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What Caused Jeanne-Francoise Champollion, Decipherer of the Ancient Egyptian Scripts, Premature Death?

A possible relationship between so recurrent collapse/syncope events hit Jeanne- Francoise Champollion (JFC)'s and his being forty-one years old when he got the premature killing stroke, is engaging and worth investigation. Champollion (JFC) was too young and the first scholar committed to the unbearable mission of disclosing the language system behind the ancient Egyptian scripts from 4000- 5000 B.C., despite Diabetes Mellitus, Gout disease, recurrent Syncope, chronic Tinnitus, Headaches, and later unilateral Gaze deviation, from whom he suffered. The etiology behind JFC's premature death is unestablished, possibly because his family refused to allow a postmortem dissection. Along with those facts and absence of lab tests, we will try analyzing the exact cause of death by discussing the differential diagnosis in its classical method: the main complaint, family medical history and hints of somatic signs in reliable literature. JFC's medical history was marked by frequent faints, part of them were neutrally mediated or vagal responsiveness. One of these collapses happened to him at eighteen years old, shortly after he was shocked by the news that Lenoire had published the first decipherment of Hieroglyphs. Other collapses recorded in literature were not vagal, by definition. Most striking was the collapse attacked him in 1822, in a moment of elation when he got the idea of the language system behind the Hieroglyphs and ran breathlessly into his brother's office and shout: "je tiens l'affaire!", "I found it", and immediately fell unconscious for few days. Two years after his return to Paris from Egypt, with the unequivocal proof of the Hieroglyphic language system in his hands, 'death was waiting for him', as he drifted into and out unconsciousness. We suppose, with enough confidence, that a vascular disorder was the etiology behind JFC early death, basically, cerebral arteries' dilatations, that finally had dissected and torn.


Nadim Nasser and Davd Savitzki

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