He was educated at the University of Aberdeen and Caius College, Cambridge, where he gained his BA as Senior Classic in 1884 and became a fellow of Emmanuel College in 1888. In 1890, a former student of his, Adele Marion, became his wife and lifelong collaborator. Their daughter, Barbara Frances (1897-1988), was the British sociologist and criminologist, Lady Barbara Wootton.
Widely respected even today are his editions and commentaries on Plato's Apology, Crito, Euthyphro, Protagoras, and the Republic.
The Nuptial Number of Plato: its Solution and Significance. 1891.
The Religious Teachers of Greece: Being Gifford Lectures on Natural Religion Delivered at Aberdeen. Edited and published by A.M. Adam in 1908 from lectures delivered in 1904-06. Includes a memoir by A.M. Adam.
The Vitality of Platonism, and Other Essays. Edited and published by A.M. Adam in 1911.