Decoding the Rosetta Stone with Edward Dolnick
Thursday, January 27, 2022 | 6:30 p.m.
The Rosetta Stone is the most popular object at the British Museum, where it has been on almost continuous display since 1802. That’s not because of what is inscribed on the stone – a series of breathless statements on the wonderfulness of King Ptolemy V. It’s the three scripts (Greek, Demotic, and Egyptian hieroglyphs) that visitors want to see. This trilingual inscription allowed researchers to crack the impenetrable meaning of hieroglyphs for the first time. As writer Edward Dolnick tells it, the story of the race to decode the stone contains all the elements of a good caper: genius researchers, international rivalry, dead ends, and red herrings. Join us for a conversation with Edward Dolnick about the history of the Rosetta Stone and the twenty-year struggle to unlock its secrets.
Dolnick’s new book, The Writing of the Gods: The Race to Decode the Rosetta Stone, is “exuberant” and “engrossing” and “thrilling,” according to The New York Times. The New Yorker called it “sophisticated” and “lively.” You can purchase The Writing of the Gods through our Bookshop.org storefront.