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Breasted, James Henrylocked

(27 August 1865–02 December 1935)
  • Marc Van De Mieroop


Breasted, James Henry (27 August 1865–02 December 1935), historian and Egyptologist, was born in Rockford, Illinois, the son of Charles Breasted and Harriet Newell Garrison, owners of a small hardware business. Breasted grew up in a family of limited means. Although he entered North Central College (then Northwestern College) at Naperville, Illinois, at the age of fifteen, he did not obtain his B.A. until 1888, as he interrupted his studies in 1882 to attend Chicago College of Pharmacy and to serve an apprenticeship in a pharmacy. Meanwhile he worked as a clerk in local drugstores to finance his studies. In 1886 he graduated as a pharmacist, but at the insistence of an aunt and with her financial support he entered Chicago Theological Seminary in 1887. His doubts about the inerrancy of the biblical text dissuaded him from a career in the ministry, and in 1890 he enrolled in Yale University to pursue graduate studies in Hebrew with ...

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