In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Bunsen

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Undated

Whitman Archive ID: duk.00200

Source: Trent Collection of Whitmaniana, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Transcribed from digital images of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the marginalia and annotations, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: Floyd Stovall claims that Whitman's notes come from C. K. J. Bunsen's Outlines of the Philosophy of Universal Histories, Applied to Language and Religion (1854). See "Notes on Whitman's Reading," American Literature 26 (November 1954), 338.

Contributors to digital file: Lauren Grewe, Nicole Gray, Ty Alyea, and Matt Cohen

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The native name of Egypt is Khami, (black,)


The Semitic and Iranian families are primitively connected with each other.

? (Are they not the same?)


Ancient Chaldee (Babylon and Assyria i.e. Nineveh —cuneiform inscriptions


Aramæan (from Aram) a name which applies equally to Mesopotamia & Syria


'"Chaldean Christians" in Kurdistan called Nestorians.'


In Egypt and in Assyria, and doubtless in other ancient languages lan nations, there were separate castes in language, as in men—there was one ^written language for religion, one ^perhaps for the nobility, and without doubt one for the common mass of people.

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resume—(from Bunsen)

—Thus there in Assyria, (as in Egypt,) they had a written language, numerals, cal calcul weights, tables, calculations, the financial mediums, and dispatches—they had an appropriate religion, poetry, history, amusements,


Bunsen p 231


"The inscriptions on the rocks on the road, on the west side of the S[e?][i?]naitic peninsula, to Mount S[e?]inai, had already occupied the attention of Cosmos Indicopleustes, in the earlier part of the sixth century.—

(Niebuhr aAfter many suggestions from others, different ages, Niebuhr divined their contents, and scorned the idea of anything but greetings and memorials of travelers in different ages.)

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