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François Lenormant

January 17, 1837

François Lenormant (January 17 1837, Paris — December 9 1883, Paris), was a French archaeologist, Assyriologist and numismatist. As early as 1867 he had turned his attention to Assyrian studies and was the first to recognize, in the cuneiform inscriptions, the existence of a non-Semitic language, he named Akkadian (today it is known as Sumerian). A discovery, crucial to the understanding of Mesopotamian civilization 3000 years before the Christian era.

His father, Charles Lenormant, a well known archaeologist and Egyptologist, personally supervised his education and exercised great influence over his son’s mind and studies. He started learning Greek at the age of six, and the child responded so well to his precocious scheme of instruction, that when he was only fourteen, his first essay on the Greek tablets found at Memphis, appeared in the Revue Archéologique.

In 1856 Lenormant won the numismatic prize of the Académie des Inscriptions with an essay entitled Classification des monnaies des Lagides. In 1862 he became sub-librarian of the Institut de France. While pursuing his classical studies, he also attended lectures of the faculty of law and received his degree as licentiate in 1857.

Read more about Lenormant in the Post Scriptum of Chaldean Magic.