Ancient Egyptian Foundation Translation Series

Jean-Antoine Letronne, Critical, Historical and Geographical Studies of Fragments of Hero of Alexandria

Amice Mary Calverley

Jean-Antoine Letronne, Critical, Historical and Geographical Studies of Fragments of Hero of Alexandria, or: ‘On the Egyptian Measurement System’, considered from its basis, in relation to the Greek and Roman itinerary measurements and considering the modifications that have been applied to this data from the reigns of the Pharaohs until the Arab Invasion. Edited, revised and corrected by Alexandre J. H. Vincent. Posthumously published in Paris in 1851.

(Jean-Antoine Letronne, archaeologist and classicist, 1787-1848. Alexandre Joseph Hidulphe Vincent, mathematician, historian of mathematics, musicologist, and archaeologist, 1797-1868.)

This book concerning ancient geodesic science and ancient systems of measurement will appear online on this website in instalments. The length of the original volume is 294 pages in large quarto size, with plates and tables.

Download Part I
version as PDF

General Editor: Robert Temple


The Foundation is sponsor of the series of volumes of Sources of Alchemy and Chemistry: Sir Robert Mond Studies in the History of Early Chemistry published by the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry as free  supplement volumes for subscribers to the Society’s international journal, Ambix.

General Editors: Dr. Jennifer Rampling (Princeton University) and Professor Lawrence Principe (Johns Hopkins University)

The first volume to appear was:

Matteo Martelli, The Four Books of Pseudo-Democritus, Supplement 1 of Ambix Volume 60, 2013.

This volume contains editions and the first English translations of the relevant surviving texts from Greek, Syriac, and Latin, as well as edition and translation of the surviving fragments of Synesius. The book includes an extensive introduction, notes, and appendices, as well as indexed Greek and Syriac glossaries.

These important early alchemical/chemical/metallurgical writings from Alexandria date from the first century AD and have never before been available in English or in modern editions.

The book may be ordered by non-subscribers at the subsidised price of £30 from the Society or from:

Forthcoming volumes in 2016 are:

Gabriele Ferrario, The Book of Alums and Salts by Pseudo-Razi

Sebastian Richter, Coptic Alchemy.

Subsequent volumes in preparation include:
A series of volumes of the complete surviving works and fragments of Zosimus of Panopolis (3rd and 4th centuries AD in Egypt) commencing with:

Bink Hallum, Zosimus. The Sulphurs [edition and translation of a newly discovered Arabic manuscript translation of this lost work]

Matteo Martelli, Zosimus in Syriac [edition and translation of previously unknown Zosimus material surviving in Syriac translation]


  1. Georges Émile Jules Daressy, Trois Haches en Mineral de Fer (Three Iron Ore Axes), from Annales du Service des Antiquités de l’Égypte, vol. XXII, 1922, pp. 157-166.
    Original French version available here
    (PDF 2.2MB)
  2. A. Malnoy, Concerning the Nature and the Manufacture of Liquid Perfumes in Greco-Roman Antiquity, Cosne-sur-Loire, 1929. (Malnoy was a French Doctor of Pharmacy and antiquarian)
  3. Édouard Naville, The Destruction of Man by the Gods: Based on a Mythological Inscription in the Tomb of Seti I at Thebes, 1875.
  4. Alexandre Varille, A Propos des Pyramides de Snefrou (Concerning the Pyramids of Snefru [at Dashur]), Cairo, 1947, together with a two-page manuscript letter from Varille to Osman Bey dated 26.10.47, concerning archaeological matters including the pyramids at Dashur, sent by Varille along with the inscribed booklet.

Numerous other key shorter works and articles forthcoming
including several on ancient Egyptian astronomy and astronomical ceilings
as well as extensive unpublished French manuscript material by
19th century Egyptologists in original with translations