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Egyptian OedipusAthanasius Kircher and the Secrets of Antiquity$
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Daniel Stolzenberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226924144

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226924151.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Esoteric Antiquarianism

Esoteric Antiquarianism

(p.36) Chapter One Esoteric Antiquarianism
Egyptian Oedipus

Daniel Stolzenberg

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores the scale of Egyptian Oedipus and how it impressed people of an age accustomed to scholarly grandiosity. To the modern reader, however, it is the book's substance that most astonishes. Egyptian Oedipus promises a complete “restoration of the hieroglyphic doctrine,” all the lost secrets of religion and science that ancient Egyptians supposedly encoded on their monuments. The massive final volume gathers almost every hieroglyphic inscription known to Europeans at that time, as well as other ancient artifacts, including mummies, sarcophagi, Canopic jars, sphinxes, idols, lamps, and amulets, found in Rome, other Christian cities, Istanbul, and Egypt. Kircher glosses each object with a learned explanation of its ancient significance. Without a Rosetta Stone, he translates the hieroglyphic inscriptions, character by character, into Latin prose.

Keywords:   scholarly grandiosity, hieroglyphic doctrine, ancient significance, Rosetta Stone, hieroglyphic inscriptions, Latin prose

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