Obituary of M. Christophe Edouard Mauss
|Obituary of M. Christophe Edouard Mauss (1914) , translated by Dr Shai Aran|
|Obituary published in the Journal de Rouen on the 23/12/1914|
We have regretfully learned of the death, at a ripe old age, of one of our local personages, the distinguished architect, M. Christophe-Edouard Mauss, who passed away at Mont Saint Aignan, to where he had long since retired. Born in Rouen on 15 March 1829, M. C. Mauss had studied at the College of Rouen, he was a long standing member of the anciens eleves (old boys) of the Lycee Corneille, of which he was a most generous benefactor.
An architect educated in the tradition of Constant Dufeux, he was noticed at the Salon of 1859 for his interesting project entitled "Rescue Home for the Poor". Since then, M. Christophe-Edouard Mauss was made Head of several archeological expeditions to the Orient, to Salonica, to Smyrna, and to Alexandria. In 1862 he was dispatched by the French government to Jerusalem in order to restore the Church of Saint Anne. In 1873, he discovered the Bethesda Pool in the vicinity of that Church. The Pool is frequently mentioned in the Gospel of St. John, and is more commonly known as the probatic pool. In 1888 he published a lengthy paper on this discovery including maps and drawings. His work, in which the ex-voto is depicted has been placed at the Musee Judaique at the Louvre, and has received wide acclaim.
In his capacity of architect at the ministere des affaires etrangeres (the French Foreign Office) he joined the exploration expedition headed by F. de Saulcy(1807-1870) a French archeologist charged with the exploration of the Dead Sea and the Land of Amon across the River Jordan. One of his most significant works at this time was the reconstruction of the large cupola of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the original reconstruction of which is attributed to Constantine. This work was undertaken in collaboration with M. Eppinger(1822-1872), an architect who was sent by the Government of Russia who stayed in Jerusalem between 1860 and 1864 and whose chief mission was to plan and build the new Russian compound in Jerusalem
That year, our learned fellow citizen was charged by the Duke of Luyens(1802-1867) a French archeologist and an expert on old coins, to draw up the itinerary from Jerusalem to Karak, the capital of the Moabites and thence to Chaubak(A crusader's castle north of Petra). He drew the maps of these two towns which figure in l'etude sur le monument militaire de croise en Syrie de G. Rey (A study of Crusader military monuments in Syria, by G. Rey).
Following this, M. Christopher Mauss - who was made a Knight of the Legion d'Honneur in 1866, and who frequently spent his holidays at Bonsecours, at the home of his sister, Mme Goupil – became especially interested in issues pertaining to ancient metallurgy. He had thus published L'eglise de Saint Jermie d' Abougosch avec une etude sur le stade au temps de Saint Luc et de Flavius Josephe (The Church of Saint Jeremy at Abu Ghosh, with a study of the stadium from the time of Saint Luke and Josephus Flavius) . This was followed in 1895 by work on La Pile de Charlemagne et le Sa du Prophete; (The Pile of Charlemagne and the Sa of the Prophet) ; then, Les poids francais compare au poids anglais ; (French weights compared to English weights) ; and Le Rail Wafy de Musee egyptienne du Louvre (the Rail Wafy at the Egyptian section of the Louvre) . Then, une Etude sur Le Rectangle des Khorsabald et La Theorie generale des measures antiques (A study on the rectangle of Khorsabald and a general theory upon antique measurements), which was followed in 1898 by the very significant Loi de la Numismatique musulman , Classement par series et par order de poids des monnaies arabes du Cabinet des medailles de Paris , (Law of Muslim numismatics; classification by series, weights and Arab coinages at the Cabinet des medailles in Paris).
Among his later years' collection of publications on Egyptian and Syrian archeology we note studies on La Colonne du temple elamite de Chouchinak au Musee Morgan au Louvre (The column of the Elamite temple at Chouchinak at the Musee Morgan at the Louvre, Paris) and le Lion de Khorsabad et le Lion de Suse (The Lion of Khorsabad and the Lion of Susa) and sur les measures ouvriers (Upon Working Measures) . He was also interested in ancient Norman measures. We must also cite his work on Emmaus and on the Tomb of Saint Anne in Jerusalem.
It is thus evident, that our dear departed fellow citizen, M. Christophe Mauss, who has only recently left us, was a indeed a craftsman, and a scholar of great standing. His demise will bring forward sentiments of grief and sorrow that not only testify to the heights of his considerable abilities but also to the nobleness of his character.