Item 1968-004/001/(1)/25 - Letter written by John Stuart Blackie to J.G.? Alexander : p. 11

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Letter written by John Stuart Blackie to J.G.? Alexander : p. 11

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1968-004/001/(1)/25

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  • January 22, 1872 (Creation)

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(1809-1895)

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John Stuart Blackie (1809–1895), classical and Scottish Gaelic scholar, was educated at the New Academy and afterwards at the Marischal College, in Aberdeen. After attending classes at Edinburgh University (1825–1826), Blackie spent three years at Aberdeen as a student of theology. In 1829 he went to Germany, and after studying at Göttingen and Berlin, he accompanied Bunsen to Italy and Rome. The years spent abroad extinguished his former wish to enter the Church, and at his father's desire he gave himself up to the study of law. By the time he was admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates (1834) he had acquired a strong love of the classics and a taste for letters in general. In May 1839 he was appointed to the newly instituted chair of Humanity (Latin) in the Marischal College. Difficulties arose in the way of his installation, but he took up his duties as professor in November 1841. Blackie published a translation of Aeschylus in 1850, which led to his appointment in 1852 to the professorship of Greek at Edinburgh University. A journey to Greece in 1853 prompted his essay On the Living Language of the Greeks. Scottish nationality was another source of enthusiasm with him; and in this connection he displayed real sympathy with highland home life and the grievances of the crofters. The foundation of the Celtic chair at Edinburgh University was mainly due to his efforts. In the 1880s and 1890s, he lectured at Oxford on the pronunciation of Greek, and corresponded on the subject with William Hardie. In May 1893, he gave his last lecture at Oxford. He died in Edinburgh in 1895.

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