Lindsay, W. M. (Wallace Martin), 1858-1937

Alternative names
Birth 1858-02-12
Death 1937-02-21

Biographical notes:

Epithet: Professor of Humanity at St Andrews University

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000443.0x0000e3

Wallace Martin Lindsay (1858-1937), classical scholar, was born at Pittenweem, Fife, on 12 February 1858. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy and Glasgow University (B.A., 1877), before entering Balliol College, Oxford, in 1877 (B.A., 1881; M.A., 1885). He became a fellow of Jesus College, Oxford, in 1882, and tutor, 1884-1889. He was professor of humanity at St Andrews University, 1899-1937. Lindsay wrote on Latin philology and palaeography. He died at St Andrews on 21 February 1937.

From the guide to the Wallace Martin Lindsay: Latin Abbreviations in Early Miniscule, 1910, (Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives)

Scottish Classical scholar.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : St. Andrews, to Professor Knight, 1904 Jan. 6. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270591255

From the description of Autograph postal card : [Post mark, St. Andrews], [1903 Apr. 23]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270591947

Wallace Martin Lindsay (1858-1937) was Professor of Humanity at St Andrews University, 1899 to 1937. He was a scholar of international repute, primarily in the classics and palaeography.

He was born in Pittenweem, Fife where his father was minister of the Free Church and was educated at Edinburgh Academy, Glasgow University, Balliol and the University of Leipzig. He came to the chair at St Andrews in 1899 after a year teaching in Harvard and nineteen years as a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford. He received honorary degrees from Glasgow, Heidelberg, Dublin and Groning and was made FBA.

He was observant, methodical, patient, accurate and vastly industrious, working in Latin studies and as an authority in Palaeography. His monumental Latin Language (1894) was written before his arrival in St Andrews. His other publications include: Short Historical Latin Grammar (1895), Introduction to Latin Textual Emendation (1897), Contractions in Early Latin Minuscule Manuscripts (1908), Early Irish Minuscule Script (1910), Early Welsh Script (1912). He wrote the volumes of the Oxford Classical Texts series on Martial, Plautus, Isidore and Terence and those on Nonius Marcellus and Festus in the Teubner series. He wrote on Early Latin Verse and latterly focussed on Medieval Latin Glossaries. He corresponded with a wide circle of scholars world-wide on points of learning. His brother was Principal of the Free Church College in Glasgow. He lived in St Andrews with his sister. He was killed in a road traffic accident in St Andrews in 1937.

Source: 'Obituary' in Alumnus Chronicle, no. 21, pp. 17-19, and Who was Who, 1929-40 (London, 1941), p. 812.

From the guide to the Papers of Wallace Martin Lindsay, 1885-1937, (University of St Andrews)


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  • Linguistics
  • Handwriting
  • Abbreviations
  • Translations
  • Literary analysis
  • Latin,
  • Humanities education
  • Lectures (teaching method)
  • Palaeography


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  • Cambridge University (as recorded)