Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Champollion, Jean Francois, scholar, was born in 1791 at Figeac, in the department of Lot. Early devoting himself to the study of Oriental languages, he, in 1816, became professor of history at the Lyceum of Grenoble. In 1824 he was sent by Charles X. on a scientific mission to Italy, and in 1826 was appointed director of the Egyptian museum at the Louvre. Two years later he went as the scientific head of an expedition to Egypt, and in 1831 a new chair of Egyptology was created for him in the College de France. In the following year, however, he died at Paris. His sagacity is seen in his interpretation of the Rosetta Stone (q.v.), whereby he was led to the discovery that the three systems of Egyptian writing - the hieratic, demotic, and hieroglyphic - were really one, and that the hieroglyphs represented not ideas but sounds. The results of his investigations were published at the public expense in 1824. Among his other works were Grammaire Egyptienne, Dictionnaire Egyptien, and Monuments de l'Egypt et de la Nubie. His unpublished MSS., which numbered upwards of 2,000 pages, were purchased by the Royal Library at Paris for 50,000 francs.