Niebuhr in Egypt: European Science in a Biblical World

When Roger H. Guichard Jr. discovered a French translation of the works of Carsten Niebuhr, sole survivor of the 1761-1767 Royal Danish Expedition to the Yemen, he was astounded. 'They were not just another dry account of one man's travels, but represented the record of a serious intellectual enterprise involving Enlightenment science, sacred philology, the Bible as history, 'Orientalism', Egyptology, and discovery'. Having translated them from French to English, and then cross-referenced his translations with the original German texts, 'Niebuhr in Egypt' is not, as one might expect, simply a presentation of his translation. Instead Guichard offers his readers an account of the expedition's year in Egypt, with lengthy excursions into the several subplots - Enlightenment science, the Bible as history, and Egyptology - that he found so engaging in the original works. This is not a scholarly work but would appeal to anyone with an interest in any of the areas mentioned or simply to anyone interested in this country's past and present.