Gilbert Murray, OM. 1866-1957nby Sir Duncan WilsonnOxford: Clarendon Press;n488 pp., $49.95nJ.G. Frazer: His Life and Worknby Robert AckermannCambridge: Cambridge UniversitynPress; 380 pp., $39.50nWilliam Butler Yeats’s picture ofnthe scholar is not a pretty onen(“All cough in ink. All wear the carpetnwith their shoes.”) and literature doesnnot give us many scholarly heroes. Mostnliterary pedants are like George Eliot’snCasaubon; boring, impotent in the facenof the real worid, and, ultimately, notneven a very good scholar. The rarenpositive image comes from popular entertainment—nVan Helsing and IndiananJones. Even as men of letters, fewnacademics have any impact outside universityncircles.nIt was different in the last Silver Agenof Western civilization, before WorldnWar I. To take England and the field ofnclassics, for example, it is easy to think ofnthree men with solid scholariy reputationsnwhose names were well knownnoutside the groves of academe: A.E.nHousman, Sir James George Frazer,nand Gilbert Murray!nOf the three, Housman’s work hasnstood up best. On either side of thenGreat War there was a popular frenzynfor his poetry and there still remains ancommitted group of readers and reciters,nsome of whom, such as John Sparrownand Christopher Ricks, are distinguishedncritics. His scholarly writingsnand critical editions are still importantnfor the subjects he worked on, and hisnprose is read with pleasure. His academicncareer was spotty. As an undergraduatenat Oxford, he never won a prize fornLatin verse composition and “was plou-nE. Christian Kopff teaches Greek andnLatin in Boulder, Colorado.n26/CHRONICLESnPassion and Pedantrynby E. Christian KopfFn”Lord, what would they saynDid their Catullus walk this way?”n— W.B. Yeatsnghed in Greats,” that is, failed his finalnexams. After taking a pass degree, henwon recognition by his published worksnand became professor of Latin first atnLondon and then at Cambridge. Althoughnhe was a best-selling author andna political conservative, his career advancednon the basis of its objectivenmerit. Feminists in classics boast that nonsimilar figure could survive today.nFrazer won .a fellowship at TrinitynCollege, Cambridge, after studying atnGlasgow in his native Scotland. It wasnwhile holding a fellowship that he madenhis contributions to scholarship. Cam­nnnbridge gave him no other academicnhonor, although he won a professorshipnat Liverpool, honorary degrees fromnOxford and the Sorbonne, and anknighthood. (After Worid War I friendsndid establish the Frazer Lectureship atnCambridge.) He framed his career withnlong scholariy commentaries on lessernworks of classical literature. He interruptednthis work to produce the firstnedition of The Golden Bough in twonvolumes in 1890. The third editionnappeared from 1911-1915 in 12 volumes.nBoth the first and third editionsnwere reprinted as late as the 1970’s,nand the one-volume abridgment ofn1922 was a best-seller. In his own daynthe combination of 18th-century pompositynand immense learning won himnfame that reached popular adulation.nThe books, dissertations, and articlesnon Frazer’s influence and “impact”nhave by no means exhausted the studynof his significance. Stanley EdgarnHyman’s The Tangled Bank (1956)nranks Frazer with Darwin, Marx, andnFreud. In recent decades, some of thenmost creative scholars in the humanitiesnare still citing and discussing Frazer,nas one can see in Rene Girard’snstudy of the scapegoat and WalternBurkert’s work on ritual in Greek tragedynand mythology. (Robert Ackermannknows nothing of this, but instead tellsnus that “Not only are his answersnsuperseded, but more important hisnquestions likewise are no longer relevant.”)nGilbert Murray had a most spectacularnacademic career, winning prizenafter prize at his public school and atnOxford. Directly out of university, henwas appointed to the chair of Greek atnGlasgow because of his marvelous abilitynto compose Greek prose. He resignednafter ten years, but in 1908 wasnappointed Regius Professor of Greek atnOxford, which chair he held untiln1936. His translations of Euripidesnwere the standard English versions fornthe first half of the century. Beforen