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John Stuart BlackieScottish Scholar and Patriot$
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Stuart Wallace

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748611850

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748611850.001.0001

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The Blackie Case

The Blackie Case

Chapter:
(p.99) 4 The Blackie Case
Source:
John Stuart Blackie
Author(s):

Wallace Stuart

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748611850.003.0004

This chapter is about John Stuart Blackie's reputation as a Latinist and his appointment to the chair of Humanity. In purely scholarly terms James Melvin was the obvious choice for any new chair of Humanity. He had a wide knowledge of classical and medieval Latin literature, in which subject he was an avid book-collector, particularly of editions of Horace. Blackie later made a disparaging comment that Melvin had narrowed his views down to version-making, and as a version-maker he lived and died. Melvin was a more minute and accurate grammarian, but Blackie felt himself to be superior in respect of general scholarship, literary accomplishment, and knowledge of the world, adding that good schoolmasters did not necessarily make good professors. The letter announcing that Blackie had been nominated, presented, and appointed to the chair of Humanity was published on 1 May 1839. Only after his death in 1853 was Melvin properly seen as the most accomplished Latinist of his day, the last in a line of Scottish scholars.

Keywords:   John Stuart Blackie, Latinist, chair of Humanity, James Melvin, Melvin, Scottish scholars

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