The Life of J.D. ęAkerblad

The Life of J.D. ęAkerblad

Egyptian Decipherment and Orientalism in Revolutionary Times

eBook - 2012
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Book News
He was "a dangerous man of the Enlightenment," even while a young secretary at the Swedish mission at Constantinople. His loyalties were torn. He was obsessed by finding time to pursue his scholarly interests in Egyptian hieroglyphics; his support of France, the French revolution, and Napoleon marked him. Thomasson (history research, Uppsala U) examines Åkerblad's career as a diplomat, which was limited by his passion for hieroglyphics. Åkerblad eventually translated part of the Rosetta Stone and spent years as an independent scholar in the Ottoman empire, but his support of the French ruined him after the Napoleonic wars; his time in Italy after the Restoration also proved problematic, as he had no scholarly institution to which he could turn for support. This is a sad but admirable work, well-written and well-researched. It is also extremely well-illustrated; the color plates of Åkerblad's work in hieroglyphics are especially fine. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Brill USA
This intellectual biography of Johan David Åkerblad (1763–1819) presents a new account of the decipherment of ancient Egyptian. Oriental and classical studies and their entwinement in the turbulent politics of this age of Revolutions are presented from a novel perspective.

Publisher: Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2012
ISBN: 9781283979979
Characteristics: 1 online resource (455 pages) : illustrations (some color)


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