High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! Claudius James Rich (March 28, 1787 - October 5, 1821), British business agent, traveller and antiquarian scholar, was born near Dijon. His youth was spent at Bristol. He early developed a gift for languages, becoming familiar not only with Latin and Greek but also with Hebrew, Syrian, Persian, Turkish and other Eastern tongues. In 1804 Rich went to Constantinople, where, and at Smyrna, he stayed some time, perfecting himself in Turkish. Proceeding to Alexandria as assistant to the British consul-general there, he devoted himself to Arabic and its various dialects, and made himself master of Eastern manners and usages. On leaving Egypt he travelled by land to the Persian Gulf, disguised as a Mamluk, visiting Damascus, and entering the great mosque undetected. At Bombay, which he reached in September 1807, he was the guest of Sir James Mackintosh, whose eldest daughter Mary he married on 22 January 1808, proceeding soon after to Baghdad as resident. There he began his investigations into the geography, history and antiquities of the district.