William Roger Paton

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First page from W. R. Patton's book Greek Anthology, 1927

William Roger Paton, usually cited as W. R. Paton (2 September 1857 – 21 April 1921), was an author and translator of ancient Greek texts and poets, mostly known for his translation of the Greek anthology. He was of Scottish origin.[1][2][3]


Born on 2 September 1857, Old Machar (Aberdeen, Scotland),[4] son of John Paton and Eliza Deborah Burnett.[5]

He studied at Oxford.[6] He obtained a PhD.[7]

He was married in 1885 to Irene Olympiti (1869/70-1908 Paris, daughter of Emmanuel Olympiti, mayor of Kalymnos), a woman from the island of Kalymnos who had a plot of land in Myndos (Gümüşlük) but he later moved to Chios and Lesbos so that his sons could attend high school there.[1][8][9][10][11]

He had two sons and two daughters: George Paton (13 August 1886 – ?), unmarried, Thetis Paton (21 November 1887, Woodside – ?) [5], who married Costakis Svinos in Smyrna, John David Paton, (1890 – ?), who married Fenella Cromby from Scotland, and Sevastie or Augusta Paton (1900, Myndos – 1989),[12] who married Baron János Kemény, Hungarian author, theater director and dramatist.

He appears as a resident of Vathy, Samos from 1897 to his death, 1921, from a number of periodicals which show this address and some of his published letters.[13] He was a resident in Samos since he got married again with Clio, a woman from Samos, after his wife Irene Olympitis death.

He died on 21 April 1921 in the town of Vathy, Samos.


  • 1857 birth at Old Machar, Aderbdeen
  • Oxford for studies
  • 1885 (28 y. old) married Irene Olympitis
  • 1886 (29 y. old) birth of his son George
  • 1887 (30 y. old) birth of his daughter Thetis, Woodside, Aberdeen
  • 1890 (33 y. old) birth of his son David
  • 1890 signs letter from Aberdeen
  • 1897 Vathy, Samos
  • 1900 (43 y. old) birth of his daughter Sevastie or Augusta, Myndos
  • Chios/Lesvos for high school for his sons
  • 1921 (64 y. old) died at Vathy Samos


He published the following books:[14]

His works are extensively quoted as the main references both for the Greek Anthology as well as for Polybius.


  1. ^ a b Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Erinnerungen 1848-1914 (Leipzig: K. F. Koehler, 1929), pp. 227–8, as mentioned in Andrew Rickard: W. R. Paton, 24 January 2012
  2. ^ About János Kemény: "János and his scottish-greek wife Augusta Paton"
  3. ^ Mr. Tarbell's Reply to Mr. Paton's Comment, F. B. Tarbell, The American Journal of Archaeology and of the History of the Fine Arts, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Sep., 1890) (pp. 318-320), page 3, he signs "Aberdeen, Scotland"
  4. ^ J. H. Fowler, The Life and Letters of Edward Lee Hicks (London: Christophers, 1922), pp. 91-2: "I also had the privilege of meeting him personally, both at my own house in Scotland, ... and also at his own house", as mentioned in Andrew Rickard: W. R. Paton, 24 January 2012
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ American Journal of Archaeology (Vol. XXVI, 1922, p. 90)
  7. ^ The Classical Review (1905), 19: p. 411: "Five Odes of Pindar. Rendered into English by W. R. Paton, Ph.D. Aberdeen"
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ L'isola di Kalymnos e la pesca delle spugne: saggio, Carlo Flegel, 1895: "William Patton il quale nel 1885 sposò la signorina Irene Olympitis figlia del.."
  10. ^ Archaeology, anthropology, and heritage in the Balkans and ...: Volume 1, David Shankland, 2004: "During a stay on the island of Kalymnos, then part of the Ottoman Empire, he had fallen in love with Irene, the daughter of Emmanuel Olympitis, mayor of the island. They married, and one of their married homes was at Gumusjuk"
  11. ^ Auf einer dieser Unternehmungen lernte Paton auch seine spatere Frau Irene (1869/70 – 1908) kennen, die Tochter des Burgermeisters der Insel Kalymnos, Emanuel Olympitis. 1885 heiratete Paton die »schone Griechin« und blieb, wie Wilamowitz (On one of these companies met his future wife Irene Paton (1869/70-1908), the daughter of Burger Master of the island of Kalymnos)
  12. ^ [3]
  13. ^ Revue des études grecques, 1897, Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review (W. R., Esq., Vathy, Samos, Turkey, via Smyrna) – p. ix; 1899 and 1921 Journal Folklore of the Folklore Society (Paton, WR, Esq., Ph.D., Vathy, Samos, Greece (per Messrs. Burnett & Reid, 12, Golden Square, Aberdeen) and 1897 Notes on the folklore of the Fjort (French Congo) of the Folklore Society (Paton, W. It., Esq., Vathy, Samos, Turkey, via Smyrna.), in a published letter of his from the 1915 Classical Review, 1915 Rev. étud. grecques (Paton (W.-R.), Vathy, île de Samos, via Pirée), as well as in the 1916 Jahrbuch des Kaiserlich Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts and the 1917 Journal of Hellenic studies (Paton, WR, Vathy, Samos) Paton
  14. ^ [4]
  15. ^ a b The English text of Histories of Polybius by W. R. Paton