Dalzell, Anthony

, M. A. F. R. S. Edin. Greek professor in the university of Edinburgh, keeper of the university library, &c. was born in 1750, in the parish of Rathos near Edinburgh, and was educated partly at the parish school, but principally at Edinburgh, where his learning and moral conduct induced the late earl of Lautierdale to appoint him tutor to his eldest son, lord Maitland, the present earl. With this young nobleman, he attended a course of the lectures of the celebrated professor Millar at Glasgow, and afterwards accompanied his lordship to Paris. On his return from the continent, Mr. Dalzcll, at the recommendation of the late earl of Landerdale, was appointed to the professorship of Greek at Edinburgh, an office which he rilled for many years with the highest reputation and advantage to the university. He has thfe credit indeed of reviving a taste for that language, which from various causes, had been disused at Edinburgh, or studied very superficially. To enable his pupils to prosecute this accomplishment with the more effect, and imbibe a taste for what was elegant in the language, he compiled | and printed, at a great expence, a series of collections out of the Greek authors, including all those passages which he wished to explain in the course of his teaching. These were printed in several 8vo volumes, under the titles of “Collectanea Minora,” and “Collectanea Majora.” He added to each volume short notes in Latin, explanatory of the difficult places, and the text was printed with great accuracy. The notes, which are in elegant Latin, are admirable for brevity, perspicuity, and judgment. He at the same time composed and read to the students a series of lectures on the language and antiquities, the philosophy and history, the literature, eloquence, poetry, and fine arts of the Greeks. By these means he became eminently successful in disseminating a taste for classical literature in the university, nor was he less happy in the art of engaging the affections and fixing the attention of his pupils on the objects which he considered as the fundamentals of all genuine scholarship.

On the death of the learned professor of Oriental languages, Dr. James Robertson, he was chosen to succeed him as keeper of the university library; and likewise succeeded Dr. John Drysdale in the honourable appointment of principal clerk to the general assembly of the church of Scotland, being the first layman who had ever been elected to that office. Besides an intimacy with his learned contemporaries at home, he corresponded with Heyne and other eminent scholars abroad, and enriched the Edinburgh Royal Society Transactions with a variety of interesting communications in biography, or on subjects of erudition. He also translated and illustrated Chevalier’s description of the plain of Troy; and was editor of the sermons of Dr. Drysdale, whose daughter he married. This learned professor, whose private character was in, every respect amiable, and threw a lustre on his public services, died at Edinburgh, Dec. 3, 1806. 1