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He was Craven university scholar in 1821 (bracketed with Lord Macaulay and Henry Maiden), wrangler and senior chancellor's medallist in 1822 and became a fellow of Trinity in 1823. In 1824 he was elected professor of ancient languages in the new university of Virginia at Charlottesville, but after four years returned to England as the first Greek professor at the newly founded university of London.
In 1842 he succeeded TH Key as professor of Latin at University College; in 1846-1849 he was reader in jurisprudence and civil law in the Middle Temple, and finally (1849-1871) classical lecturer at Brighton College. Subsequently he lived in retirement at Portfield, Chichester, in receipt (from 1873) of a Civil List pension of £100 a year obtained for him by Gladstone.
He was one of the founders (1830), and for twenty years an officer, of the Royal Geographical Society; an active member of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, for which he edited the quarterly Journal of Education (1831-1835) as well as many of its text-books; the editor (at first with Charles Knight, afterwards alone) of the Penny Cyclopaedia and of Knight's Political Dictionary; and a member of the Society for Central Education instituted in London in 1837.
He contributed the Roman law articles to Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, and wrote also for the companion dictionaries of Biography and Geography. He is remembered, however, mainly as the editor of the Bibliotheca Classica series--the first serious attempt to produce scholarly editions of classical texts with English commentaries--to which he contributed the edition of Ciceros Orations (1851-1862).
Among his other works are:
- Summary of Herodotus (1829)
- edition of Herodotus (1830-1833)
- edition Xenophon's Anabasis (1831)
- revised editions of JA Macleane's Juvenal and Persius (1867) and Horace (1869)
- the Civil Wars of Rome
- a translation with notes of thirteen of Plutarch's Lives (1844-1848)
- translation of the Thoughts of Marcus Aurelius (1862)
- translation of the Discourses of Epictetus (1877)
- Decline of the Roman Republic (1864-1874), 5 vols
See HJ Matthews, in Memoriam, reprinted from the Brighton College Magazine, 1879.
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