A prodigy child who could speak numerous dead and living languages had dreamed of the worldwide fame since his early years. At the age of 12 he wrote his first book with an insolent title Chronology from Adam to Champollion. At the age of 16 he completed a scientific work Egypt under Pharaohs. At the age of 19, he became a professor of history in Grenoble and got interested in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics on the Rosetta stone discovered by Napoleon’s deminers. Ancient tsars came to his aid – Ptolemy, Kleopatra, Xerxes. Champollion considered the repeated symbols to be royal names and it turned out he was not mistaken. Despite the fact that by that time Champollion had never been to Egypt, he was the first to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics and to establish a new science called Egyptology. The text carved on the Rosetta stone turned out to be the gratitude of Egyptian priests who thanked the monarch Ptolemy V in the year 196 AD. This was just the beginning as Champollion continued working and discovering. He systematized Egyptian mythology, organized the Egyptian Antiquities Museum (currently the famous Egyptian gallery at the Louvre). Finally, the scientist embarked on his first trip to Egypt where he studied numerous ancient monuments and inscriptions and undermined his health completely. His friend and cousin Francois Auguste Mariette continued his investigations. It was him who persuaded Giuseppe Verdi to write an opera based on the Ancient Egypt plot – this is how famous Aida appeared.
In 1790, Jean-Francois Champollion was born