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Wallace Martin Lindsay, FBA (12 February 1858 – 21 February 1937) was an important classical scholar of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and a palaeographer. He was Professor of Humanity at St Andrews University.


W. M. Lindsay was born in Pittenweem, Fife, where his father was a Free Church minister. Educated at Edinburgh Academy, Glasgow University (where he was Blackstone Scholar) and Balliol College, Oxford. He was a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford from 1880 to 1899, when he was appointed as Professor of Humanity (as the professorship in Latin was called) at St Andrews University.

Lindsay wrote numerous studies, covering a range of topics in Latin from the works of Plautus and Martial to the development of medieval Latin. Some of his books were translated into French and German.[1] He also wrote articles in the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica and notes on the palaeography of the Cathach of St. Columba.[2]

He pioneered the study of Latin (and Celtic) words. Through prolific scholarship and editing a large number of texts, including Plautus, Terence, Martial in the OCT, and Festus, and Nonius Marcellus in Teubner editions, he influenced almost every area of Latin research.[3]

He received an honorary doctorate (LL.D.) from the University of Glasgow in April 1902.[4]

Lindsay died at St Andrews[5] after a collision with a motor bike.[6]


  1. ^ "Professor Wallace Lindsay – A Great Humanist". The Times. 22 February 1937. p. 19.
  2. ^ Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy / Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann, 1916.
  3. ^ John Henderson, The medieval world of Isidore of Seville, p.212 f.
  4. ^ "University intelligence". The Times (36749). London. 23 April 1902. p. 7.
  5. ^ GROS data 453/00 0022.
  6. ^ Correspondence between Seton Gordon and Francis Cameron Head, Lochaber Archives D36.

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