Thomas Gaisford

Thomas Gaisford

Thomas Gaisford (December 22, 1779 - June 2, 1855) was an English classical scholar.

He was born at Iford Manor, Wiltshire, and entered the University of Oxford in 1797, becoming successively student and tutor of Christ Church. In 1811 he was appointed Regius Professor of Greek in the university. Taking orders, he held (1815-1847) the college living of Westwell, in Oxfordshire, and other ecclesiastical preferments simultaneously with his professorship. From 1831 until his death, he was dean of Christ Church.

As curator of the Bodleian and principal delegate of the Oxford University Press, Gaisford was instrumental in securing the co-operation of distinguished European scholars as collators, notably Bekker and Dindorf. Among his numerous contributions to Greek literature may be mentioned, Hephaestion's "Encheiridion" (1810); "Poëtae Graeci minores" (1814-1820); Stobaeus' "Florilegium" (1822); Herodotus, with variorum notes (1824); Suidas' "Lexicon" (1834); Etymologicon magnum (I848). Eusebius's "Praeparatio" (1843) and "Demonstratio evangelica" (1852). In 1856 the Gaisford prizes, for Greek composition, were founded at Oxford to perpetuate his memory.


The Gaisford Prize was founded in Gaisford's honour, shortly after his death.


* "Nor can I do better, in conclusion, than to urge upon you the study of the ancient tongues, which not only refines the intellect and elevates above the common herd, but also leads not infrequently to positions of considerable emolument." — Thomas Gaisford, Christmas sermon at Christ Church, Oxford, quoted by Hugh Lloyd-Jones in 'Blood for the Ghosts' (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983).



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