Paul Lucas (31 August 1664, in Quevilly, near Rouen – 12 May 1737, in
Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_ ...

) was a French merchant, naturalist, physician and antiquarian to King
Louis XIV Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 16381 September 1715), also known as Louis the Great () or the Sun King (), was King of France from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the List of longest-reigning mo ...

Louis XIV


Lucas was the son of Centurion Lucas, a well known book printer and publisher in Rouen, and Judith Mauclerc. In 1688, he served with the
Venetians Venetian often means from or related to: * Venice, a city in Italy * Veneto, a region of Italy * Republic of Venice (697–1797), a historical nation in that area Venetian and the like may also refer to: * Venetian language, a Romance language sp ...
at the Siege of Negroponte. In 1696 he returned to France with a large collection of medals and other antiquities which were purchased for the French Royal Cabinet. This brought him to the attention of the court and he then began a series of three voyages to the East: he travelled extensively in
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

, the
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

, in three major voyages (1699–1703, 1704–1708 and 1714–1717). Lucas is one of the earliest sources of information from
Upper Egypt Upper Egypt ( ar, صعيد مصر ', shortened to , , locally: ; ) is the southern portion of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries lo ...
, visiting among other places Thebes (though he does not identify it) and the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

up to the
cataracts A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens A lens is a transmissive optical Optics is the branch of physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'natur ...
. A panegyrical portrayal of Lucas is also afforded in the Arabic autobiography of
Hanna Diyab Antun Yusuf Hanna Diyab ( ar, اَنْطون يوسُف حَنّا دِياب, Anṭūn Yūsuf Ḥannā Diyāb; born ''circa'' 1688) was a Syrian Maronite The Maronites ( ar, الموارنة, syr, ܡܖ̈ܘܢܝܐ) are an ethnoreligious Christians ...
, a Syrian whom Lucas employed as an interpreter, assistant, and servant from around 1707-10. Diyab viewed Lucas as having miraculous medical powers. Lucas's own writings never mention Diyab, however.John-Paul Ghobrial, review of Hanna Dyâb, ''D’Alep à Paris: Les pérégrinations d’un jeune syrien au temps de Louis XIV'', ed. and trans. by Paule Fahmé-Thiéry, Bernard Heyberger, and Jérôme Lentin (Paris: Sindbad, 2015), ''The English Historical Review'', volume 132, issue 554 (February 2017), 147–49 .


* ''Voyage du Sieur paul Lucas au Levant. On y trouvera entr'autre une description de la haute Egypte, suivant le cours du Nil, depuis le Caire jusques aux Cataractes, avec une Carte exacte de ce fleuve, que personne n'avoit donné.'' Paris, Guillaume Vandive, 1704; 2 vol. * ''Voyage du Sieur paul Lucas, fait par ordre du Roi dans la Grèce, l'Asie Mineure, la Macédoine et l'Afrique.'' Nicolas Simart, Paris, 1712; 2 vol. * ''Voyage du Sieur Paul Lucas, fait en 1714... dans la Turquie, l'Asie, la Syrie, la Palestine, la Haute et la Basse-Égypte, etc...,'' Rouen, R. Machuel le jeune, 1719; 3 vol.


{{DEFAULTSORT:Lucas, Paul 1664 births 1737 deaths French naturalists French travel writers French merchants French male non-fiction writers French expatriates in the Ottoman Empire 18th-century French businesspeople 17th-century French businesspeople