Emile Clement Amelineau (1850-1915)


A French and Coptologist, born at La Chaize-Giraud, Vendée. He was initially trained for the and was ordained in the Catholic diocese of Rennes. He became attracted to Egyptology by Felix Robiou, whose lectures he attended. Later he studied Egyptian and Coptic in Paris under Gaston MASPERO and Sylvain Grébaut.

In 1882 he joined the French Mission in Cairo for four years. He left the Catholic in 1887. He excavated at from 1894 to 1898. The he collected were sold in Paris on 8-9 February 1904, not having been adequately catalogued.

He was professor of the history of religions in the Ecole des Hautes Etudes. His best work was in the field of Coptic studies, in which he published widely; he also wrote a number of Egyptological works not cited here. He died at Châteaudun.

His major contributions to include De historia lausiaca quaenam sit hujus ad monachorum aegypticorum historiam scribendam utilitas . . . (Paris, 1887); Monuments pour servir à l’histoire de l’Egypte chrétienne aux IVe, Ve, VIe et VIIe siècles, Coptic texts with French translations (2 vols., Paris, 1888-1895); Monuments pour servir à l’histoire de l’Egypte chrétienne, Histoire des monastères de la Basse-Egypte, Vie de Saints Paul, Antoine, Macaire, Maxime et Domèce, Jean le Nain etc., Coptic texts with French translations ( Guimet Annales 25, Paris, 1894); Oeuvres de Schenouti, Coptic text with French translation (2 vols., Paris, 1907-1914); Monuments pour servir à l’histoire de l’Egypte chrétienne au IVe siècle, histoire de Saint Pachôme et de ses communautés, unedited Coptic and Arabic documents ( Guimet Annales 17, Paris, 1889); Essai sur le gnosticisme égyptien, ses dévéloppements et son origine égyptienne ( Guimet Annales, 14, Paris, 1887); Pistis Sophia, ouvrage gnostique de Valentin, French translation with introduction (Paris, 1895); Contes et romans de l’Egypte chrétienne (2 vols., Paris, 1888); and La géographie de l’Egypte à l’epoque copte (Paris, 1893). Other titles are listed in A Coptic Bibliography (Kammerer, 1950, 1969).


  • Balteau, J., et al. Dictionnaire de françaises. Paris, 1933-.
  • Dawson, W. R., and E. P. Uphill. Who Was Who in Egyptology. London, 1972.
  • Kammerer, W., comp. A Coptic Bibliography. Ann Arbor, 1950; repr. New York, 1969.