Victor Guérin

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Portrait of Victor Guérin
The Tomb of Jonah in Mashhad, reprinted in La Terre Sainte from Picturesque Palestine

Victor Guérin (15 September 1821 – 21 September 1891) was a French intellectual, explorer and amateur archaeologist. He published books describing the geography, archeology and history of the areas he explored, which included Greece, Asia Minor, North Africa, Syria and Palestine.


From 1840 Guerin was a professor of rhetoric and member of faculty in various colleges and high schools in France and in Algeria. In 1852, he became a member of the French School of Athens. With the financial help of Honoré Théodoric d'Albert de Luynes he was able to explore Greece and its islands, Asia Minor, Egypt, Nubia, Tunisia, and the Levant.

He spent some time as a professor of foreign literature in Lyon and Grenoble, and in 1878 he joined the faculty of the Institut Catholique de Paris.

He died on 21 September 1891 in Paris.


Guérin visited the Holy Land eight times in 1852, 1854, 1863, 1870, 1875, 1882, 1884, and 1888.[1] He won a French Academy of Sciences prize for his 7-volume Geographical, Historical, and Archaeological Description of Palestine. Much of Guérin's seminal work is spent in describing the ruins (khirbas) in those places he visited.


In his books Guerin writes about the identification and history of archaeological sites, often referring to passages from the Hebrew Bible, Greek mythology, and contemporary explorers and scholars such as Robinson and Titus Tobler. He also quotes from other Jewish sources such as the Mishna and Talmud, as well as Jewish travelers such as Benjamin of Tudela and Isaac Chelo.

His published works include:


  1. ^ Shavit, Jacob; Shavit, Yaacov; Eran, Mordechai (2007). The Hebrew Bible reborn: from Holy Scripture to the Book of Books. ISBN 9783110191417. Retrieved 2011-03-30.

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