the illustrious heritage of Egypt would be behooved to read Ray's articulate and fascinating survey of one of the world's best-known treasures.
As for the mechanics of the text itself, there certainly is a kind of authenticity in how the author chooses to present his findings. One gets the sense that he is not merely a broad-field historian with a cursory interest in Egyptology and the Rosetta Stone. Ray is clearly a devout disciple of ancient lore, Egyptian religion and archaeology, etc. He's also not just another dry lecturer bent on presenting the facts in the most straightforward and dull manner imaginable; he is quite witty and frequently takes academically correct jibes at popular culture for its general antipathy to ancient civilizations and their importance to our present affairs. Each chapter begins with some kind of quote relating to the content that follows. These are usually composed of scraps of correspondence between historical figures with some relationship to the Stone, others may be thoughtful poems by the likes of Lord Byron among others. Invariably, each chapter begins with a redundancy from the last before moving on into new waters.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on March 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book does for the Rosetta Stone what "The Professor and the Madman" did for the OED. It is a well-written story of the discovery, deciphering, traditions, and consequences of the Rosetta Stone. Shows off the personalities of Young and Champollion, and has you rooting for the cognitive advances that unlocked the hieroglyphs.

Very readable and enjoyable. Good section on the repatriation of historical objects.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?