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 French expedition to Egypt and Syria

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: French expedition to Egypt and Syria   Mon 01 May 2017, 22:16

I saw the day before yesterday a documentary in French about the expedition of Napoleon on order I suppose of the Directorium to secure Egypt for the French. It is the same for nearly all present day documentaries: the real history is connected with pieces of "played" history, which is mostly (at least for me) dreadful. So I "skipped" quickly through these "played" episodes at the risk of losing some of the content of the real documentary.
But apart of the tactical military move against the British, there was nevertheless also a lasting scientific expedition, which had later a big effect on the knowledge about the ancient Egypt.
http://scholarship.shu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1037&context=theses
A survey in English which is rather interesting




And a perhaps biased to Napoleon documentary...



I will give tomorrow more comments...

Kind regards, Paul.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: French expedition to Egypt and Syria   Thu 04 May 2017, 21:45

Addendum to the previous message.

I have now seen all my content that I posted in my previous message. The first documentary, although accurately qua content is boring to view. So I would rather suggest, if one is interested, to view the second documentary: "Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign" which is in my eyes a documentary as the good ones have to be (in my humble opinion).
As for the "these" in the first link: it is educated stuff, although it is worth reading, while the these is that due to this French sholarship inquiry, the first of a Western country, there was a whole new view on Egypt in Europ and it would be the start of the great Egyptian treasures' collections and by that also the start of the great European musea...but you have to read it to understand it in depth...

As about the military aspect of Napoleon's campaign: it was already obvious that the young Napoleon (30 years?) was ruthless and not sparing much the life of his soldiers and already in that time starting his own propaganda trying to mystify what he in reality had done, to make a kind of a myth around his person, just to his greater glory. In later campaigns if became more and more obvious until the Russian disaster. I don't say he was not a clever person, but a person thinking only at his own glory and fame and was therefore prepared to offer a huge amount of the lives of his soldiers. That he on the same time, was interested in science and discoveries in the Egyptian world don't make good his other faults. It was later a dictator, who ruled with the support of a secret police.
That said I am not sure how other "leaders" of that time behaved in reality too and that in comparison with Napoleon?

Kind regards, Paul.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: French expedition to Egypt and Syria   Mon 15 May 2017, 10:27

It it interesting that the famous Rosetta Stone - whose discovery during the French expedition led to the decipering of Egyptian heirogyphs, and is now the most visited single item in the British Museum - was one of the items specifically mentioned in the French document of surrender. Article 16 of the 'Capitulation of Alexandria' (1801) said that, "... the Arabian manuscripts, the statues, and the other collections which have been made for the French Republic, shall be considered as public property, and subject to the disposal of the generals of the combined army." ie the British and Ottoman armies. This subsequently led to the transfer to British possession of numerous antiquities collected by the French Commission des Sciences et des Arts.

During the treaty negociations the two sides had fully appreciated the importance and value of the Rosetta Stone, both scientifically and monetarily, and in terms of national prestige. The French initially tried to claim it was personal property, in the same manner as all the biological and geological specimens were deemed to be property of the scientists who had collected them, but this claim was firmly rejected by the British. The French then attempted to smuggle the stone away into hiding. But eventually the stone was transferred, albeit somewhat surrepticiously, into British hands and was duly shipped to London.

The stone has since been on public display almost continuously since it was presented to the British Museum in 1802. Nevertheless it was of course a Frenchman, Jean-François Champollion, who finally deciphered the hyroplyphics in the 1820s.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: French expedition to Egypt and Syria   Tue 23 May 2017, 21:20

Meles meles,

thank you very much for this story about the Rosetta stone.  It was nearly the only thing that I knew about the French campaign and certainly not about the transfer in British hands. Yes, the importance can not be underestimated.

Kind regards, Paul.
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