Bentley’s Force of Mind

“It seems easy for Bentley to say, ‘Astypalaea of Crete does not once occur in ancient authors.’ But a lifetime is behind this negation.”

-Mark Pattison, Isaac Casaubon (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1892) p.34

Today, the intellectually democratizing Thesaurus Linguae Graecae has made this appear even more easy to say. However, if one considers Bentley’s output in textual criticism and classical learning in general compared with what we produce today with the aid of so many lexica, reference books, and digital resources, his sheer intellectual power seems all the more impressive.

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