Skip to main content
Select Source:

Porson, Richard

Porson, Richard (1759–1808). Scholar. Of comparatively humble family in Norfolk, Porson's youthful promise was so obvious that means were found to send him to Eton. Further contributions sent him to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was elected to a fellowship. In July 1792, being unwilling to take holy orders, he lost the fellowship, but five months later was elected to the regius chair of Greek. He did not lecture, rarely visited the university, but studied in London, producing a celebrated edition of Euripides. The London Institution elected him librarian, at a good salary, but his attendance was hardly adequate. His health deteriorated quickly, partly as a result of drink. A reclusive scholar, unpredictable, eccentric, and untidy, his life was textual commentary. In his last illness, he finished up, speechless, in St Martin's workhouse, which advertised to see if anyone could identify ‘a tall man, apparently about 45 years of age, … and having in his pocket a memorandum book, the leaves of which were filled with Greek lines, written in pencil’.

J. A. Cannon

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Porson, Richard." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 May. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Porson, Richard." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 25, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/porson-richard

"Porson, Richard." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved May 25, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/porson-richard

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Porson, Richard

Richard Porson, 1759–1808, English classical scholar, b. Norfolk. A poor boy, he showed such astonishing powers of memory that patrons sent him through Eton and Cambridge. He was appointed regius professor of Greek at Cambridge in 1792, and lived in London, where he edited several plays of Euripides. A scrupulous scholar, Porson was a textual critic of the highest order and changed existing ideas of Greek meter. His treatises and criticism were edited by Thomas Kidd (1815) and his correspondence by H. R. Luard (1851).

See biography by M. L. Clarke (1937).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Porson, Richard." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 May. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Porson, Richard." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 25, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/porson-richard

"Porson, Richard." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved May 25, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/porson-richard

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.