Father Simeon Daly, OSB - Finding Grace in the Moment: Stories and other Musings of an Aged Monk


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   Afternoon in Dusseld...
   An Emergency Run
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   Goodbye to Atlantis
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   Jugoslavian Simeon
   Justice Gone Awry
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   Rosetta Stone
   Ruth Ann Denning
   Small Beginnings
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   Some Reflections on ...
   The Cost of Listenin...
   The Mysterious Key
   The Roman Experience
   The Story of a Frien...
   The Visit
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Rosetta Stone
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In 1799, quite by accident, a young French soldier uncovered on the banks of the Nile, a very unusual stone. It was small, 3’ 9” foot long and 2’4.5” inches wide. On this stone were interesting markings, which in time proved to be an inscription in two languages and three scripts. The same information was given in the tree scripts: hieroglyphics, demotic (popular Egyptian) and Greek.

That the inscription gave some information about Ptolemy V Epiphanies and his accession to the throne in Egypt around 196 BC was not nearly so important as the fact that the so called Rosetta Stone became the key that opened the door to the study of hieroglyphics, until then undeciphered. Through the writings in hieroglyphics we acquired access to a whole culture. As a result, Jean François, le Jeune Champollion (1790-1832), who finally deciphered the stone, is also considered the father of Egyptology.

The stone past to the English in 1801 and is still preserved in the British Museum. There are reports as recent as July, 2003, of Egypt laying claim to the stone.

I think this is a fascinating little vignette in the history of communication. A cold stone buried in the sands of Egypt was the instrument through which we now contact the minds of people in another culture—till then known only through artifacts.
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