George Dunbar (classical scholar)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Bust of Prof George Dunbar by Peter Slater 1851, Old College, University of Edinburgh
Prof George Dunbar's grave, Greyfriars Kirkyard

Prof George Dunbar FRSE (1777–1851) was a Scottish classical scholar and lexicographer (writing a classical Greek dictionary in use for many years).


George Dunbar was born in 1777 at Coldingham in Berwickshire.[1] In early life he followed the humble profession of gardening, but, having been permanently injured by an accident, devoted himself to the study of the classics.

When about thirty years of age, he settled in Edinburgh, where he obtained a tutorship in the family of Lord Provost Sir William Fettes from 1800 to 1805. In 1806 he was elected a Fellow opf the Royal Society of Edinburgh.[2]

In 1807, Dunbar succeeded Andrew Dalzell as professor of Greek in the university, having acted as his assistant for many years. Dunbar held his appointment until his death on 6 December 1851.[3]

In the 1830s Professor Dunbar's address is given as Rose Park, Edinburgh.[4]

He died at his home Rose Park in Trinity in north Edinburgh[5] on 6 December 1851. He is buried with his wife, Barbara Augusta Hamilton, in the western extension of Greyfriars Kirkyard on the western path. Prof Alexander Christison is buried in the same plot.


Although a man of great energy and industry, Dunbar did not produce anything of permanent value. He deserves mention, however, for his Greek-English and English-Greek lexicon (1840), on the compilation of which he spent eight years. Although now superseded, it was the best work of its kind that had appeared in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.[3]



External links[edit]