Brinley Rees

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Brinley Roderick Rees (27 December 1919 – 21 October 2004) was a Welsh academic. He wrote extensively on Classics, particularly the study of the Greek language. His early work was devoted to Greek papyri; a later publication was devoted to the life and letters of Pelagius.

Life and Career[edit]

Rees was educated at Christ College, Brecon, Wales, and Merton College, Oxford, and after wartime service in the Royal Welch Fusiliers took his first academic position at Cardiff High School for Boys, where he was Assistant Master between 1947 and 1948.[1][2]

Rees then started his long career in Higher Education. In 1948, he became Lecturer in Classics at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, then senior lecturer in Greek at the University of Manchester from 1956.[1] From there, he went to the University of Wales College, Cardiff, where he was Professor of Greek from 1958[1] to 1970. During that time, he was also successively Dean of Arts (1963–1965) and Dean of Students (1967–1968). In 1970 he moved to the University of Birmingham, but stayed there only five years,[2] for in 1975, he was appointed as Principal of St David's University College, Lampeter,[2][3] the very first Principal in the college's long history who was not in holy orders. He was a Welsh Supernumerary Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, in 1975–1976 by virtue of his position as Principal of St David's.[2]

Rees' time at Lampeter came to an end when he retired in 1980, but his involvement in Higher Education had not come to an end, for he was Vice-President of the University of Wales College, Cardiff, between 1986 and 1988.[2]

In 1981, the University of Wales awarded him an honorary LLD[2] in recognition of his service to the colleges at Lampeter, Cardiff and Aberystwyth.

In 1951 Rees married Zena Muriel Stella Mayall; they had two sons.[1][2] Rees died on 21 October 2004.[2]


  • The Merton Papyri, Vol. II (with H. I. Bell and J. W. B. Barns), 1959[4]
  • The Use of Greek, 1961[5]
  • Papyri from Hermopolis and other Byzantine Documents, 1964[4]
  • Lampas: a new approach to Greek (with M. E. Jervis), 1970
  • Classics: an outline for intending students, 1970
  • Aristotle’s Theory and Milton’s Practice, 1972[6]
  • Strength in What Remains, 1980
  • Pelagius: a reluctant heretic, 1988[7]
  • The Letters of Pelagius and his Followers, 1991[8]
  • Pelagius: life and letters, 1998


  1. ^ a b c d Levens, R.G.C., ed. (1964). Merton College Register 1900-1964. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 296. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h REES, Prof. Brinley Roderick (online ed.). Bloomsbury Publishing plc; online edn, Oxford University Press. April 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Brinley Roderick Rees (1919–2004), Principal of St David's University College (1975–1980)". Art UK. The Public Catalogue Foundation. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Thomas, J. David. "In memoriam Brinley (Bryn) Roderick REES 1919-2004". Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
  5. ^ Rees, Brinley Roderick. Use of Greek. ISBN 0708301975. 
  6. ^ Rees, Brinley Roderick (1972). Aristotle's theory and Milton's practice - Samson Agonistes: an inaugural lecture delivered in the University of Birmingham on 4th November 1971. University of Birmingham. 
  7. ^ Rees, Brinley Roderick (1988). Pelagius: A Reluctant Heretic. Boydell Press. ISBN 0851155030. 
  8. ^ "The Letters of Pelagius and his Followers (B.R. Rees)". Boydell & Brewer. Retrieved 25 February 2016. 
Academic offices
Preceded by
John Roland Lloyd Thomas
Principal of St David's University College
Succeeded by
Brian Robert Morris