ERNEST ALFRED THOMPSON WALLIS BUDGE (1857-1934)
An english Egyptologist, Coptologist, and Orientalist. He became a student at Christ College, Cambridge, where he excelled in the study of many ancient cultures. In 1893 he became keeper of the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities at the British Museum, a post he held until 1924. Budge went to Egypt, the Sudan, and Mesopotamia many times to obtain antiquities for the British Museum. He excavated at Aswan in Egypt, at Jabal Barkal, the island of Meroë, Semna, and other sites in Nubia and the Sudan. He acquired for the museum a large number of Egyptian art objects and papyri, and numerous manuscripts in Coptic, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic.
His output of published works is the largest and most astonishing of any single Orientalist, the list of his works in Who Was Who in Egyptology (Dawson and Uphill, 1972) being the longest recorded and numbering hundreds of books and articles on texts in cuneiform, hieroglyphic, Coptic, Syriac, and Ethiopic.
His main contributions to Coptic studies include The Martyrdoms and Miracles of St. George of Cappadocia, Coptic text and English translation, London, 1888; St. Michael the Archangel, Three Encomiums by Theodosius Archbishop of Alexandria, Severus Patriarch of Antioch, and Eustathius Bishop of Trake, Coptic Texts with Extracts from Arabic and Ethiopic Versions, edited with translation, London, 1894; The Earliest Known Coptic Psalter, the text in the dialect of Upper Egypt, edited from the unique papyrus codex Oriental 5000 in the British Museum, London, 1898; The Egyptian Sudan, Its History and Monuments, 2 vols., London, 1907; Coptic Homilies in the Dialect of Upper Egypt, edited from the papyrus codex Oriental 5001 in the British Museum, London, 1910; Coptic Biblical Texts in the Dialect of Upper Egypt, London, 1912; Coptic Apocrypha in the Dialect of Upper Egypt, edited with English translation, London, 1913; Coptic Martyrdoms in the Dialect of Upper Egypt, edited with English translation, London, 1914; Miscellaneous Coptic Texts in the Dialect of Upper Egypt, edited with English translations, London, 1915 (for contents, see Coptic Bibliography, p. 32, no. 716); Egyptian Tales and Romances: Pagan, Christian and Muslim, English translation, London, 1931; Stories of the Holy Fathers … of the Deserts of Egypt Between 250 & 400 A.D. Circiter Compliled by Athanasius, Palladius, Jerome and Others, Oxford, 1934; The Wit and Wisdom of the Christian Fathers of Egypt, the Syriac version of the Apophthegmata Patrum by “Anan Isho” of Beth Abha, Oxford, 1934.
In memory of his wife, Budge founded Egyptological studentships at Christ College, Cambridge, and University College, Oxford. He left his library to the former college. He died in London.
- Budge, E. A. W. By Nile and Tigris (autobiographical), 2 vols. London, 1920.
- Dawson, W. B., and E. P. Uphill. Who Was Who in Egyptology. London, 1972.
- Kammerer, W., comp. A Coptic Bibliography. Ann Arbor, Mich., 1950; repr. New York, 1969.
- Smith, S. “Budge, Sir (Ernest Alfred Thompson) Wallis.” Dictionary of National Biography, p. 121. London and Oxford, 1931-1940.
- Thompson, C. “Ernest Alfred Wallis Budge.” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 21 (1935):68, which includes a portrait.
AZIZ S. ATIYA