Arnold Wycombe Gomme

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Arnold Wycombe Gomme (16 November 1886 – 17 January 1959) was a British classical scholar, lecturer in ancient Greek and Greek history (1911–1945), professor of ancient Greek, University of Glasgow (1946–1957), Fellow of the British Academy (1947).


He was born to Laurence and Alice Gomme, noted folklore experts. He studied at Merchant Taylor's School and Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1911, he became assistant lecturer in Greek and Greek history at the University of Glasgow. In 1946, he became professor of ancient Greek at the same university.

In October 1914, he was commissioned in the Interpreters' Corps. From November 1914 to November 1915, he served with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) 8th Division in France. In June 1915, he was transferred to the Army Service Corps in France. From November 1915 to October 1916, was chief of MI-1c political and economic intelligence in Thessalonika, Greece.[1] He was invalided out of the Army. From March 1917 to January 1918, he worked for the Admiralty.

His major work was his commentary on Thucydides. The first volume was published in 1945. The theft of a suitcase set back the following two volumes to 1956. At his death, the work was unfinished (he had left notes on Book 5). A. Andrewes and K.J. Dover wrote the final volumes.

In 1917, he married Phyllis Emmerson. He was the father of Andor Gomme, Professor of English Literature and Architectural History at Keele University.


  • The Population of Athens in the Fifth and Fourth Centuries B.C. (Glasgow University Publications; XXVIII). Oxford: Blackwell, 1933.
  • Essays in Greek History and Literature. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1937.
  • Greece. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1945.
  • A Historical Commentary on Thucydides.
    • Vol. I: Introduction and Commentary on Book I. Oxford: Clarendon Press; Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1945.
    • Vols. II–III: The Ten Years' War (Books II–III and Books IV–V). Oxford: Clarendon Press; Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1956.
    • Vol. IV: Books V.25–VII (with A. Andrewes and K.J. Dover). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970.
    • Vol. V: Book VIII (with A. Andrewes and K.J. Dover). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981.
  • The Greek Attitude to Poetry and History (Sather Classical Lectures; XXVII). Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1954.
  • More Essays in Greek History and Literature, edited by David A. Campbell. Oxford: Blackwell, 1962.


  1. ^ Smith, Michael MI6: The Real James Bonds, 1909-39, 2010: 178

Further reading[edit]

  • Andrewes, A. "Arnold Wycombe Gomme†", Gnomon 32 (1960), 190–1.
  • Kitto, H.D.F. "Arnold Wycombe Gomme: [Obituary]", The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 79. (1959), pp. 1–2.