Heinrich Karl Brugsch (1827-1894), German Egyptologist, was the son of a Prussian cavalry officer, and was born in the barracks at Berlin, on the 18th of February 1827. He early manifested a great inclination to Egyptian studies, in which, though encouraged by Humboldt, he was almost entirely self-taught. After completing his university course and visiting foreign museums he was sent to Egypt by the Prussian government in 1853, and contracted an intimate friendship with Mariette. On his return he received an appointment in the Berlin museum. In 1860 he was sent to Persia on a special mission under Baron Minutoli, travelled over the country, and after Minutoli's death discharged the functions of ambassador. In 1864 he was consul at Cairo, in 1868 professor at Gõttingen, and in 1870 director of the school of Egyptology, founded at Cairo by the khedive. From this post he was unceremoniously dismissed in 1879 by the European controllers of the public revenues, determined to economize at all hazards; and French influence prevented his succeeding his friend Mariette at the Bulaq Museum in 1883. He afterwards resided principally in Germany until his death on the 9th of September 1894, but frequently visited Egypt, took part in another official mission to Persia, and organized an Egyptian exhibit at the Philadelphia Exposition in 1876. He had been made a pasha by the khedive in 1881. He published his autobiography in 1894, concluding with a warm panegyric upon British rule in Egypt. Brugsch's services to Egyptology are most important, particularly in the decipherment of demotic and the making of a vast hieroglyphic-demotic dictionary (1867-1882).
See H. Brugsch, Mein Leben und mein Wandern, also art. Egypt, section Language and Writing.