The New International Encyclopædia/Brugsch, Heinrich Karl
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Brugsch, Heinrich Karl
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BRUGSCH, brōōKsh, Heinrich Karl (1827-94). A German Egyptologist. He was born in Berlin, February 18, 1827. At the age of 16 he applied himself with signal success to the decipherment of Demotic, which had been neglected since the death of Champollion in 1832. Brugsch's work, Scriptura Ægyptiorum Demotica (Berlin, 1848), containing the results of his studies in this difficult branch of Egyptology, appeared while he was a student at the gymnasium. It was followed by his Numerorum Demoticorum Doctrina (1849), and his Sammlung demotischer Urkunden (1850). His Grammaire démotique (Paris, 1855) formed the basis of all subsequent studies in Demotic. After completing his philological and archæological studies, Brugsch visited the museums of Paris, London, Turin, and Leyden, and in 1853 went to Egypt for a stay of some duration. After this he returned to Berlin, where, in 1854, he was appointed privat-docent in the university, and, in 1855, assistant in the Egyptian department of the Royal Museum. He again visited Egypt in 1857, and in 1860 accompanied in an official capacity the embassy sent to Persia by the Prussian Government. On the death of the chief of the embassy, Baron von Minutoli, Brugsch assumed the management of affairs and acquitted himself with credit. In 1864 he was consul at Cairo. He returned to Germany four years later and held, for a time, a professorship in Göttingen; but in 1870 he was recalled to Egypt by the Khedive to take the direction of the Ecole d'Egyptologie. In 1873 he represented the Egyptian Government at the Vienna Exposition, and in the same year received the title of Bey and was placed in charge of the projected museum of Arabic antiquities. He later received the title of Pasha. In 1876 he visited America as commissioner of the Egyptian Government to the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. He returned to Egypt, but failing to receive the position of director of the Egyptian Museum at Gizeh, left vacant by Mariette's death, Brugsch took up his residence in Berlin. There he lectured at the university, but was, in 1883 and again in 1885, sent by the German Government on a mission to Persia. After his return he retired to Charlottenburg, where he passed the remainder of his days in literary work. He died September 9, 1894. After his early achievements in the elucidation of Demotic, Brugsch soon applied himself to other branches of Egyptology, and everywhere with remarkable success. Egyptian grammar and lexicography, together with the geography, history, and religion of ancient Egypt, were the subjects to which his attention was chiefly directed. To his great natural ability he added an enormous capacity for work, and he was a most prolific writer. Among the most important of his works besides those mentioned are his Geographische Inschriften (Leipzig, 1857-60); Histoire d'Egypte (Leipzig, 1859); Recueil des monuments égyptiens (Leipzig, 1862-63); Hieroglyphisch-demotisches Wörterbuch (Leipzig, 1867-82); Dictionnaire géographique de l'ancienne Egypte (Leipzig, 1877-81); Hieroglyphische Grammatik (Leipzig, 1872); Geschichte Aegyptens (Leipzig, 1877); Religion und Mythologie der Aegypter (Leipzig, 1887); and Thesaurus Inscriptionum Ægyptiacarum (Leipzig, 1883-91). He was the founder (1863) of the Egyptological journal, Zeitschrift für Aegyptische Sprache. The influence of Brugsch on modern Egyptology has been very great.