Ippolito Rosellini

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Bust of Ippolito Rosellini

Ippolito Rosellini (August 13, 1800 – June 4, 1843) was an Italian Egyptologist.

Early life[edit]

He was born at Pisa. After graduating in theology, he studied under Mezzofanti at Bologna, and in 1824 became professor of oriental languages at Pisa University.[1]

Association with Jean-François Champollion[edit]

He was the first disciple, a great friend and an associate of Jean-François Champollion. They met in Florence in August 1825, during Champollion's journey to study the important Egyptological collections in Turin, Rome and Florence. [1] In 1827, he went to Paris for a year in order to improve his knowledge of the method of decipherment proposed by Champollion. He accompanied him in his Egyptian explorations (1828), also known as the Franco-Tuscan expedition. The expedition was financed by the grand-duke of Tuscany, Leopold II, and the King of France, Charles X. The results of the expedition was a publication entitled Monumenti dell' Egitto e della Nubia.[2]

Monumenti dell' Egitto e della Nubia[edit]

Since Rosellini could not get any support from the Tuscan government, he decided to finance the publication himself. In order to raise the necessary funds he sent his friend and collaborator Alessandro Ricci to Germany and England to sell copies in advance of the publication, the proceeds of which would allow him to begin paying the printers. Champollion agreed to collaborate in writing some parts of the work, but he died prematurely on March 4, 1832. The final version of the work was edited with the assistance of Jacques Joseph Champollion-Figeac, but the relationship between the two ended when Champollion's brother demanded that he become the sole editor of the work.

In the following four years, eight volumes were published, and after the death of Rosellini on June 4, 1843 in Pisa, the nine volumes of text comprised no less than 3,300 pages, while the atlas contained 390 large plates by the artists Giuseppe Angelelli, Salvatore Cherubini, Nestor L'Hote and Gaetano Rosellini.

The work was subdivided into three main sections:

  • Ancient monuments
  • Civil monuments
  • Religious monuments


  1. ^ a b Chisholm 1911.
  2. ^ Florence, 1832-40, 10 vols. fol.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Rosellini, Ippolito". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.