F. M. Cornford

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F. M. Cornford

Francis Macdonald Cornford

(1874-02-27)27 February 1874
Eastbourne, England
Died3 January 1943(1943-01-03) (aged 68)
Cambridge, England
(m. 1909)
Academic background
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
Academic work
InstitutionsTrinity College, Cambridge
Notable studentsW. K. C. Guthrie

Francis Macdonald Cornford FBA (27 February 1874 – 3 January 1943) was an English classical scholar and translator known for influential work on ancient philosophy, notably Plato, Parmenides, Thucydides, and ancient Greek religion. Frances Cornford, his wife, was a noted poet. Due to similarity in their given names, he was known in the family as "FMC" and his wife as "FCC".[2]

Early life and family[edit]

Cornford was born in Eastbourne, Sussex, on 27 February 1874.[2] He attended St Paul's School, London.[2]

In 1909 Cornford married the poet Frances Darwin, daughter of Sir Francis Darwin and Ellen Wordsworth Darwin, née Crofts, and a granddaughter of Charles Darwin. They had five children:

Academic career[edit]

Cornford was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was a Fellow from 1899 and held a teaching post from 1902.[5] He became the first Laurence Professor of Ancient Philosophy in 1931 and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1937.[2] He used wit and satire to propagate proposals for reforming the teaching of the classics at Cambridge, in Microcosmographia Academica (1908).[2]

He died on 3 January 1943 in his home, Conduit Head in Cambridge.[2] He was cremated at Cambridge Crematorium on 6 January 1943.[2]


See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b Johnson 2008, p. 2.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Hackforth & Gill 2004.
  3. ^ Pearce, Jeremy (4 December 2007). "Joseph L. Henderson, 104; Expanded Jungian Methods". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  4. ^ Hartog 1998.
  5. ^ "Cornford, Francis Macdonald (CNFT893FM)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  6. ^ Wilby, Peter (4 May 2009). "Pass the Sickbag, Alice". New Statesman. Vol. 138 no. 4947. London. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Slavery Was Theft: We Should Pay". New Statesman. London. 10 September 2001. Retrieved 13 November 2019.


External links[edit]

Academic offices
New office Laurence Professor of Ancient Philosophy
Succeeded by
Reginald Hackforth