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Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060597682, Paperback)
Two hundred years ago, only the most reckless or eccentric Europeans had dared to traverse the unmapped territory of the modern-day Middle East. But in 1798, more than 150 French engineers, artists, doctors, and scientists—even a poet and a musicologist—traveled to the Nile Valley under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte and his invading army. Hazarding hunger, hardship, uncertainty, and disease, Napoleon's "savants" risked their lives in pursuit of discovery. The first large-scale interaction between Europeans and Muslims in the modern era, the audacious expedition was both a triumph and a disaster, resulting in finds of immense historical and scientific importance (including the ruins of the colossal pyramids and the Rosetta Stone) and in countless tragic deaths through plague, privation, madness, or violence.
Acclaimed journalist Nina Burleigh brings readers back to the landmark adventure at the dawn of the modern era that ultimately revealed the deepest secrets of ancient Egypt to a curious continent.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:32:42 -0500)
Two centuries ago, only the most reckless Europeans dared traverse the Middle East. Its history and peoples were the subject of myth and speculation--and no region aroused greater interest than Egypt. It was not until 1798, when an unlikely band of scientific explorers traveled from Paris to the Nile Valley, that Westerners received their first real glimpse of what lay beyond the Mediterranean. Under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte, a small corps of Paris's brightest left the safety of their laboratories, studios, and classrooms to embark into the unknown--some never to see French shores again. Over 150 astronomers, mathematicians, naturalists, physicists, doctors, chemists, engineers, botanists, artists--even a poet and a musicologist--accompanied Napoleon's troops into Egypt. They approached the land not as colonizers, but as experts in their fields of scholarship, meticulously categorizing and collecting their finds, and secured their place in history as the world's earliest-known archaeologists.--From publisher description.
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