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A Papyrological Pioneer: Investigations into the Life and Career of Josiah Gilbart Smyly: CTP Distinguished Lecture

Lecture | April 3 | 5:30 p.m. | 101 Doe Library

Brian McGing, Regius Professor of Greek, Trinity College Dublin

Center for the Tebtunis Papyri

J. Gilbart Smyly (1867-1948), friend and collaborator of Tebtunis excavators Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt, was one of the pioneers of papyrology and responsible for deciphering and interpreting numerous papyri from the Berkeley collection and elsewhere. But he was a reclusive figure, little appreciated at his own institution, Trinity College Dublin, where he worked in the shadow of the flamboyant J.P. Mahaffy (who was an expert at hogging the limelight). Letters written to Smyly by Classical scholars from all over the world indicate, however, the high regard in which he was held. This lecture will discuss Smyly's background, life and career at Trinity College, and assess his academic achievement.