Patricia Davids here, wishing you
all a happy February. A month known far and wide for romance.
I looked up our blog topic for
this month and after reading it, I sat scratching my head for quite some time. If
I could personally witness one event in history, what would I want to see and
That's like asking me to walk
through the Russell Stover candy factory, pick out one piece and then
tell you why I chose it. I love chocolate in all its forms, and I love HISTORY.
I can't choose one event. I'd like to witness it all. I can't, of course, so it's
a good thing someone wrote it down.
Someone wrote it down. Wow. That's
what I'd like to witness!
I'd like to go back in time and meet
the young man who carved the Rosetta Stone. I'd like to tell him that his ordinary
day at the office (or temple) would one day unlock the secrets of ancient Egypt.
I'd like him to know his creation would solve some of the greatest mysteries of
mankind. He had no idea that his society would crumble and fall or that his
very language would be lost for centuries. He just went to work like usual, got
out his hammer and chisel, and knocked out another decree from the higher-ups.
So what is the Rosetta Stone you
may well ask? (My daughter did. I was shocked.) Well, it is an ancient
A granite-type rock, carved and placed
upright as a monument or commemorative plaque. (I had to look that one up.)
Written in about 196 BC, the inscription on the
Rosetta Stone is a decree passed by a council of priests. It affirms the royal
sect of 13-year-old king Ptolemy V on the first anniversary of his coronation.
It lists the good deeds done by the king for the temples and people of his
kingdom. The decree is inscribed on
the stone three times. Once in hieroglyphic which was suitable for a priestly decree.
Once in demotic, which is the native script that was used for daily tasks, and
once in Greek, the language of administration. How long or where it stood, we
don't know. We do know it was covered over by the sands of Egypt until 1799. Some
soldiers in Napoleon's army discovered the Rosetta Stone when they were digging
the foundations for an addition to a fort outside the town of el-Rashid
(Rosetta). Thank goodness they didn't use it for building material. After
Napoleon's defeat, the stone became the property of the British under the
terms of the Treaty of Alexandria in 1801. It remains in the British Museum to
With it, scholars were able to decipher the previously unreadable hieroglyphic
in the royal tombs and throughout Egypt. Everything we know about ancient Egypt
today became possible because of one young priest with a hammer and chisel.
I'd like to think someone will find my writing
entertaining or useful after 2000 years, but I'm sure not going to carve my
manuscripts into stone to help them out. Imagine the postage for sending that
to New York.
Did you know what the Rosetta Stone was before
reading this? Are you a history buff?
Wichita Area Romance Authors (WARA) is a group of talented authors who are serious about writing for publication. WARA was established to help writers realize their dream of being published and to provide support for writers of romantic fiction. We count several published authors among our members.