Thursday, 31 January 2008

Scotland and the BSA

Apart from Oxford and Cambridge, one of the main groups admitted to the BSA in the period up to 1914 consisted of students from Scotland. A key influence was (Sir) William Ramsay (1851-1939), a graduate of the university of Aberdeen, who continued his studies at St John’s College, Oxford. Ramsay had travelled widely in Asia Minor and was elected a research fellow at Exeter College in 1882. He was subsequently appointed to the Lincoln and Merton Chair of Classical Archaeology at Oxford in 1885, before moving back to Aberdeen in 1886 where he was Regius professor of humanity.

At least three of Ramsay’s students completed their studies at Aberdeen and then continued their studies in England.
  • John G.C. Anderson, son of the Revd Alexander Anderson, from Morayshire. On completing his studies in Aberdeen Anderson went to Christ Church as an exhibitioner (1891-96) aged 20, and then out to the BSA as Craven University Fellow. He was involved with the publication of epigraphic material from the School’s excavation at Kynosarges, and then travelled in Anatolia making a special study of Phrygia. One of Anderson’s achievements was the plotting of a map of Asia Minor.
  • William Moir Calder, the son of a farmer. He went to Robert Gordon College, Aberdeen (1894-99), then Aberdeen University, where he obtained a 1st class in Classics (1903). Like Anderson he was admitted to Christ Church as an Exhibitioner (1903), aged 22. On completing his studies in 1907, he was admitted first to the British School at Rome under Thomas Ashby. Like Anderson he had an expertise in epigraphy.
  • Margaret Masson Hardie, the daughter of a farmer from Chapelton, Drumblade near Elgin. She had been educated at Elgin Academy before moving to Aberdeen University where she obtained a 1st class in classics. She then continued her studies at Newnham College, obtaining a first in classics. She was admitted to the BSA in 1911/12 and assisted with Ramsay's epigraphic survey of the sanctuary of Men Askaenos at the Roman colony of Pisidian Antioch.
This pattern of continuing studies in England is found for students from Glasgow and Dundee. Two of the BSA students had previously studied at Glasgow.
  • James George Frazer had studied at Larchfield Academy, Helensburgh, and then at the University of Glasgow (1869-74). Among the influences there was George Gilbert Ramsay, professor of humanity (1863-1906), who had been educated at Trinity College, Oxford. At the age of 20 Frazer went to Trinity College, Cambridge (1874-78) where he obtained a 1st class in the Classical Tripos (1878). Frazer was admitted to the BSA as a mature student to work on Pausanias.
  • One of G.G. Ramsay’s other pupils was Campbell Cowan Edgar, from Tongland, Kirkubrightshire. He was educated at Ayr Academy, then Glasgow University (1887-91). For part of this time Edgar studied under (Sir) Richard Claverhouse Jebb (1875-89) and Gilbert Murray (1889-99), consecutive holders of the chair of Greek at Glasgow. After Glasgow, Edgar became Bible Clerk at Oriel College (1891), at the age of 20, continuing his study of classics (1891-95). The award of a Craven Fellowship allowed him to study in Athens where he gained archaeological experience at Kynosarges and on Melos. His contemporary at Oxford and in Athens was Anderson. Edgar worked with David Hogarth at Naukratis and shortly afterwards joined the catalogue commission in Cairo.
Other students from Scotland included:
  • Hilda Lorimer, the daughter of Revd Robert Lorimer, was educated at Dundee High School at the University College, Dundee (1889-93) where she obtained a 1st class in classics. At the age of 20 she obtained a scholarship to continue her studies at Girton College, Cambridge, obtaining a first class in 1896. She was admitted to the School as Pfeiffer Travelling Student (1901-02) and was able to work with W. Dörpfeld of the German School.
  • Duncan Mackenzie, who had studied in Edinburgh (1882-90), chose to study on continental Europe. He completed a doctorial thesis on Lycian sculpture from the University of Vienna (1895). His experience of continental archaeological training soon put him to good use in the BSA excavations on Melos, and then with Evans at Knossos.
Few students from Scotland were admitted directly from Scotland. During the session 1894/95 two theology students from Aberdeen went sent out:
  • John Garrow Duncan, from Aberdeen, by the Church of Scotland.
  • A.F. Findlay, by the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
Both worked specifically at modern Greek. Duncan became interest in Egyptian antiquities and worked with Petrie in Egypt and Palestine. Findlay worked specifically on the account of Paul at Athens in the Acts of the Apostles.

In 1895 there was a concerted move to improve the financial situation of the BSA. The appeal to the treasury was supported by academics from several universities in Scotland: St Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. This seems to have encouraged the admission of a number of students direct from Scotland.
  • Archibald Paterson, an Edinburgh graduate, who went to Athens 1895/96, to work on Christian antiquities.
  • W.W. Reid was a student of Ramsay in Aberdeen. Reid was admitted to the BSA on a Blackie Travelling Studentship (1896-97). He travelled through Asia Minor and Cyprus. He was later ordained a minister in the Church of Scotland.
  • William Alexander Curtis, who had studied theology at Edinburgh, went to Athens at the age of 21 (1897-98), and was later to become a colleague of Ramsay at Aberdeen as professor of systematic theology (1903-15) before returning to Edinburgh.
  • Mary Hamilton, a graduate of the University of St Andrews, was admitted to the BSA as a holder of a Research Fellowship under the Carnegie Trust (1905-06, 1906-07). She worked at the interface of theology and the classical world, in particular the custom of incubation.
  • John Arnott Hamilton, an ordained minister and Edinburgh graduate, was admitted to the BSA at a mature student (1913-14). He had a long-standing interest in church architecture, and went out to Athens as a holder of the Blackie Scholarship to study Byzantine architecture completing a work on the church at Kaisariani.
Two former students of architecture at the Glasgow School of Art were admitted:
  • David Theodore Fyfe (1899/1900), who became architect to the excavations at Knossos.
  • Frank G. Orr (1905/06).

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