George Long (scholar)

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George Long (4 November 1800 – 10 August 1879) was an English classical scholar.[1]

George Long
File:George Long, Professor of Ancient Languages, University of Virginia.jpg
Born 4 November 1800
Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire
Died 10 August 1879(1879-08-10) (aged 78)
Chichester, West Sussex
Academic background
Alma mater St John's College, Cambridge, Trinity College, Cambridge
Doctoral advisor Lord Macaulay
Academic work
Discipline Language, Linguistics, History and Law
Sub discipline Latin, Greek, Civil Law, Jurisprudence, Roman law
Institutions University College London, Middle Temple, Brighton College, University of Virginia


Long was born at Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, the son of James Long, West India merchant.[2] He was educated at Macclesfield Grammar School, St John's College, Cambridge and later Trinity College, Cambridge.[3]

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.[3] 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 professor of Greek at the newly founded University College in London.[4] Long owned a slave named Jacob while he was at the University.[5]

In 1842 he succeeded T. H. 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.[4]

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.[4]

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 Cicero's orations (1851–1862).[4]


Among his other works are:

See HJ Matthews, in Memoriam, reprinted from the Brighton College Magazine, 1879.


During his time in Virginia, Long married Harriet Selden (nee Gray), the widow of Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Selden, a judge of the Supreme Court of Arkansas.[2] When the Longs returned to England in 1828, they took with them their Viriginia-born slave, Jacob Walker. As slavery was no longer legal in England, Jacob is listed as a manservant on the 1841 census. The Longs had four children together, along with two daughters from Harriet's previous marriage. Harriet died from cancer in 1841, and when Jacob Walker died two months later from smallpox, following an inoculation, he was interred in the same grave, which is now a Grade II listed memorial.[2]


  1. "LONG, GEORGE (1800 - 1879)". The Encyclopaedia Britannica; A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information. XVI (L to LORD ADVOCATE) (11th ed.). Cambridge, England and New York: At the University Press. 1911. pp. 973–974. Retrieved 29 October 2019 – via Internet Archive.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "TOMB OF HARRIET LONG AND JACOB WALKER IN THE CHURCHYARD OF THE OLD PARISH CHURCH OF ST MARY, Haringey - 1392351 | Historic England". Retrieved 2020-07-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Long, George (LN818G)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Chisholm 1911.
  5. Gayle M. Schulman (2005). "Slaves at the University of Virginia" (PDF). Latin American Studies. Retrieved 17 October 2020. Soon after he arrived from England George Long acquired a slave, Jacob.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. The Thoughts of The Emperor M. Aurelius Antoninus. Translated by Long, George (2nd ed.). London: George Bell & Sons. 1880. Retrieved 30 October 2019 – via Internet Archive.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. The Discourses of Epictetus and The Encheiridion and Fragments. Translated by Long, George. London: George Bell and Sons. 1877. Retrieved 30 October 2019 – via Internet Archive.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  •  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). [ "Long, George" ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links