THOSE who remember the profound excitement caused by the appearance of Bunsen's “Egypt's Place in Universal History,” and who now take up such a book as Dr. Budge's “Reading Book,” will be surprised at the advance the study of Egyptian hieroglyphics has made since that time. Egyptology, in fact, is now on a footing of permanence which its best friends would have despaired of seeing a few years ago, and not only does it rouse the interest of the archæologist and the historian, but the student of folk-lore and of comparative religion, in his search for data, is beginning to lay under contribution its numerous legendary and mythological texts. To such a student a knowledge of the language, however slight, is of great value, as it enables him to control to some extent the translations on which he depends for information, and in many cases to understand the necessary limitations of a rendering into any modern idiom. To attain to even so slight a knowledge has been for many years extremely difficult for the beginner without the aid of a teacher, and only possible after a somewhat heavy initial expenditure in books. Last year, however, it was our duty to call attention to the publication of an extremely serviceable handbook or introduction to the study of the Egyptian language, entitled, “First Steps in Egyptian,” by Dr. Wallis Budge, and it is with pleasure that we now note the appearance of a sequel to that volume in the form of a “Reading Book” by the same author, containing a series of complete texts for study. In 1888, Dr. Budge first printed these texts, and, although they appeared without transliterations and without notes or explanations, they at least supplied the beginner with a good collection of material to work on, though he was still not in a position to walk alone. At the instance of several friends who made use of the book, Dr. Budge has now republished these compositions, breaking the lines up into words, and adding a transliteration at the foot of the page; he has also compiled a complete vocabulary to the texts, giving a number of references to each word, so that it is possible to compare their use in several passages. The student is thus enabled to acquire, without additional help, a knowledge of the language and of the principal literary compositions of ancient Egypt.
An Egyptian Reading Book for Beginners: being a Series of Historical, Funereal, Moral, Religious and Mythological Texts printed in Hieroglyphic Characters, together with a Transliteration and a Complete Vocabulary.
By E. A. Wallis Budge (Cantab.), Keeper of the Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities in the British Museum. Pp. liv + 592. (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner, and Co., 1896.)
Some Account of the Collection of Egyptian Antiquities in the possession of Lady Meux, of Theobald's Park, Waltham Cross.
By E. A. Wallis Budge, &c. Pp. xii + 361. (London: Harrison and Sons, 1896.)
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An Egyptian Reading Book for Beginners: being a Series of Historical, Funereal, Moral, Religious and Mythological Texts printed in Hieroglyphic Characters, together with a Transliteration and a Complete Vocabulary Some Account of the Collection of Egyptian Antiquities in the possession of Lady Meux, of Theobald's Park, Waltham Cross. Nature 55, 218–219 (1897) doi:10.1038/055218a0