Friday, March 19, 2010

Professor Geoffrey Rickman: head of Roman history at the University of St Andrews

Professor Geoffrey Rickman was a man of integrity whose scholarship was never advertised. He was devoted to the study of ancient history and especially Rome: appropriately he was known at St Andrews University, where he taught for more than 35 years, as “the father of ancient history”. He was an inspiring teacher and a charismatic lecturer who was respected and much admired by generations of students. He built up, by his own sheer enthusiasm and commitment, the Department of Ancient History to one of international repute. His qualities of wisdom and incisiveness were widely recognised in the university community where he held various important posts. As Master of the United College in the 1990s, for example, he oversaw the introduction of the modular system. For five years after his retirement Rickman was an inspiring chairman of the council of the British School in Rome. It was an institution to which, like St Andrews, he was devoted.

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