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The Near East as a Whole

The Near East as a Whole

(p.207) 6 The Near East as a Whole
American Egyptologist
Jeffrey Abt
University of Chicago Press

James Henry Breasted developed a friendship with the world-renowned astronomer and scientific impresario George Ellery Hale, who was recruited by University of Chicago President William Rainey Harper as associate professor and as director of his observatory. Hale resigned from the university to direct the Mount Wilson Solar Observatory and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In 1918 Breasted was elected president of the American Oriental Society, and delivered an address during its annual meeting the following year in which he offered a fresh look at the Middle East as a land of scholarly “responsibility” and “opportunity.” He lamented the disciplinary narrowness of scholars in classical and ancient Near Eastern studies. With a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, Breasted founded an Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago and promptly began to plan for expeditions in the ancient Near East that would take him to Iraq, Syria, Jerusalem, and Egypt.

Keywords:   James Henry Breasted, george ellery hale, university of chicago, academy of sciences, middle east, near eastern studies, rockefeller foundation, oriental institute, expeditions, ancient near east

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