Arnold Wycombe Gomme

Arnold Wycombe Gomme (16 November 1886 – 17 January 1959) was a British classical scholar, lecturer in ancient Greek and Greek history (1911–1945), professor of ancient Greek, University of Glasgow (1946–1957), Fellow of the British Academy (1947).


He was born to Laurence and Alice Gomme, noted folklore experts. He studied at Merchant Taylor’s School and Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1911, he became assistant lecturer in Greek and Greek history at the University of Glasgow. In 1946, he became professor of ancient Greek at the same university.

In October 1914, he was commissioned in the Interpreters' Corps. From November 1914 to November 1915, he served with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) 8th Division in France. In June 1915, he was transferred to the Army Service Corps in France. From November 1915 to October 1916, was chief of MI-1c political and economic intelligence in Thessalonika, Greece.[1] He was invalided out of the Army. From March 1917 to January 1918, he worked for the Admiralty.

His major work was his commentary on Thucydides. The first volume was published in 1945. The theft of a suitcase set back the following two volumes to 1956. At his death, the work was unfinished (he had left notes on Book 5). A. Andrewes and K.J. Dover wrote the final volumes.

In 1917, he married Phyllis Emmerson. He was the father of Andor Gomme, Professor of English Literature and Architectural History at Keele University.


  • The Population of Athens in the Fifth and Fourth Centuries B.C. (Glasgow University Publications; XXVIII). Oxford: Blackwell, 1933.
  • Essays in Greek History and Literature. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1937.
  • Greece. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1945.
  • A Historical Commentary on Thucydides.
    • Vol. I: Introduction and Commentary on Book I. Oxford: Clarendon Press; Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1945.
    • Vols. II–III: The Ten Years' War (Books II–III and Books IV–V). Oxford: Clarendon Press; Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1956.
    • Vol. IV: Books V.25–VII (with A. Andrewes and K.J. Dover). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970.
    • Vol. V: Book VIII (with A. Andrewes and K.J. Dover). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981.
  • The Greek Attitude to Poetry and History (Sather Classical Lectures; XXVII). Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1954.
  • More Essays in Greek History and Literature, edited by David A. Campbell. Oxford: Blackwell, 1962.


  1. ^ Smith, Michael MI6: The Real James Bonds, 1909-39, 2010: 178

Further reading

  • Andrewes, A. "Arnold Wycombe Gomme†", Gnomon 32 (1960), 190-1.
  • Kitto, H.D.F. "Arnold Wycombe Gomme: [Obituary]", The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 79. (1959), pp. 1–2.
Alice Gomme

Alice Bertha Gomme, Lady Gomme (born Merck; 4 January 1853, London – 5 January 1938, London), was a leading British folklorist, and a pioneer in the study of children's games.

Andor Gomme

Austin Harvey Gomme known as Andor Gomme (7 May 1930 – 19 September 2008) was a British scholar of English literature and architectural history. He was a frequent reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement, an author of books on both literary criticism and architectural history, and Chair of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, whose journal, Architectural History, he edited for many years.


Gomme is a surname, and may refer to:

Alan Gomme-Duncan

Alice Gomme

Andor Gomme

Arnold Wycombe Gomme

George Gomme

(George) Laurence Gomme

Bernard de Gomme

Laurence Gomme

Sir George Laurence Gomme, FSA (18 December 1853 – 23 February 1916) was a public servant and leading British folklorist. He helped found both the Victoria County History and the Folklore Society. He also had an interest in old buildings and persuaded the London County Council to take up the blue plaque commemorative scheme.

Professor of Greek (Glasgow)

The Professorship of Greek is a chair at the University of Glasgow. Following a bequest by Douglas MacDowell, the chair was renamed the MacDowell Professor of Greek in his honour.

Women in Classical Athens

The study of the lives of women in Classical Athens has been a significant part of classical scholarship since the 1970s. Our knowledge of Athenian women's lives comes from a variety of ancient sources. Much of it is literary evidence, primarily from tragedy, comedy, and oratory; supplemented with archaeological sources such as epigraphy and pottery. All of these sources were created by – and mostly for – men: there is no surviving ancient testimony by Classical Athenian women on their own lives.

Female children in classical Athens were not formally educated; rather, their mothers would have taught them the skills they would need to run a household. They married young, often to much older men. When they married, Athenian women had two main roles: to bear children, and to run the household. The ideal Athenian woman did not go out in public or interact with men she was not related to, though this ideology of seclusion would only have been practical in wealthy families. In most households, women were needed to carry out tasks such as going to the market and drawing water, which required taking time outside the house where interactions with men were possible.

Legally, women's rights were limited. They were barred from political participation, and Athenian women were not permitted to represent themselves in law, though it seems that metic women could. (A metic was a resident alien – free, but without the rights and privileges of citizenship). They were also forbidden from conducting economic transactions worth more than a nominal amount. However, it seems that this restriction was not always obeyed. Especially in poorer families, women would have worked to earn money, and would also have been responsible for household tasks such as cooking and washing clothes. Athenian women had limited capacity to own property, although they could have significant dowries, and could inherit.

The area of civic life in which Athenian women were most free to participate was the religious and ritual sphere. Along with important festivals reserved solely for women, they participated in many mixed-sex ritual activities. Of particular importance was the cult of Athena Polias, whose priestess held considerable influence. Women played an important role in the Panatheneia, the annual festival in honour of Athena. Women also played an important role in domestic religious rituals.

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