[Maya rabbit scribe]

DECIPHERING ANCIENT LANGUAGES

Linguistics (Division 423) 102, Section 003 -- Fall 1999
Instructor: William Baxter


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Problem set 5: French proclamation to the Egyptians on Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798

The links below connect to translations (one in French, one in English) of part of what Abdel Rahman El-Gabarti, an Egyptian scholar, wrote at the time of the French invasion of Egypt in 1798. (The Rosetta Stone, which eventually made possible the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs, was found by French soldiers during this invasion. Subsequently the stone was surrendered to British forces and returned to Britain; it is now on display in the British Museum in London.) In passage linked here, Abdel Rahman El-Gabarti describes a proclamation by Napoleon to the Egyptians--part of the French propaganda effort which accompanied the invasion.

Abdel Rahman El-Gabarti's description of the French proclamation
French translation English translation

Your assignment is to (1) follow one of the links above, (2) read the passage, (3) look up what you need to (in ordinary reference books, or on the World-wide Web), and (4) be prepared to identify as many of the following as possible, in class on Tuesday (November 23, 1999). You may also turn in a written version for points (5 points for each correct, well-written answer).


  1. Alexandria
  2. Bonaparte
  3. Boulaq
  4. cadi
  5. Caucasus
  6. chorbadji
  7. Georgia
  8. Hejira
  9. imam
  10. Koran
  11. Maghrebi
  12. Malta
  13. mamlouks
  14. Messidor
  15. Muharram
  16. Napoleon
  17. Ottoman
  18. sanjak
  19. sheik
  20. Sultan
  21. the Prophet
  22. ulema

University of Michigan | Program in Linguistics

This page was last updated Thu, Nov 18, 1999, at 7:48 AM.
If you have comments or corrections, please contact William Baxter (wbaxter@umich.edu).