Zur Kur an den Nil

Zur Kur an den Nil
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Inhaltsangabe zu "Zur Kur an den Nil"

„Zur Kur an den Nil“ is the commented edition of a travelogue from winter 1900/01 kept in the Archive of the German Archaeological Institute Cairo. It is written by the German-Jewish Ophthalmologist and Orientalist Max Meyerhof (1874-1945) who set off to Egypt, in the company of his younger relative Otto Meyerhof (1884-1951), the later Nobel laureate in medicine. It was because of health reasons that both spent five months on the banks of the Nile. Having stayed six weeks in Helwan, in those days a worldwide renowned spa near Cairo, they proceeded further south to Luxor and Aswan. Besides their medical applications they took the time to immerse deeply into the strange, exotic environment of the Orient. Meyerhof gives a vivid and entertaining account of the things they saw and experienced, albeit in the Eurocentric characteristic style of the era, resulting in an ambivalent mixture of fascination and depreciating distance. Compared to quotations from contemporary travel literature, which are ranging in tone from arrogant and dismissive to obvious racist expressions, Meyerhof’s remarks are rather moderate. As a trained Ophthalmologist he for sure is aware of the correlation between the omnipresent filth and the widely spread eye diseases which stamped Egypt for centuries as “Land of the Blind”. It is during this journey that he makes his first contacts with Egyptian doctors; later on he is going to dedicate his life to bring relief and cure for those who suffer from this plague. His travelling acquaintances include prominent people such as Karl Neufeld (1856-1918), who became famous as the prisoner of the Mahdi, or Mohareb Todrous (ca. 1847-1937), German consular agent and antiquity dealer in Luxor. Due to his cousin Wilhelm Spiegelberg (1870-1930) Meyerhof has not only a basic idea about archaeology in Egypt but also knows the great connoisseur of Africa, Georg Schweinfurth (1836-1925), who designed a geological map of the desert around Helwan. They are discussed and highlighted in separate research chapters, as well as longtime residents of Cairo such as the khedivial photographer Paul Dittrich (1868-after 1934) and the German innkeeper August Gorff (1835-ca. 1902). Another chapter reveals the striking history of two travel agencies by the Berlin Stangen-family, which became Thomas Cook’s hardest competitors in opening Egypt for individual and mass tourism. Deliberately written in a popular-scientific style the richly illustrated book aims to enliven documents from former times with “infotainment”, in order to reveal how events and people are linked together – back then and now. Comprehensive references to literature and unpublished archival resources and two indices facilitate further research.


Aktuelle Ausgabe
Ausgabe:Fester Einband
Umfang:280 Seiten
Verlag:Reichert, L

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