Monday 4 December 2023

Old Type of Scholarship

Arthur Tilley (1851-1942), ‘The Development of Classical Learning’, The National Review, 4.20 (Oct. 1884), 163-76 (p. 163):

The old type of “scholarship,” the name by which we have been accustomed to honour “a minute acquaintance with the niceties of the dead languages,” is rapidly passing away from us. No longer is the skilful emendation of a Greek play the royal road to a bishopric; no longer do grave statesmen and men of learning beguile their leisure moments with doing Humpty Dumpty into Latin verse; a classical quotation in the House of Commons is almost an event; a false quantity falls there on unheeding ears. Yet, on the other hand, we have Greek plays, and museums of casts from ancient sculptures, and Hellenic societies, and projects of a Hellenic school at Athens; and Professor Jebb says that “probably the study of classical antiquity in the largest sense has never been more really vigorous than it is at the present day.