Record

CodeNA5118
Dates1862-1940
Person NameMacdonald; George (1862-1940); Knight, numismatist, classical scholar and archaeologist, and civil servant
SurnameMacdonald
ForenamesGeorge
EpithetKnight, numismatist, classical scholar and archaeologist, and civil servant
ActivitySir George Macdonald (1862-1940), numismatist, was born in Elgin. He was educated at Ayr Academy, where his father was Rector, Edinburgh University, where he graduated MA in 1882, and Oxford University, 1887. He taught at Kelvinside Academy for a few years after finishing at university, before becoming a lecturer in Greek at Glasgow University in 1892. The following year he was appointed by the University as Honorary Curator of the Hunterian Coin Cabinet (a post he held for the rest of his life), and he devoted many years to opening up its collection, through his publications of catalogues. MacDonald achieved world renown for his numismatic scholarship.

In 1902 Macdonald joined the Scottish Education Department. In 1904 he was appointed assistant secretary of the Department, ultimately becoming its Secretary (1922-1928). In 1902 he joined an excavation of the Roman fort on Bar Hill, Dumbartonshire, which stimulated his interest in Roman Britain and to which he devoted much of his subsequent leisure time, producing amongst his many publications 'The Roman Wall in Scotland' (1911, second edition 1934). He was created Knight Commander of the Bath in 1927, and received a number of honorary degrees from British universities. Amongst many other posts, he was a member of the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland from 1924 (Chairman from 1934), and was President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland from 1933 till his death.
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