William Mitchell Ramsay

Regius Professor of Humanity, University of Aberdeen

Asianic Elements in Greek Civilisation

Ramsay’s series of twenty-one lectures compiles significant scholarly research and personal experience of Asia Minor, focusing on cultural and historical aspects of the region referred to as Anatolia (present day Turkey), as well as the islands of Crete and Cyprus. A rich collection of his life’s work and travel, the lectures are wide-ranging and, at times, disjointed. One commentator said that those ‘who would understand Greek literature and civilisation must again and again seek clues in Anatolia’. 


William Mitchell Ramsay was born on 15 March 1851 in Glasgow. A classical scholar and archaeologist, he was recognised as an expert on Asia Minor. Educated at St John’s College, Oxford, he received a studentship for research in Greek lands in 1880. Further funds were provided by his research fellowship at Exeter College, Oxford in 1882. From 1885 to 1886, he was the Lincoln and Merton Professor of Classical Archaeology and Art at Oxford. He retired as Regius Professor of Humanity at the University of Aberdeen in 1911. 

Knighted in 1906, he received honorary degrees from six British universities and was an original Fellow of the British Academy. His notable works include The Historical Geography of Asia Minor (1890), The Church in the Roman Empire (1893), Impressions of Turkey (1897), St Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen (1895), The Education of Christ (1902), The Letters of the Seven Churches of Asia (1904), The Cities of St Paul (1907), Thousand and One Churches (with Gertrude L. Bell, 1909), and The Bearing of Recent Discovery (1915). 

Published/Archival Resources