Champollion was an incredible linguist. He knew Coptic by
the age of 16. By the age of 20, “he could also speak Latin,
Greek, Hebrew, Amharic, Sanskrit, Avestan, Pahlavi, Arabic,
Syriac, Chaldean, Persian, and Ge'ez in addition to his native
The fact that knowledge of the relation between Egyptian and
Coptic was lost for centuries is an example of the destructiveness
of religious bigotry, culturalism, and nationalism.
Egyptian hieroglyphics retain their occult, mystical, and
magical connotations in Western culture. The Rosicrucians, for
example, borrow Egyptian mysteries (as well as Greek and Druidic).