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JAMES SCHOLEFIELD (1789-1853)

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 356 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JAMES SCHOLEFIELD (1789-1853), English classical scholar, was born at Henley-on-Thames on the 15th of November 1789. He was educated at Christ's Hospital and Trinity College, Cambridge, and was in 1825 appointed professor of Greek in the university and canon of Ely (1849). He was for some time curate to Charles Simeon, the evangelical churchman, and his low church views involved him in disputes with his own parishioners at St Michael's, Cambridge, of which he was perpetual curate from 1823 till his death at Hastings on the 4th of April 18J3. Scholefield was an excellent teacher. His most useful work was his edition of the Adversaria of P. P. Dobree (q.v.), his predecessor in the chair of Greek. He also published editions of Aeschylus (1828), in which he dealt very conservatively with the text, and of Porson's four plays of Euripides. His Hints for an improved Translation of the New Testament met with considerable success. He was one of the examiners in the first Classical Tripos (1824). The Scholefield Theological Prize at Cambridge was established in commemoration of him in 1856. See Memoirs of James Scholefield (1855), by his wife, Harriet Scholefield; Gentleman's Magazine (June 1853, p. 644). SCHOLIUM' (oxbXeov), the name given to grammatical, critical and explanatory notes, extracted from existing commentaries and inserted on the margin of the MS. of an ancient author. These notes were altered by successive copyists and owners of the MS. and in some cases increased to such an extent that there was no longer room for them in the margin, and it became necessary to make them into a separate work. At first they were taken from one commentary only, subsequently from several. This is indicated by the repetition of the lemma (" catchword "), or by the use of such phrases as " or thus," " or otherwise," " according to some," to introduce different explanations. The name of " the first scholiast " has been given to Didymus of Alexandria (q.v.), and the practice of compiling scholia continued till the 15th or 16th century A.D. The word oxoXtov itself is first met with in Cicero (Ad Att. xvi. 7). The Greek scholia we possess are for the most part anonymous, the commentaries of Eustathius on Homer and Tzetzes on Lycophron being prominent exceptions. Although frequently trifling, they contain much information not found elsewhere, and are of considerable value for the correction and interpretation of the text. The most important are those on Homer (especially the Venetian scholia on the Iliad, discovered by Villoison in 1781 in the library of St Mark), Hesiod, Pindar, Sophocles, Aristophanes and Apollonius Rhodius; and, in Latin, those of Servius on Virgil, of Acro and Porphyrio on Horace, and of Donatus on Terence. See E. F. Grafenhan, Geschichte der classischen Philologie, iii. (1843–1850) ; W. H. Suringar, Historia critica scholiastarum Latinorum (1835).
End of Article: JAMES SCHOLEFIELD (1789-1853)
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