Early travellers to Egypt
This page will likely be removed. Collecting from many sources, there will be plenty of ERRORS - for certain.
- Strabo (1st century BCE)
Greek geographer and historian who lived in the first
century BCE., best known for his work "Geography," a
17-volume treatise that describes the geography and
culture of the known world at the time. In this work,
Strabo included a detailed account of his travels to
Egypt, which he visited around 25 BCE. In his account of
Egypt, Strabo wrote about the geography, history, and
culture of the country. He described the Nile River, the
irrigation systems that sustained agriculture in the
region, and the major cities and towns of ancient Egypt.
He also wrote about the customs, beliefs, and practices
of the ancient Egyptians, including their religion, art,
and social structure. Strabo's account of Egypt is
considered an important source of information about the
country in the first century BCE. His observations and
descriptions provide valuable insights into the daily
lives, beliefs, and practices of the ancient Egyptians
and have helped to shape our modern understanding of
(Strab. 17.1.46) "Above the Memnonium, in caves, are tombs of kings, which are stone-hewn, are about forty in number, are marvellously constructed, and are a spectacle worth seeing."
- Pliny the Elder (1st century CE)
- Pliny the Elder was a Roman naturalist, philosopher, and writer who lived in the first century AD. He wrote a natural history of the world called "Naturalis Historia," which includes a section on Egypt. In this section, Pliny describes the geography, climate, natural resources, and customs of Egypt. He also discusses the ancient Egyptian religion, writing about the gods and goddesses worshipped by the Egyptians and the rituals and ceremonies that were performed in their honor. Pliny also writes about the pyramids and other famous landmarks in Egypt, as well as the country's famous scholars and philosophers.
- Claudius Ptolemy (2nd century CE)
- Greek mathematician, astronomer, and geographer who is best known for his work on the geography of the world, which was presented in his book "Geographia." Ptolemy's "Geographia" was a comprehensive guide to the known world, and it included maps, descriptions of the various regions of the world, and information about their climates, natural resources, and cultures. Ptolemy's work was based on the accounts of travelers and scholars, as well as on his own observations and measurements. It was widely used in the ancient world and remained a primary source of knowledge about the geography of the world for over 1400 years.
- Ammien Marcellinus (330-391 CE)
- A Roman historian who visited Egypt in the 4th century CE. He wrote about his experiences in his book Res Gestae, which is a history of the Roman Empire.
- Anomymous Venetian traveller (1589)
14. The Colossi of Thebes. In the countryside, opposite Ochsur [Luxor], I saw a large expanse of land filled with ancient buildings; among those which seduced my eyes two large colossi of mixed stone; I was not able to admire them up close, because the countryside is completely submerged under water. This is why I only saw them from the bank of the Nile, which was a hundred paces or more away.
Apart from these two statues, there were quite a few monuments. Some Moors told me that it was another Ochsur, built opposite the other and built by a brother of the one who had built the first, to compete with it. But it seems to me that he must have been inferior in every respect. For among the things that I am going to describe to you, I have not seen a building that was of such great price, made of such a large quantity of stones, and of such a large size. The better to prove it to you, I'll start on the next page...
- Granger (1680–1734)
- French physician and traveller, during his stay in Egypt (1730-31), Granger travelled up the Nile to Aswan, documenting a large number of ancient monuments, as well as a considerable amount of its natural history, including animals, plants and minerals. Relation du voyage fait en Egypte, par le sieur Granger, en l'année 1730. Où l'on voit ce qu'il y a de plus remarquable, particulièrement sur l'histoire naturelle, Paris, Jacques Vincent, 1745.
- Thomas Shaw (1738)
- English chaplain and naturalist. SHAW, THOMAS. Travels or observations relating to several parts of Barbary and the Levant. Oxford, printed at the Theatre, Stephen Niblett, 1738. + A Supplement to a book entituled travels, or observations, &c... Oxford, printed at the Theatre, E. Isham, 1746.
- Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (1605-1689)
- A French traveler who visited Egypt in 1630s and 1640s, but did likely not proceed further south than Cairo. He wrote about his experiences in his book Les Six Voyages de Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, which is was very popular.
- George Sandys (1578-1644)
- An English traveler who visited Egypt in 1610 but did not go further south than Cairo. He was the first European to publish an account of his travels in Egypt in English. Sandys, George. Sandys Travels. (London 1673) Egypt: p.71-95.
- Jean de Thévenot (1633-1667)
- A French traveler who visited Egypt in 1655. He was the first European to visit the Siwa Oasis.
- Johann Michael Wansleben (1635-1679)
- A German orientalist who visited Egypt in 1672-73. He only reached Sohag, about halfway to Aswan. Tell a story from two Capuchin missionaries who had visited the main sites of Upper Egypt in 1668.
- Paul Lucas (1664-1737)
- A French traveler who visited Egypt in 1714. He was the first European to travel to the Red Sea coast of Egypt.
- Claude Sicard (1677-1726)
- A French Jesuit missionary who visited Egypt in 1717. He was the first European to study the Coptic language and culture.
- Frederik Ludvig Norden (1708-1742)
- A Danish naval officer who visited Egypt in 1737-38. He was the first European to make detailed drawings of the pyramids and other ancient monuments.
- Richard Pococke (1704-1765)
- An English traveler who visited Egypt in 1737-38. He wrote about his experiences in his book A Description of the East and Some Other Countries, which is one of the first detailed accounts of Egypt in the English language.
- James Bruce (1768)
- Wrote about his travels in Egypt in his book "Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile." James Bruce was a Scottish explorer and traveler who lived in the 18th century. He is best known for his journey to Ethiopia to search for the source of the Nile, which he wrote about in his book "Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile." In this work, Bruce describes his travels through Egypt and the various places he visited, including Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan. He also writes about the people he met and the cultures and customs of the region.
- Carsten Niebuhr (1761-1767)
- German mathematician and explorer, visited Alexandria and the Red Sea in 1761-62.
- William George Browne (1768-1813)
- An English traveler who visited Egypt in 1792-93. He was a keen amateur Egyptologist, and he was the first European to visit the ancient city of Meroë in Sudan.
- Johann Ludwig Burckhardt
- A Swiss traveler and orientalist who visited Egypt in 1813-15. He is best known for his work as an Arabist and for his travelogue Travels in Nubia (1819). Burckhardt was born in 1784 in Basel, Switzerland. In 1809, he traveled to Egypt, where he lived and studied for several years. He disguised himself as an Arab and traveled extensively throughout the country, visiting many of the major historical sites. In 1813, Burckhardt traveled to Nubia, a region of Sudan that was then part of Egypt. He was the first European to visit the region since the 17th century. He traveled up the Nile River to the city of Aswan, and then into the desert. He was forced to turn back after encountering hostile peoples and on his way back north, on March 22, 1813, he visited Abu Simbel, and noted that the four colossal statues of Ramesses II probably hid a large temple beneath the vast sans covering them. It provides detailed descriptions of the geography, history, and culture of Nubia. Burckhardt's work was instrumental in raising awareness of Nubia in Europe, and it helped to pave the way for future exploration of the region.
- Giovanni Battista Belzoni (1778-1823)
- An Italian explorer who visited Egypt in 1816. He is best known for his discovery of the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings. He wrote about his experiences in his book Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries in Egypt and Nubia, which is an important source of information about early Egyptology.
- Maria Martin (1793-1863)
- An Englishwoman who visited Egypt in 1818. She was the first European woman to visit the Valley of the Kings.
- Frederick Cailliaud (1787-1862)
- A French explorer who visited Egypt in 1819-22. He is best known for his discovery of the Temple of Hathor at Dendera. He wrote about his experiences in his book Voyage à l'Égypte et aux Oasis.
- Jean-François Champollion (1790-1832)
- A French scholar who deciphered the hieroglyphs in 1822. He visited Egypt in 1828-29 to study the ancient monuments. He wrote about his experiences in his book Lettres d'Égypte.
- Henry Salt (1780-1827)
- An English diplomat who served as British consul-general in Egypt from 1815 to 1827. He was a keen amateur Egyptologist and amassed a large collection of antiquities, including the famous Rosetta Stone. He wrote about his experiences in his book A Voyage to Egypt and Nubia.
- Karl Richard Lepsius (1810-1884)
- A German Egyptologist who visited Egypt in 1842-45. He was the first European to conduct a systematic survey of the country's ancient monuments.