Friday, September 7, 2007

Bonaparte establishes the Egyptian Institute

From a Gutenberg e-text of Louis Antoine Fauvelet de Bourrienne, Memoirs of Napoleon, Volume 03, ed. and trans. R.W. Phipps., 1891:

The loss of the fleet convinced General Bonaparte of the necessity of speedily and effectively organising Egypt, where everything denoted that we should stay for a considerable time, excepting the event of a forced evacuation, which the General was far from foreseeing or fearing. The distance of Ibrahim Bey and Mourad Bey now left him a little at rest. War, fortifications, taxation, government, the organization of the divans, trade, art, and science, all occupied his attention. Orders and instructions were immediately despatched, if not to repair the defeat, at least to avert the first danger that might ensue from it. On the 21st of August Bonaparte established at Cairo an institute of the arts and sciences, of which he subsequently appointed me a member in the room of M. de Sucy, who was obliged to return to France, in consequence of the wound he received on board the flotilla in the Nile.*

In founding this Institute, Bonaparte wished to afford an example of his ideas of civilisation. The minutes of the sittings of that learned body, which have been printed, bear evidence of its utility, and of Napoleon's extended views. The objects of the Institute were the advancement and propagation of information in Egypt, and the study and publication of all facts relating to the natural history, trade, and antiquities of that ancient country.

On the 18th Bonaparte was present at the ceremony of opening the dyke of the canal of Cairo, which receives the water of the Nile when it reaches the height fired by the Mequyas.

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[Translator note:

--[The Institute of Egypt was composed of members of the French Institute, and of the men of science and artists of the commission who did not belong to that body. They assembled and added to their number several officers of the artillery and staff, and others who bad cultivated the sciences and literature. The Institute was established in one of the palaces of the bey's. A great number of machines, and physical, chemical, and astronomical instruments had been brought from France. They were distributed in the different rooms, which were also successively filled with all the curiosities of the country, whether of the animal, vegetable, or mineral kingdom. The garden of the palace became a botanical garden. A chemical laboratory was formed at headquarters; Merthollet performed experiments there several times every week, which Napoleon and a great number of officers attended ('Memoirs of Napoleon')]--

1 comment:

GPT said...

Does Not Help At All. GAY