Roget's Int'l Thesaurus
Fowler's King's English
The King James Bible
Brewer's Phrase & Fable
Frazer's Golden Bough
Shelf of Fiction
The Romantic Revival
Scholars, Antiquaries and Bibliographers
> Latin Scholars
INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS
The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes
Volume XII. The Romantic Revival.
Scholars, Antiquaries and Bibliographers
§ 2. Latin Scholars.
Among Latin scholars, mention may be made of Thomas Hewitt Key, of St. Johns and Trinity, Cambridge, professor of Latin at University college, London, from 1828 to 1842, and of comparative grammar from 1842 to 1875. His
was completed in 1846, while his
was posthumously published from his unfinished manuscript in 1888. As professor of Latin, he was succeeded by George Long, who edited Ciceros
in 18518, and produced translations of thirteen of Plutarchs
and of the
of Marcus Aurelius, and the
of Epictetus. His latest work was his
History of the Decline of the Roman Republic.
Meanwhile, he had contributed numerous articles on Roman law and other subjects to the great series of dictionaries planned by William Smith, who was knighted in 1892, and who deserves to be remembered as a great organiser of learned literary labour. The dictionaries of Greek and Roman antiquities (1842, etc.), biography and mythology (1843, etc.) and geography (1857) were followed by dictionaries of the Bible and of Christian antiquities and Christian biography. The Latin and English dictionary of 1855, founded on Forcellini and Freund, has its counterpart in the English and Latin dictionary of 1870, compiled with the aid of Theophilus D. Hall and other scholars.
Among the Latinists of England, the foremost place is due to Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro, of Shrewsbury and Trinity, whose masterly edition of Lucretius, with critical notes and a complete commentary, and a vigorous rendering in English prose, was first published in 1864. Five years later he contributed a revised text, and a critical introduction, to the edition of Horace, with illustrations from ancient gems selected by the learned archaeologist, Charles William King. His other works include an edition of the
of an unknown poet, and
Criticisms and Elucidations of Catullus.
Translations into Latin and Greek Verse
are justly held in high esteem. A masculine vigour is the main characteristic of all his workof his Latin verse compositions, not less than of his
Criticisms of Catullus,
and his translation of Lucretius.
The professorship of Latin vacated by Munros resignation in 1872 was filled for the next twenty-eight years by John Eyton Bickersteth Mayor, of Shrewsbury and St. Johns, university librarian from 1864 to 1867. His
was first published in 1853. Not a few of the comprehensive notes in this work (especially in its later editions) are recognised as signally complete summaries of the literature of the subject concerned. The stamp of his profound learning is also impressed upon all his other works. Among those directly connected with classical scholarship may be mentioned his
First Greek Reader,
and his editions of Ciceros
and of the third book of Plinys
In 18639 he contributed to the
series the two volumes of his learned edition of Richard of Cirencester. Nearly one hundred and fifty pages of the preface to the second volume are devoted to the examination of a work ascribed to Richard under the title
De Situ Britanniae,
proving it to be the work of a forger alike contemptible as penman, Latinist, historian, geographer, critic; it was never mentioned until 1747, and its author was Charles Bertram, of Copenhagen. Mayors activity, as editor and biographer, continued to the last, and extended into many paths of historical and antiquarian research;
while whatever he published was annotated with a minute and exhaustive erudition which is generally reserved for the leading representatives of classical literature.
Five years younger than Mayor was the scholar, educational reformer and legal writer, Henry John Roby, senior classic of 1853, fellow and ultimately honorary fellow of St. Johns, where he began his career as a college lecturer and a private tutor for the seven years between 1854 and 1861, making his first public appearance in 1858 as the author of a pamphlet on college reform. His brief experience as a master at Dulwich convinced him of the need for improvements in the Latin grammar then in vogue, and led to his producing in 1862 his
Elementary Latin Grammar,
which profoundly modified Kennedys revised version of the authorised text-book. This was followed, ten years later, by the first of the five editions of his
Latin Grammar from Plautus to Suetonius,
in which the principles of phonetics and physiology were for the first time applied to the life and growth of the Latin language. Meanwhile, at the end of 1864, he had been appointed secretary to the Endowed Schools commission, and wrote two of the chief parts of its report. His experience in 18668 as professor of jurisprudence at University college, London, ultimately bore fruit in 1884 in the two volumes of his
Introduction to Justinians Digest,
and, again, in 1902, in the two volumes entitled
Roman Private Law in the Times of Cicero and the Antonines,
and in his
Essays on the Law of Ciceros Private Orations.
He was member for the Eccles division of Lancashire from 1890 to 1895, when he left Manchester and settled at Grasmere for the last twenty years of his life. A standard edition of Cicero,
was prepared for the Oxford press by Augustus Samuel Wilkins, of St. Johns college, Cambridge, for many years professor of Latin and comparative philology in Manchester. He also edited Ciceros
Speeches against Catiline,
besides taking part in the translation of George Curtiuss
Principles of Greek Etymology,
and of his work entitled
The Greek Verb.
The first professor of Latin at Oxford was John Conington, who was elected in 1854 and held the professorship for the last fifteen of the forty-four years of his life. He is widely known as the editor and translator of Virgil and Persius. His translation of Horace into English verse was regarded by Munro as on the whole perhaps the best and most successful translation of a Classic that exists in the English language. Edwin Palmer filled the Latin chair from 1870 to 1878. Palmers successor, Henry Nettleship, planned a great Latin dictionary, and published a tenth part of the proposed work under the title
Contributions to Latin Lexicography.
He was an able critic of the ancient Latin poets and grammarians, and many of his best papers have been collected in the two volumes of his
In 1893 he was succeeded by Robinson Ellis, best known as the learned editor of Catullus. His metrical version of that author has many touches of true poetry. He was also known as the editor of Velleius Paterculus, Avianus and Orientius, of the
and of the
An unswerving and unselfish love of Latin learning, for its own sake, was the leading characteristic of his work from first to last.
Meanwhile, in Scotland, the professorship of humanity in Edinburgh was held by Coningtons contemporary, a fellow of Oriel, William Young Sellar. Immediately before his appointment in 1863, he produced, in his
Roman Poets of the Republic,
a masterpiece of literary criticism, which was followed in due time by similar works on Virgil, and on Horace and the elegiac poets.
Among Latin scholars in Ireland, mention should be made of Henry Ellis Allen, who, between 1836 and 1856, produced able critical editions of Ciceros philosophical works; and of James Henry, whose
of 1873 to 1889, includes many important contributions to the interpretation of the poets text. In the next generation, textual criticism was the forte of Arthur Palmer, professor of Latin at Trinity college, Dublin, who was specially interested in the criticism of the elegiac poets and of Plautus. His contemporary, Robert Yelverton Tyrrell, who may fitly be described as
doctus sermones utriusque linguae,
of Euripides during his tenure of the professorship of Latin, and the
of Plautus on his promotion to the professorship of Greek. In 1879, he undertook an extensive commentary on the correspondence of Cicero, which, with the learned aid of Louis Claude Purser, he brought to a successful conclusion in 1900. He also published a critical text of Sophocles. His devotion to ancient and modern drama was combined with a keen wit and a felicitous style; and his appreciation of great writers was enhanced by his own delight in literary form.
. See bibliography.
INDEX OF ALL CHAPTERS