J. B. Bury

J. B. Bury

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Encyclopedia
John Bagnell Bury known as J. B. Bury, was an Irish
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 historian
Historian
A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

, classical scholar
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

, Byzantinist and philologist.

Biography


Bury was born and raised in Clontibret
Clontibret
Clontibret is a village and a parish in County Monaghan, Ireland.-Village:The village is situated close to the border with Northern Ireland, between the towns of Monaghan and Castleblayney, along the N2 National primary road, which links Dublin and Derry. The village population in 2006 was...

, County Monaghan
County Monaghan
County Monaghan is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Monaghan. Monaghan County Council is the local authority for the county...

, where his father was Rector of the Anglican Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

. He was educated first by his parents and then at Foyle College in Derry
Derry
Derry or Londonderry is the second-biggest city in Northern Ireland and the fourth-biggest city on the island of Ireland. The name Derry is an anglicisation of the Irish name Doire or Doire Cholmcille meaning "oak-wood of Colmcille"...

 and Trinity College
Trinity College, Dublin
Trinity College, Dublin , formally known as the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, was founded in 1592 by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I as the "mother of a university", Extracts from Letters Patent of Elizabeth I, 1592: "...we...found and...

 in Dublin, where he graduated in 1882 and was made a fellow in 1885, at the age of 24. In 1893 he gained a chair
Chair
A chair is a stable, raised surface used to sit on, commonly for use by one person. Chairs are most often supported by four legs and have a back; however, a chair can have three legs or could have a different shape depending on the criteria of the chair specifications. A chair without a back or...

 in Modern History at Trinity College, which he held for nine years. In 1898 he was appointed Regius Professor of Greek, also at Trinity, a post he held simultaneously with his history professorship. In 1902 he became Regius Professor of Modern History at Cambridge University
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

.

At Cambridge, Bury became mentor to the medievalist Sir Steven Runciman
Steven Runciman
The Hon. Sir James Cochran Stevenson Runciman CH — known as Steven Runciman — was a British historian known for his work on the Middle Ages...

, who later commented that he had been Bury's "first, and only, student." At first the reclusive Bury tried to brush him off; then, when Runciman mentioned that he could read Russian, Bury gave him a stack of Bulgarian articles to edit, and so their relationship began. Bury was the author of the first truly authoritative biography of Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick was a Romano-Briton and Christian missionary, who is the most generally recognized patron saint of Ireland or the Apostle of Ireland, although Brigid of Kildare and Colmcille are also formally patron saints....

 (1905).

Bury remained at Cambridge until his death at the age of 65 in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. He is buried in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome
Protestant Cemetery, Rome
The Protestant Cemetery , now officially called the Cimitero acattolico and often referred to as the Cimitero degli Inglesi is a cemetery in Rome, located near Porta San Paolo alongside the Pyramid of Cestius, a small-scale Egyptian-style pyramid built in 30 BC as a tomb and later incorporated...

.

Writings


Bury's writings, on subjects ranging from ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 to the 19th-century papacy
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

, are at once scholarly and accessible to the layman. His two works on the philosophy of history
Philosophy of history
The term philosophy of history refers to the theoretical aspect of history, in two senses. It is customary to distinguish critical philosophy of history from speculative philosophy of history...

 elucidated the Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 ideals of progress and rationality which undergirded his more specific histories. He also led a revival of Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 history, which English-speaking historians, following Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon
Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

, had largely neglected. He contributed to, and was himself the subject of an article in, the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica. With Frank Adcock
Frank Adcock
Frank Ezra Adcock was a British classical historian of Greece and Rome, and worked as a cryptographer in both World Wars.He was born in Desford, Leicestershire, and died at Cambridge. He was educated at King’s College, Cambridge. He became a fellow and lecturer there in 1911, and held the Chair of...

 and S. A. Cook he edited the Cambridge Ancient History
Cambridge Ancient History
The Cambridge Ancient History is a comprehensive ancient history in fourteen volumes, spanning Prehistory to Late Antiquity, published by Cambridge University Press. The first series, of twelve volumes, was planned by J. B. Bury and published between 1924 and 1939. A second series, revising and...

, launched in 1919.

As editor

  • Edward Gibbon
    Edward Gibbon
    Edward Gibbon was an English historian and Member of Parliament...

    , The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is a non-fiction history book written by English historian Edward Gibbon and published in six volumes. Volume I was published in 1776, and went through six printings. Volumes II and III were published in 1781; volumes IV, V, VI in 1788–89...

    (1896-1900) — at Online Library of Liberty
  • Edward Augustus Freeman
    Edward Augustus Freeman
    Edward Augustus Freeman was an English historian. His reputation as a historian rests largely on his History of the Norman Conquest , his longest completed book...

    , Freeman's Historical Geography of Europe (third edition, 1903)
  • Edward Augustus Freeman, The Atlas To Freeman's Historical Geography (third edition, 1903)

External links



  • Works by J. B. Bury at the Internet Archive
    Internet Archive
    The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...

  • Google Books has many scanned books by J. B. Bury available.