Obituary: Dominic Montserrat ; Egyptologist Who Lived on Borrowed Time

By Stevenson, Jane | The Independent (London, England), October 13, 2004 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Obituary: Dominic Montserrat ; Egyptologist Who Lived on Borrowed Time

Stevenson, Jane, The Independent (London, England)

DOMINIC MONTSERRAT was an extraordinarily gifted Egyptologist, who combined his technical work as a scholar with an immense talent for introducing his subject to a wider audience.

He was born in Slough in 1964. The most significant facts about him were apparent from the first: he was born a haemophiliac, he was unusually intelligent, and quite remarkably brave. His parents had the rewarding but unenviable task of raising a child who was not only outstandingly gifted but fiercely independent and of extreme physical vulnerability; and his own achievement was in the context of a constant and heroic struggle against debilitating pain.

Montserrat studied Egyptology at Durham University, and subsequently took an MA and PhD in Classics from University College London, specialising in Egyptian, Coptic, Greek and papyrology, to which he added a variety of modern languages, including Arabic. His first job, from 1992, was as a lecturer in Classics at Warwick University, where he made of his office, a plain box in a bleak modern building, a peculiar Aladdin's cave, littered with antiquities and mysterious Eastern objects, invariably perfumed with exotic cologne and, despite university regulations, tobacco. There he presided, unorthodox and interesting, a fin-de-siecle dandy in beautiful clothes. His first book was Sex and Society in Greco- Roman Egypt (1996), subtle, well-written, wide-ranging and bizarre.

His gift for involving people in the subjects which fascinated him, combined with his increasingly unreliable health, led him to resign from Warwick and move in 1999 to the Open University, where he worked with the research group developing a course on "Art and Society in the Later Roman Empire". This allowed him to continue professionally without having to meet a regular schedule of undergraduate contact-hours.

Like many other haemophiliacs, his health was inadvertently undermined by unscreened blood transfusions, and he contracted Hepatitis B and C. It became clear to him gradually that he was living on borrowed time and, when he felt he could not continue even in the relatively unstructured environment of the Open University, he resigned.

In his brief working life, he was none the less amazingly productive.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Obituary: Dominic Montserrat ; Egyptologist Who Lived on Borrowed Time


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?