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Pococke, Richardlocked

(b Southampton, 1704; d Charleville, nr Tullamore, Ireland, Sept 1765).
  • J. M. Rogers

English traveller, churchman and antiquarian. He was educated at Highclere Rectory and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, where he matriculated on 13 July 1720. His major journey, which resulted in his Description of the East, began in Alexandria in 1737 and took in Egypt (where he was the first modern visitor to describe the Valley of the Kings and copy the Greek and Latin inscriptions on the Colossi of Memnon), Palestine, Syria, Asia Minor, Cyprus, Crete, Greece and Italy, returning to England in 1742. From 1750 he also toured England, Scotland and Ireland. While the text of his Description of the East is largely of antiquarian interest, in the sense that its aim was to confirm the veracity of the Scriptures and of the geographers of antiquity and that it was not otherwise concerned with the chronology of the monuments, the plates are a valuable document not merely for Egyptology and Classical archaeology but also for the architecture of Islam and the crusaders. His drawings of Pharaonic columns, capitals, cornices and entablatures also brought a novel corpus of ornament to contemporary architectural decoration. After his death his collection of Greek, Roman and English coins and medals, ancient jewellery, statues, urns and mummies was dispersed.

Writings

  • A Description of the East … and some other Countries, 2 vols (London, 1743–5)
  • Dissertatio de geographia Aegypti (London, 1743)
  • Inscriptionum antiquarum Graec. et Latin. liber (London, 1752)