Lettre à M. Dacier
Lettre à M. Dacier (full title: Lettre à M. Dacier relative à l'alphabet des hiéroglyphes phonétiques: "Letter to M. Dacier concerning the alphabet of the phonetic hieroglyphs") is a scientific communication in the form of a letter sent in 1822 by egyptologist Jean-François Champollion to Bon-Joseph Dacier, secretary of the French Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. It is the founding text upon which Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics were first systematically deciphered by Champollion, largely on the basis of the multilingual Rosetta Stone.
While on September 14, 1822 visiting his brother Jacques-Joseph, great supporter of his ideas, Champollion made a crucial breakthrough in understanding the phonetic nature of hieroglyphics, and proclaimed "Je tiens l'affaire!" ("I've got it!") and then fainted away from his excitement.
On September 27, 1822, he exhibited at the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres a draft containing eight pages of text to a packed room. The final version was published in late October 1822 by Firmin-Didot in a booklet of 44 pages with 4 illustrated plates.
Display at the LouvreEdit
French text of the LetterEdit
"It is a complex system, writing figurative, symbolic, and phonetic all at once, in the same text, the same phrase, I would almost say in the same word."
- Jean-François Champollion, Lettre à M. Dacier relative à l'alphabet des hiéroglyphes phonétiques (Paris, 1822) – at French Wikisource
- Adkins, Lesley and Roy, The Keys to Egypt: The Obsession to Decipher Egyptian Hieroglyphs. p.181 Harper Collins. 2000. ISBN 0-06-019439-1
- Adkins, Lesley and Roy, The Keys to Egypt: The Obsession to Decipher Egyptian Hieroglyphs. p.190 Harper Collins. 2000. ISBN 0-06-019439-1
- Parkinson, Richard B. (2005). The Rosetta Stone. British Museum objects in focus. p. 47 British Museum Press. ISBN 978-0-7141-5021-5.
- Jean-François Champollion, Letter to M. Dacier, September 27, 1822