Reference > Cambridge History > The Romantic Revival > Historians > George Rawlinson
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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XII. The Romantic Revival.

XIV. Historians.

§ 8. George Rawlinson.


Although Freeman’s History of Sicily throws much light on the history of Carthage, the later centre of Phoenician life, it was no part of his plan to essay a narrative of the whole of her fortunes—a task which, on a scale befitting its importance, still remains unperformed. 28  The history of Phoenicia as a whole, however, was included in the vast field of the labours of George Rawlinson, brother of Sir Henry Rawlinson, whose memoir he wrote, and whose logical discoveries find mention in a later chapter. Canon Rawlinson, who had long taken an active part in Oxford administrative work, was, by his appointment to the Camden professorship of history in the university, enabled to devote himself more exclusively to historical research; but, already in the previous year, The History of Herodotus (1858–60) was completed, in which a new English version was accompanied by a large apparatus of historical and ethnological notes, based, to a great extent, on the cuneiform and hieroglyphic discoveries of Sir Henry Rawlinson and Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson. During his occupation of his chair, George Rawlinson published a succession of histories designed to bring home to the public the general, as well as the particular, importance of recent discoveries and researches in the near east for the history of the ancient world. His deeply-rooted conservatism which displayed itself both in his contributions to biblical and other theological works and in his share in the religious controversies of his day also asserted itself in his historical productions. But it was of service to him, in the gradual execution of a great design, which sought to cover, in turn, the history, geography and antiquities of the seven great oriental monarchies, as well as of Egypt and Phoenicia, by leading him to avoid rashness and crudity of conjecture, and, in the earlier of his volumes in particular, to build up foundations likely to be of use to future historians. 29    21

Note 28. Among later English writers, Reginald Bosworth Smith (better known as the biographer of Lord Lawrence) has made it the subject of a useful monograph (1878), which was able to take advantage of the rather loosely recorded researches of N. Davis. [ back ]
Note 29. Henry Francis Pelham, cannon Rawlinson’s successor as Camden professor, was prevented by temporary loss of eyesight as well as by other causes from completing more than a fragment of the History of the Roman Empire projected by him; and nothing but this, together with a volume of Outlines of Roman History and a number of essays and articles in the same field, remains to attest his unusual powers, though he did much to advance historical research in and beyond his university. [ back ]

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