« Buchanan, Claudius Buchanan, George Buchanites »

Buchanan, George

BUCHANAN, GEORGE: Scotch scholar; b. in the parish of Killearn (44 m. w.n.w. of Edinburgh), Stirlingshire, early in Feb., 1506; d. in Edinburgh Sept. 28, 1582. He studied in Paris, 1520–22, at St. Andrews, 1525, and again in Paris, where be became teacher in the College of Ste. Barbe, 1528; returned to Scotland 1535. He inclined toward Protestant views and wrote two satires on the monks, the Somnium and the Franciscanus et fratres, for which he was obliged to leave his country in 1539. He taught at Paris, Bordeaux, and Coimbra, and was active in the production of literary works; to this period belong his translations into Latin of the Medea and of the Alcestis and his Latin tragedies, Jephthes and Baptistes (translated into English verse by A. Gibb, Edinburgh, 1870; and by A. Gordon Mitchell, Paisley, 1903–04); he began his translation of the Psalms into Latin (published at Paris, 1566) while confined in a monastery by the Inquisition at Coimbra. In 1562 he was acting as tutor to Mary Stuart in Scotland; he now openly embraced Protestantism and became influential in both Church and State; was an ardent supporter of Moray (who made him principal of St. Leonard's College, St. Andrews, in 1566), and an active opponent of the queen. In 1570 he became tutor to the young James VI. and keeper of the privy seal; his royal pupil he undertook to make "the greatest scholar in the land." During the last period of his life he wrote his two greatest works, the De jure regni apud Scotos (Edinburgh, 1579; Eng. transl., 1680), a defense of limited monarchy, suppressed by act of parliament in 1584 and again in 1664 and burned at Oxford in 1683; and the Rerum Scoticarum historia (1582; 19th ed., 1762; Eng. transl., 1690). His works have been edited by Ruddiman (2 vols., Edinburgh, 1715; reprinted by Burman, Leyden, 1725).

Bibliography: The Leyden ed. of the Works contains a full bibliography. The Life, by David Irving, Edinburgh, 1817, is an excellent literary history of the times. Consult also: P. H. Brown, George Buchanan, Humanist and Reformer, Edinburgh, 1890; idem, George Buchanan and his Times, ib. 1906; D. Macmillan, George Buchanan, a Biography, London, 1906; D. A. Miller, George Buchanan, a Memorial, 1506–1906, London, 1907; DNB, vii. 186–193.

« Buchanan, Claudius Buchanan, George Buchanites »
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