John Pentland Mahaffy
Education and interests
He was born near
Veveyin Switzerlandon 12 July 1839, receiving his early education privately in Switzerland and Germany, and later and more formally at Trinity College, Dublin. As an undergraduate, he became President of the University Philosophical Society. As an academic Mahaffy held a Trinity professorship of ancient history and eventually became Provost. He was a distinguished classicist and Egyptologist as well as a Doctor of Music. He wrote the music for the Grace in chapel. Mahaffy, a man of great versatility, published numerous works across a range of subjects, some of which, especially those dealing with the 'Silver Age' of Greece, became standard authorities. His versatility was not confined to academia: he shot and played cricket for Ireland, and claimed to know the pedigree of every racehorse in Ulster. He was also an expert fly fisherman.
He was regarded as one of
Dublin's great curmudgeons and also one of its greatest wits. When aspiring to be Provost of Trinity College, upon hearing that the incumbent was ill, he is said to have remarked, "Nothing trivial, I hope?" In his academic years, he was acquainted with TCD undergraduate Oscar Wilde, with whom he discussed homosexualityin ancient Greece, and Wilde described him as his "first and greatest teacher". Like his protégés, Wilde and Oliver Gogarty, Mahaffy was a brilliant conversationalist, coming out with such gems as “in Ireland the inevitable never happens and the unexpected constantly occurs.” When asked, by an over-zealous advocate of women’s rights, what the difference was between a man and a woman he replied, “I can’t conceive.” He is also reputed to have said, “ James Joyceis a living argument in favour of my contention that it was a mistake to establish a separate university for the aborigines of this island – for the corner boys who spit into the Liffey.”
Curmudgeon though he could undoubtedly be, Mahaffy was also capable of great and spontaneous kindness, as is evident from the instance of the schoolboy whom Mahaffy came upon near the Hill of Howth, where the boy was reading Greek. Mahaffy asked him about his studies, later lent him books to assist him, and eventually saw to it that the young man was admitted free of charge to read Classics at Trinity, Dublin.
Mahaffy's brilliant, polymathic, eccentric life, suffused with wit, snobbery and real erudition, would be much less well known than it is today, were it not for the tireless endeavours of Dr R. B. McDowell, former Junior Dean of Trinity, Dublin. He has become widely known throughout international Academe for his inexhaustible fund of anecdotes of Mahaffy, and in 1971, jointly with Professor W. B. Stanford of Trinity, he published "Mahaffy : a Biography of an Anglo-Irishman" (Routledge & Kegan Paul).
Among Mahaffy's most notable works are
* "History of Classical Greek Literature" (4th ed., 1903 seq.);
* "Social Life in Greece from Homer to Menander" (4th ed., 1903);
* "The Silver Age of the Greek World" (1906); "The Empire of the Ptolemies" (1896);
* "Greek Life and Thought from Alexander to the Roman Conquest" (2nd ed., 1896);
* "The Greek World under Roman Sway from Polybius to Plutarch" (1890).
His translation of
Kuno Fischer's Commentary on Kant (1866) and his own exhaustive analysis, with elucidations, of Kant's critical philosophy are also highly regarded. He also edited the "Petrie papyri" in the "Cunningham Memoirs" (vols. 1891—1905).
*W. B. Stanford & R. B. McDowell (1971). "Mahaffy: a biography of an Anglo-Irishman". Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 0-7100-6880-8.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Mahaffy, John Pentland — LL.D., D.C.L., etc. (b. 1839) Scholar and writer on philosophy. Twelve Lectures on Primitive Civilisation (1868), Prolegomena to Ancient History (1871), Kant s Critical Philosophy for English Readers (1871), History of Greek Literature… … Short biographical dictionary of English literature
Mahaffy — is a surname, and may refer to John Pentland Mahaffy, Irish academic Leslie Mahaffy, Canadian murder victim See also Mahaffey This page or section lists people with the surname Mahaffy. If an … Wikipedia
Mahaffy — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Anna Luisa Mahaffy (* 1997), österreichische Violinistin John Pentland Mahaffy (1839–1919), irischer Altphilologe Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeich … Deutsch Wikipedia
Mahaffy — Mahaffy, John Pentland, engl. Historiker, geb. 26. Febr. 1839 in Chapponnaire am Genfer See, 1871 Prof. der alten Geschichte in Dublin; schrieb: »Greec social life« (6. Ausg. 1889), »Rambles and studies in Greece« (4. Aufl. 1892), »The Flinders… … Kleines Konversations-Lexikon
Oliver St. John Gogarty — Oliver Gogarty Oliver Gogarty as painted in 1911 by William Orpen Born Oliver Joseph St. John Gogarty 17 August 1878(1878 08 17) Rutland Square, Dublin, Ireland … Wikipedia
Магаффи — (John Pentland Mahaffy, род. 1839) английский ученый, профессор древней истории в Дублине. Сочинения его: Twelve Lectures on Primitive Civilisation (1868), Prolegomena to Ancient History (1879), Greek Social Life from Homer to Menander (5 изд.,… … Энциклопедический словарь Ф.А. Брокгауза и И.А. Ефрона
University Philosophical Society — Founded 1683 Home Page TCDPhil.com Council of the University Philosophical Society, 327th Session President Eoin O Liatháin Secretary … Wikipedia
Oscar Wilde — This article is about the 19th century author. For other uses, see Oscar Wilde (disambiguation). Oscar Wilde Photograph taken in 1882 by Napoleon Sarony Born 16 October 1854(1854 10 16) Dub … Wikipedia
University Philosophical Society (Trinity College, Dublin) — The University Philosophical Society, commonly known as The Phil, is a student paper reading and debating society in Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. The society meets every Thursday during term in the Graduates Memorial Building to discuss a… … Wikipedia
List of educators — This is a list of educators. See also: Education, List of education topics.: External link: [http://tools.wikimedia.de/ daniel/WikiSense/CategoryTree.php? wikilang=en wikifam=.wikipedia.org m=a art=on userlang=en cat=Educators Educators category… … Wikipedia