[Sir] William Ridgeway

Life
1853-1926; classical scholar; b. Ballydermot, Co. Offaly; ed. Portarlington, TCD, and Cambridge; Prof. of Greek QUC; Disney Prof. of Arch., Cambridge, 1892. Origins of Metallic Currency and Weight Standards (1892); Origin and Influence of Thoroughbred Horse (1905); Origin of Tragedy (1910); The Oldest Irish Epic (1907). Knighted 1917; d. Cambridge. DIB

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Commentary
W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (IAP 1976; this ed. 1984), Sir William Ridgeway, ed. TCD, Fellow of Caius College Cambridge, professor of Greek in Cork, 1883-92; Disney Professor of Archaeology in Cambridge, 1892; The Origins of Metallic Currency and Weight-Standards (1892) and Origin and Influence of the Thoroughbred Horse (1905). In The Early Age of Greece (1901), Ridgeway introduced the controversial theory that Homeric Achaeans were Celts who invaded Greece about two generations before the Trojan War and learned Greek from the Aegean peoples, and that the civilisation described by Homer belonged to the Early Iron Age. Discouraged by criticism, especially bearing on his insubstantial definition of Celts for purposes of the theory, he did not publish the second volume, which finally appeared in the form of separate essays edited by AJB Wace in 1926.

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