Breasted, James Henry

Breasted, James Henry brĕsˈtĭd [key], 1865–1935, American Egyptologist, b. Rockford, Ill., grad. North Central College, 1888, M.A. Yale, 1891, Ph.D. Univ. of Berlin, 1894. He began teaching at the Univ. of Chicago in 1894 and was (1905–33) professor of Egyptology and Oriental history there. Breasted was also director of the Haskell Oriental Museum (1895–1901) and after 1919 founding director of the Oriental Institute of the Univ. of Chicago; under his leadership, this became one of the foremost research institutions on the ancient Middle East. He made archaeological discoveries of great importance in Egypt and directed researches in Mesopotamia. Besides many reports and monographs, he wrote some general works, including The Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt (1912) and The Dawn of Conscience (1933). Two of his textbooks were History of Egypt from the Earliest Times to the Persian Conquest (rev. ed. 1928) and Ancient Times (rev. ed. 1944). Breasted translated and edited Egyptian historical sources in Ancient Records of Egypt (5 vol., 1906–27).

See memoir of him by C. Breasted, his son (1943); biography by J. Abt (2011).

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