Adriaan de Buck

1892 - 1959

Dutch Egyptologist; born Oostkapelle, 22 Sept. 1892, son of Pieter de B., a clergyman, and Johanna Catharina Agatha Vermaas; he studied theology, religious history, and Egyptology in Leiden from 1911 and Egyptology at Göttingen under Sethe, 1917-21, and at Berlin under A. Erman and Möller; he gained a theological doctorate at the University of Leiden, 1922, for which he wrote a thesis on the Primeval Hill as a concept in Egyptian religion, a work which has exercised a profound influence on all later studies on the Heliopolitan theology; at this time from 1921 to 1925 he was the pastor of the reformed church as Ursum near Alkmaar; Gardiner and Breasted now asked him to act as editor for an exhaustive and fully comprehensive edition of the Coffin Texts to be published by the Oriental Institute of Chicago, 1925-9; this work involved him in much travel and intensive study in Egypt and the Museums of Europe and America; at the time of his death six great volumes of texts had appeared and the manuscript of the seventh and last was ready; in addition a part of the other great work of translating and commenting on them had also been completed; de Buck was appointed Reader in Egyptology, 1928 and took up his post in 1929, and then Professor in the University of Leiden 1939 and 1949-59; Dean of the Faculty; he was a member of the 90 Koninklijke Nederlandse Akad., 1941; first President of the International Association of Egyptologists; Chairman of the Dutch Oriental Society; Director of the Netherlands Institute of the Near East; Adviser of Ex Oriente Lux and editor of Bibliotheca Orientalis; his publications included, De Egyptische voorstellingen betreffende den oerheuvel, 1922; Egyptische verhalen; wit het Oud-Egyptisch vertaald door A. De Buck, 1928; Traduction des contes égyptiens, 1928; De egepraal van het licht: voorstellingen en symbolen uit den oud-egyptischen zonnedienst, 1930; Egyptische grammatica, 1944, (French ed. Grammaire élémentaire du Moyen Égyptien, 1952); Egyptian reading book, 1944; The Egyptian Coffin Texts: texts of spells, 7 vols., 1935-61; also various articles in journals; he died in Leiden, 28 Oct. 1959.