Gilbert Murray, an Unfinished Autobiography: With Contributions by His Friends

Gilbert Murray, an Unfinished Autobiography: With Contributions by His Friends

Gilbert Murray, an Unfinished Autobiography: With Contributions by His Friends

Gilbert Murray, an Unfinished Autobiography: With Contributions by His Friends

Excerpt

With the death of Gilbert Murray on May 20, 1957, at the age of ninety-one, England lost its most famous Greek scholar, one whose voice and personality were known to many thousands who had never opened a Greek text. He was born at Sydney, Australia, in 1866 of an Irish family (his father was President of the Legislative Council of New South Wales). Coming to England at the age of eleven, he was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, London, and St John's College, Oxford, where he won virtually every distinction open to an undergraduate. In 1888 he was elected to a Fellowship at New College, Oxford; but so deep was the impression that his personality and promise had made upon his seniors that in the following year, at the ripe age of twenty-three, he was offered, and accepted, the Chair of Greek at Glasgow. The young professor took his duties very seriously, and there followed ten years of work so strenuous that by 1899 his health had begun to suffer. He had already in his Glasgow period produced his History of Ancient Greek Literature (1897), a book which, though in many ways immature, revealed a fresh and adventurous mind at grips with the interpretation of the Greek classics. When illness now forced him to resign his professorship he devoted himself to the major task of editing Euripides, and also to the living theatre in which he was passionately interested. A fruitful decade followed; the three volumes of the Euripides text appeared successively in 1901, 1904 and 1910; the same period saw the publication of The Rise of the Greek Epic . . .

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