GABRIEL SIDARUS (1768-1851)
Also called Sidarious, Sidarous, Sidarousse, or Sidarosse, military man born in Cairo. He was better known by his given name, spelled Gabrielle. He himself signed Gabriel S. He was a nephew of General YA‘QUB on both sides of his family.
Sidarus started his adult life as intendant on the estates of the Mamluk amir Ibrahim Bey, who ruled with Murad Bey, and before the arrival of Napoleon in Cairo conducted the affairs of Muhammad Bey al-Alfi for two years. After September 1798 he assisted YA‘QUB, who was nominated intendant under General Louis Desaix de Veygoux, during the campaign against the Mamluks in Upper Egypt.
In spite of his being a Copt, a condition that in principle forbade him to carry arms or to ride a horse, he distinguished himself in the battles against the bedouins and the Mamluks in Jirja and especially at Abu Manna‘, where on 17 February 1799 he received a sword wound in his head.
Sidarus held the rank of colonel in the Coptic Legion. After his retirement from the French Army of Egypt, Sidarus, followed by a number of legionnaires, went with General Ya‘qub to France. He became the main officer in the Coptic Legion following the death of General Ya‘qub in 1801.
- Homsy, Gaston. Le Général Jacob et l’expédition de Bonaparte en Egypte, 1798-1801, pp. 64-67. Marseilles, 1921.
- . “Un Egyptien, colonel dans les armées de Napoleon Ier.” Bulletin de l’Institut d’Egypte (1927-1928):83-96.
- “L’Oient des Provençaux dans l’histoire.” In Catalogue des expositions des Archives départementales, de la Chambre de commerce et des Archives de la ville, pp. 96-98. Marseilles, 1982.