Very intelligent, he learns to read... All by himself !
Jean François Champollion. Born in 1790, a strong character, which will play tricks on him, and an incredibly fertile brain which enables him to learn to read by himself at the age of 5 with a missal. He was so gifted that he was awarded a scholarship that allowed him to leave his native Lot to study in Paris. That said, for the record, the genius is bad at math and spelling. If that can reassure you about your kids...
"I'm all about Egypt"
His thing is ancient languages. At 17, he knows Persian, Syriac, Chaldean, Hebrew... Appointed professor at the age of 18, he is passionate about Egypt. A civilization discovered during Bonaparte's campaign in Egypt in 1798 and whose writing remained completely mysterious until 1821, after years of work, Jean-François Champollion was the first to discover the secret of the language of the pharaohs.
Champollion in Egyptian dress during his stay in Egypt by Giuseppe Angelelli. 1828.
"I hold the case!"
Family legend tells us that he thought so hard that on the evening of his discovery he fainted after shouting "I hold the case". Dying young, at 41, probably from exhaustion, after finally visiting Egypt, which he helped to understand, Champollion is the model for those of today's historians who try to decipher the ancient writings that other civilizations have left us. Champollion, the man who said "enthusiasm is the secret of true life" and who revealed to the world the fascinating history of ancient Egypt.