George Dunbar (classical scholar)

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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.


George Dunbar was born in 1777 at Coldingham in Berwickshire. 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. In 1807, Dunbar succeeded Andrew Dalzel as professor of Greek in the university. Dunbar held his appointment until his death on 6 December 1851.[1]

In the 1830s Professor Dunbar's address is given as Rose Park, Edinburgh.[2]

He died at his home Rose Park in Trinity in north Edinburgh.[3] He is buried with his wife, Barbara Augusta Hamilton, in the western extension of Greyfriars Kirkyard on the western path.


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 Although now superseded, it was the best work of its kind that had appeared in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.[1]



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