An Encomium on Henry VIII and Elizabeth I by George Etheridge — British Library Royal MS 16 C X

Greek in Tudor England

George Etheridge presented his Encomium in 1566 to a queen whose Greek accomplishments had long been praised. ‘With me as her teacher she has spent two years on Latin and Greek,’ wrote Roger Ascham, the influential Cambridge humanist, in 1550, when Elizabeth was sixteen; ‘she speaks French and Italian as well as English, fluent and accurate Latin, and intermediate Greek.’[1] By this time anyone with the resources to retain a private tutor could gain a command of the language. Visiting Lady Jane Grey in the same year, for example, Ascham was astonished to find her reading Plato’s Phaedo in Greek ‘with as much delight as some gentlemen would read a merry tale in Boccace.’[2] Throughout the sixteenth century, Elizabeth was one of several individuals in England renowned for their exceptional Greek, including university men such as John Cheke, the first Regius Professor of Greek, his Cambridge colleague John Christopherson, who composed the only original Greek play in Tudor England, and John Rainolds, the great Oxford lecturer of the 1580s; translators such as Laurence Humphrey of Magdalen College, and Thomas Wilson, who translated Demosthenes into English; and privately-educated women such as Margaret Clements, daughter of Sir Thomas More, Jane, Lady Lumley, and the remarkable Cooke sisters, educated alongside their brothers.[3]

But the exceptional erudition of these individuals is just that: exceptional. How much Greek did the average educated sixteenth-century English reader know? The majority of Tudor subjects were educated not by private tutors, but at grammar schools and university colleges which themselves experienced rapid expansion and change over the course of the century. A survey of Greek teaching at these institutions enables us to estimate the level reached by a much wider (though still small) segment of Tudor society. It falls into three broad periods: individual enthusiasts and Erasmian humanists from the 1490s to the 1530s; Reformation Greek at the universities, from the 1530s to the 1560s; and Greek at Elizabethan universities and schools, from the 1560s to around 1600.[4]

I. Enthusiasts and Erasmians, 1490s-1530s

England’s early steps towards Greek led through Italy.[5] From the mid-fifteenth century, Oxford and Cambridge men travelled south to study with tutors in Italy – whether émigrés from Constantinople and Venice-controlled Crete, or native-born Italians such as Guarino da Verona, who taught several English students at his school in Ferrara. By the 1460s, a few Englishmen at both universities were capable of teaching Greek, and a decade later at least three Byzantine scribes were working in England, copying texts on commission from their specialist patrons.[6] The first generation of truly capable Hellenists, however, emerged from Oxford in the 1480s, a decade that began with Thomas Linacre’s arrival in Oxford. Soon elected a fellow of All Souls College, in 1485 he and William Grocyn began to study the rudiments of Greek with Cornelio Vitelli, an Italian based at New College.[7] There was no question, however, where mastery was to be gained. Linacre and Grocyn travelled to Italy in the late 1480s, where they studied under the leading lights of Italian humanism, Angelo Poliziano and Demetrius Chalcondyles.

Their paths parted during the 1490s. Grocyn returned to Oxford to teach Greek, delivering the first public lectures on the language in England, while Linacre remained in Italy and gained increasing renown as a classical scholar. He took a medical degree at Padua in 1496, and moved in the circle of the learned scholar-printer Aldus Manutius. In these years Aldus was transforming the face of classical literacy in Europe through the ‘divine undertaking’, as Grocyn called it, of printing Greek texts in unprecedented numbers.[8] Linacre had a hand in producing Aldus’s epochal edition of the Greek Aristotle in 1495-1498, and a year later his own edition and translation of a Greek meteorological work by Proclus issued from the Aldine press, bearing Aldus’s declaration that from now on, ‘our [Italian] philosophers should imitate Britons.’[9] Linacre returned to England in 1499 gilt with such scholarly renown that a generation of younger Oxford men were inspired to follow his itinerary. William Latimer, Richard Pace, and Cuthbert Tunstall all studied Greek at Padua; they were followed still later by Richard Croke, Edward Wotton, Thomas Lupset, and Thomas Starkey. All returned to illustrious careers in diplomacy, medicine, the universities, and the church. The French classical scholar Guillaume Budé’s correspondence, a monument of scholarly community printed in 1520, places English scholars – Linacre, Pace, Croke, More – alongside the giants of the continent, Vives of Spain, Bembo of Italy, and the leading international humanist of the day: Erasmus.[10]

Erasmus’s influence on Greek learning in England was just then bearing fruit. Friendships he had developed at the turn of the century with Grocyn, More, and John Colet, brought him north for a five year period between 1509 and 1514, during which he lent robust support to Greek studies. He composed a humanist pedagogical manifesto for Colet’s new school at St Paul’s, among whose early students was one John Clement, demanding that the headmaster be competent in Greek. While lecturing on Greek at Cambridge in 1511 without charge, he trained up undergraduates such as John Bryan and Thomas Lupset. Under Erasmus’s direct or indirect influence, these young men would soon become England’s first official teachers of Greek at the universities.

Erected on Erasmian foundations at home and fed by a stream of English scholars educated abroad, Greek studies entered the official curriculum of the universities with the foundation of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in 1517. Corpus was a milestone, England’s first institution dedicated to the ‘new learning’, providing humanist linguistic training which compared favourably to continental institutions such as Jérôme de Busleiden’s Collegium trilingue, founded in Louvain in the same year. Between Corpus’s daily public lecture in Greek and a university position founded shortly thereafter by Cardinal Wolsey, Greek was taught at Oxford with great success first by the old Pauline John Clement, then by Erasmus’s undergraduate trainee Thomas Lupset, by the Italian-trained Edward Wotton, and finally by the distinguished Spaniard Vives himself.[11] At Cambridge, meanwhile, another Erasmian, John Bryan, taught Aristotle from the Greek; the university’s first Greek lectureship, founded in 1518, was filled by Grocyn’s old pupil Richard Croke, wooed home from a Greek professorship at Leipzig; and St John’s College introduced its own undergraduate Greek lectures in 1524, modelled on those at Corpus. Croke’s inaugural address of 1519 offers a glimpse of the competitive pride with which the challenge of Greek was met: he urges his Cambridge students to keep up with their Oxonian foes, who now ‘keep vigil, fast, sweat, and freeze to defect to Greek letters.’[12]

Budé’s English correspondents, therefore, were by 1520 already valued members of the growing circle of new learning across Europe. Greek was being taught at both universities, and the first books in England to use Greek type issued from a Cambridge press in 1521.[13] Hints of this changing intellectual geography emerge in a letter from Erasmus to William Latimer in February 1517: with Linacre, Tunstall, or Latimer as a teacher, Erasmus ‘should not feel the need for Italy.’[14] The same reconfiguration was woven into the institutional make-up of Corpus Christi, where the Greek lectureship was open to candidates born in England, Greece, or Italy beyond the Po. By the 1520s, the English could be considered competitive with Italians – competitive, even, with Greeks themselves.

II. Reformation Greek, 1530s-1560s

Greek continued to thrive at the universities throughout the 1520s. A steady march of teachers filled Wolsey’s university and Corpus’s college lectureships, and a similar position was founded at Gonville Hall (Cambridge) in 1528. In 1529, Cuthbert Tunstall bequeathed a rich collection of classical and neo-classical Greek texts to Cambridge which would form the seed of its Greek holdings.[15]

Decisive change, however, followed the appointment of Henry VIII’s reformist right-hand man, Thomas Cromwell, as Chancellor of Cambridge in 1535. Tasked with remoulding the country’s institutions in the king’s reformed image, Cromwell sent injunctions to the universities demanding widespread investment in Greek from the wealthier colleges. Under this new management, Magdalen, New, and All Souls Colleges at Oxford were required to provide daily public lectures in Greek at Oxford, while fourteen colleges had a similar mandate at Cambridge. Cromwell also established a central public readership in either Greek or Hebrew at university level, known initially as ‘King Henry VIII his lecture’, which became the Regius professorships, established in 1540 in Divinity, Hebrew, Law, Medicine, and Greek, and soon attached to the new royal foundations of Trinity and Christ Church.[16]

The first occupant of the Regius chair at Cambridge was John Cheke, but in truth he had been cultivating the humanist centre of the English Reformation for almost a decade already. After proceeding BA in 1529, Cheke taught Greek at St John’s College, Cambridge, to a generation of English scholars – William Cecil, Roger Ascham, William Bill – who would ascend to high educational and civic office. In Sir Thomas Smith he had a powerful and politic colleague. In the course of the decade Smith occupied the Greek lectureship once held by Richard Croke and lectured at Queens’ College on Aristotle and Homer. By the late 1530s, Cheke and Smith had begun to popularise the ‘new’ or ‘reformed’ pronunciation of Greek, as urged by Erasmus and progressive Byzantine scholars in Italy, which – whatever its scholarly justification – had the pedagogical virtue of distinguishing vowels from one another more clearly in lectures.[17] On the strength of this new system and Cheke’s charismatic lecturing, Roger Ascham could write in 1542 that ‘Aristotle and Plato are now read in their own language by the boys, just as we have done for some five years now… what once you would have heard about Cicero, you now hear about Demosthenes.’[18] Up to two hundred students reportedly attended Cheke’s Greek lectures, and even at their lowest ebb, under attack from conservative university governance, they attracted no fewer than forty.[19] The movement begun by individual enthusiasts travelling from Oxford to Italy in the 1480s had, by the 1540s, been firmly transplanted to Cambridge, and Greek was infiltrating every branch of the curriculum.

Yet the universities were about to enter a period of great instability. Henry had managed to embody a unified government among England’s religious factions, but after his death the country was pitched into an intellectual recession. The two decades straddling the middle of the century were an anxious and turbulent time, undermining institutional stability and by extension the education those institutions offered: ‘the two fair groves of learning in England were either cut up by the root,’ wrote Ascham of the 1550s, ‘or trodden down to the ground, and wholly went to wrack.’[20] High turnover of academic personnel and the complicity of post-holders first in suppressing Catholic, then Protestant, then again Catholic scholars attenuated the bonds of intellectual community and were unfavourable to long-term projects. Nonetheless, thanks to the enduring force of Cromwell’s injunctions, Greek studies continued to increase. At Cambridge, King’s, Queens’, and St John’s colleges maintained Greek lecturers after 1546, Clare after 1551. At Oxford, Trinity laid plans for Greek teaching in 1555, and St John’s was founded in the same year with support for college lectureship in Greek language and literature; Greek lectureships were introduced at Queen’s College from 1564, at Merton from 1565, Balliol from 1571, and Brasenose from 1572. [21] England may not have competed with continental Greek scholarship in the middle decades of the century, but its Greek teaching continued unabated.

III. Elizabethan Greek, 1560s-1600

As the tumult calmed after Elizabeth’s accession in 1558, Greek learning in England went from strength to strength. Pedagogy in particular was given new consideration, reflecting the fact that Greek was being taught to an ever broader population of students, who might arrive at university with various levels of preparation. By the 1570s, St John’s College, Cambridge – still the powerhouse of English Hellenism long after John Cheke’s death – was offering three Greek classes, catering to beginners, intermediate, and advanced students: at the lower end the class would cover grammar and easy authors, while at the higher a student could receive a rigorous training in Greek over a course of three years.[22] Greek lectures across the university were increasingly made mandatory; punishment for truants could range from flogging to denial of dining rights, and a set of revised Elizabethan statutes at Oxford levied a fine of fourpence for every day a bachelor of the university failed to hear the Greek reader. [23]

Records of book ownership in this period testify that these statutory requirements were widely obeyed. About one hundred and fifty inventories of the possessions of Cambridge scholars at their deaths show common ownership of several Greek books: a Greek grammar (usually that of the Swiss humanist Ceporinus), an edition of Ambrogio Calepino’s polyglot Dictionarium, a Greek-Latin lexicon, and a Greek New Testament, accompanied by Lucian’s dialogues, Aesop’s fables, something by Homer and something by Euripides.[24] Similar patterns of ownership hold for Oxford.[25] Booksellers at both universities kept these volumes in stock to meet the consistent demand of undergraduates as they came up to the university and bought textbooks during the four years of their arts course. This common set of books approximates the bookshelf of foundational Greek as it was taught in England throughout the sixteenth-century.

Most of these books were printed on the continent and imported cheaply into England, but by the 1570s and 1580s, demand for Greek materials among an increasingly literate readership was making polyglot dictionaries a good investment even for English printers. John Baret’s Alvearie appeared in 1574, covering Greek, Latin, French, and English; Abraham Fleming introduced English glosses into his edition of Guillaume Morel’s Greek-Latin dictionary (1583), and John Higgins translated the Dutch scholar Hadrianus Junius’s Nomenclator (1585), which like Baret’s Alvearie surveyed Greek, Latin, French, and English. And by the 1590s, English printers had become still more comfortable printing and marketing longer texts entirely in Greek for an English readership. English editions of Isocrates and Demosthenes, which accounted for more than half of Greek publications in England, both matched Elizabethan taste for classical rhetoric, and supplied a domestic market with the orators most studied on university courses for their masterful Attic style and usage.[26]

Such wide demand indicates that Greek was no longer just a university acquisition. Greek learning in England had always been led from the top. Through the medium of Greek mastery, Linacre, More, and their Erasmian circle had presented aspirational examples of scholarly celebrity; Cheke and Ascham had made St John’s College, Cambridge, the gleaming figurehead of a new, reformed English academy. But though individual schoolmasters can be found teaching Greek before the 1560s – Alexander Nowell, for example, taught Greek to his boys at Westminster in the 1540s – it took longer for Greek to filter down to the standard school curriculum.[27] From the 1560s onwards a training in Greek was an obvious advantage for a schoolboy, and began to be assessed for scholarships in the 1570s at colleges such as Pembroke (Cambridge) and St John’s (Oxford).[28] By this time two decades of consistent Greek teaching at the universities had provided a pool of graduate schoolmasters competent to teach the language. Eton and Westminster incorporated Greek into the top two forms of their curriculum in 1560; Shrewsbury followed a year later (1561-62), as did St Saviour’s (1562), Norwich (1566), Bangor (1569), Rivington (around 1570), Merchant Taylors’ (1572), Thame (1574), Ruthin (1574), and others.[29]

The unfortunate career of Thomas Freeman indicates just how rapidly Greek caught on in the schools. Freeman had been appointed to the headmastership of St Paul’s in 1549, when no Greek featured on the curriculum. Ten years later, however, he was barely keeping his head above the rising tide of expectations that Elizabeth’s accession inspired. In April 1559 official inspectors found the boys less than impressive, and Freeman himself was challenged to defend his own skills of Latin composition. When these, too, were found wanting, Freeman was challenged ‘whether he was seen or learned in the Greek tongue or no, to the which he solemnly answered No and that was well known at his first entrance and beginning.’ His plea fell on deaf ears, and Freeman was fired in July ‘for insufficiency of learning and lack of the Greek tongue.’[30] It is especially telling that the authorities chose to cite Freeman’s weakness in Greek as grounds for termination, when even his Latin was apparently sub-par; much as Croke’s inaugural oration had implied forty years before, Greek in Freeman’s case was a shorthand for a large-scale restructuring of the syllabus around humanist learning. Between Edward’s reign and Elizabeth’s the place of Greek in the grammar schools, and consequently the qualifications demanded of schoolteachers, had changed beyond recognition.

Schoolchildren at these grammar schools received a rigorous drilling in the language. Every weekday at Westminster, for example, the master would read a passage from a Greek text – the New Testament, Cebes, Aesop, Isocrates, Demosthenes, or Homer were standard – and painstakingly unpack its grammar and syntax. Armed with this analysis, the boys would then learn the passage by heart, to be tested on their recall the same afternoon. Older boys in the top forms would be set a second passage in the afternoon, and be examined on their ability to recite it, translate it out and then back into Greek, and translate it from prose to verse. The approximate total of Greek reading, memorization, and daily drilling that a student would cover in the course of his grammar-school career has been calculated from syllabi such as Westminster’s to be around 135-165 pages of Greek, at twenty-five lines per page – over and above, of course, a standard 750 pages or so of Latin.[31]

IV. Tudor Greek and its Uses

If Greek was so widespread in the latter half of the century, it must have had broader application than the rarefied and technical scholarship with which we now associate it. When Croke advertised Greek studies to the audience of his Cambridge oration, he nodded towards the fact that its leading lights – Pace, Tunstall, More – were at that moment holding high office in state and church. As early as the 1520s, it would seem, Greek was doing double-duty as a language of scholarship and a wide-ranging professional qualification. How were these qualifications valued in Tudor England? What was Greek for?

The primary use of Greek was ecclesiastical. Erasmus’s model of Christian humanism, which England embraced so fully, was shaped from the first in the interests of reformed theology. The only reason a man would wish to learn more Greek, Erasmus wrote, ‘is to be able to spend his time with more profit and more sure judgement on the Scriptures.’[32] His followers agreed. Thomas More, for example, a powerful proponent of Greek learning, reminded the university of Oxford that in 1312 the Church had decreed that Greek should be taught in all universities; in another letter, defending Erasmus’s new Greek edition of the New Testament, he recommends Greek as the language of the Church Fathers, ‘who have been badly translated or not at all’.[33] This line of argument was only strengthened by the Reformation. With Greek a man would have no need for the Vulgate, the official Latin bible of the Catholic Church. He could draw directly from the source of scripture in the original Greek; he would be armed with learning to rebut the Latinate perversions of the papacy. This reasoning was so common in England that in 1551 Petruccio Ubaldini, an Italian soldier in England, wrote that ‘the rich cause their sons and daughters to learn Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, for since this storm of heresy has invaded the land they hold it useful to read the Scriptures in the original tongue.’[34] The results were never more astonishing than when Alexander Nowell’s school Catechism was translated in 1576: a translation into Greek of an document by an English clergyman for use by English schoolchildren.[35]

Law, too, was a potential destination for Greek readers, pioneered by Sir Thomas Smith, who in the 1530s and ’40s combined serious Greek learning with his appointment as the first Regius Professor of Civil Law before entering parliament. But outside the church, Greek was perhaps prized most highly in medicine. Thomas Linacre was the first Englishman to exploit this connection, simultaneously gaining a medical degree and applying his Greek scholarship at the Aldine Press, then returning to England to found the Royal College of Physicians and the Linacre Professorship of Medicine. The first occupant of the Linacre Professorship was George Day, who moved no less easily between Greek and medicine: appointed in 1525, a year later Day became Greek praelector at St John’s College, Cambridge, where he taught John Cheke.[36] These careers in medical humanism were possible because, prior to the revolution in medicine occasioned by Andreas Vesalius’s dissections at Padua in the 1540s, the discipline’s fundamental texts were those of Greek physicians, foremost among them Galen. And indeed the ripest fruit of the medical humanist tradition was the Aldine first edition of the works of Galen (1525): among its editors were no fewer than four of Linacre’s Oxonian followers and prominent Greek scholars, John Clement, Thomas Lupset, Edward Wotton, and William Rose.[37] Second only to the accomplishment of Aldus’s English editors was that of John Caius, a disciple of Padua, London physician, and later Master of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, who published four volumes of editions and translations of Galenic works in the 1540s and ’50s.[38]

George Etheridge’s career exemplifies the broad intellectual and professional scope Greek could offer. Etheridge moved smoothly between Greek, medicine, and other university posts for which Greek qualified him. Appointed to a collegiate Greek lectureship in 1543, he then took a bachelor’s degree in medicine; resigned his college post to practice as a physician in 1545; briefly held the King Henry VIII Praelector in philosophy in 1546; and was appointed Regius Professor of Greek in 1547, before returning to medical practice under Mary.[39] Etheridge’s Greek expertise would have furnished his medical career as much as his progress towards the university’s most prestigious Greek chair.

Greek, in short, was at once itself a discipline and also an auxiliary to other disciplines whose texts and concerns were Greek, and Englishmen in the Tudor period increasingly enjoyed a rigorous foundation in the language from the higher forms of the better schools to the various and interdisciplinary lecture courses offered at university. It is true that sixteenth-century England did not produce individual philologists to compare with, for example, the great triumvirate of French scholars, Casaubon, Estienne, and Scaliger.[40] But if the question is pointed towards literacy, rather than scholarship, it becomes clear that the fundamentals of Greek education in England were strong, and only gained in strength over the long, stable forty-five years of Elizabethan rule. Of course individuals’ educations and talents varied in practice, but as a broad estimate we can expect the average educated Elizabethan to have had good working Greek if he attended university after about 1540: after this date Cromwell’s injunctions took effect, the Regius professorships were on the horizon, and Greek was becoming ever more a subject of ordinary collegiate instruction. And twenty years later, from about 1560, as school foundations were refounded, new Elizabethan statutes were promulgated, and enough graduates had amassed who could teach it, Greek spread downwards into the better grammar schools; in subsequent decades, a schoolboy would emerge into a lifetime of opportunity founded on a command of Greek that could well be envied by ages before and since.

Micha Lazarus

  1. Roger Ascham, The Whole Works, ed. J. A. Giles, 4 vols. (London 1864), vol. I, p. 191. All translations are mine unless otherwise indicated.
  2. Ascham, op. cit., vol. I, p. 227; vol. III, p. 118.
  3. Binns, op. cit., pp. 215-40.
  4. For further details throughout see Lazarus, op. cit.
  5. For this period see in general Tilley, op. cit.; Woolfson, op. cit.
  6. Leader, op. cit., pp. 237-8; Weiss, op. cit.; James, op. cit.
  7. Cecil H. Clough, ‘Thomas Linacre, Cornelio Vitelli, and Humanistic Studies at Oxford’, Essays on the Life and Work of Thomas Linacre (Oxford 1977), pp. 1-23.
  8. Aldus Manutius, The Greek Classics, ed. and trans. N. G. Wilson (Cambridge, MA 2016), Appendix IV, pp. 284-87.
  9. Manutius, op. cit., no. XVI, pp. 78-81.
  10. Guillaume Budé, Epistolae (Paris 1520).
  11. Erasmus, Collected Works (Toronto 1972-), vol. VI, p. 215 (letter 907); vol. VII, p. 254 (letter 1087).
  12. Richard Croke, Orationes Richardi Croci duae (Paris 1520), sig. c.iij.v.
  13. Tilley, op. cit., pp. 237-9.
  14. Erasmus, op. cit., vol. IV, p. 259 (letter 540).
  15. Leader, op. cit., pp. 299, 338.
  16. F. D. Logan, ‘The Origins of the So-Called Regius Professorships: An Aspect of the Renaissance in Oxford and Cambridge’, Renaissance and Renewal in Christian History, ed. Derek Baker (Oxford 1977), pp. 271-278; ‘The First Royal Visitation of the English Universities, 1535’, English Historical Review 106 (1991), pp. 861-88.
  17. The Text.
  18. Ascham, op. cit., vol. I, p. 26.
  19. John Cheke, De pronuntiatione Graecae potissimum linguae disputationes (Basel 1555), p. 306.
  20. Ascham, op. cit., vol. I, p. 236.
  21. Lazarus, op. cit., pp. 445-6.
  22. Clarke, op. cit., p. 33.
  23. McConica, op. cit., p. 655.
  24. Lisa Jardine, ‘Humanism and the Sixteenth Century Cambridge Arts Course’, History of Education 4.1 (1975), pp. 16-31.
  25. Lazarus, op. cit., p. 450.
  26. Milne, op. cit.
  27. Baldwin, op. cit., pp. 171-9; Lazarus, op. cit., pp. 453-4.
  28. Joan Simon, Education and Society in Tudor England (Cambridge 1966), p. 306.
  29. Clarke, op. cit., pp. 180-81.
  30. Michael McDonnell, The Annals of St Paul’s School (Cambridge 1959), pp. 76-80.
  31. Bolgar, op. cit.
  32. Erasmus, op. cit., vol. IV, p. 260 (letter 540).
  33. Thomas More, The Complete Works, 15 vols. (New Haven, 1963-1997), vol. XV, p. 145 (‘Letter to the University of Oxford’), pp. 97-105 (‘Letter to Martin Dorp’).
  34. Quoted in Baldwin, op. cit., p. 617.
  35. Nowell, Catechismus, siue prima institutio (London 1573).
  36. Leader, op. cit., p. 313.
  37. Woolfson, op. cit., pp. 78-86.
  38. Vivian Nutton, ‘John Caius and the Linacre Tradition’, Medical History 23 (1979), pp. 373-391.
  39. The Author.
  40. For an overview, see U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, History of Classical Scholarship, ed. Hugh Lloyd-Jones, trans. Alan Harris (London 1982), pp. 46-55.

Select Bibliography

T. W. Baldwin, William Shakspere’s Small Latine & Lesse Greeke (Urbana 1944).

J. W. Binns, Intellectual Culture in Elizabethan and Jacobean England: The Latin Writings of the Age (Leeds 1990).

R. R. Bolgar, ‘Classical Reading in Renaissance Schools’, Durham Research Review 6 (1955), 18-26.

Paul Botley, Learning Greek in Western Europe, 1396-1529: Grammars, Lexica, and Classroom Texts (Philadelphia 2010).

Federica Ciccolella, Donati Graeci: Learning Greek in the Renaissance (Leiden 2008).

M. L. Clarke, Classical Education in Britain, 1500-1900 (Cambridge 1959).

M. R. James, ‘Greek Manuscripts in England Before the Renaissance’, The Library series 4, 7.4 (1927), 337-53.

Micha Lazarus, ‘Greek Literacy in Sixteenth-century England’, Renaissance Studies 29.3 (2015), 433-58.

Damian Leader, A History of the University of Cambridge, vol. I: The University to 1546 (Cambridge 1988).

James McConica, ed., The History of the University of Oxford, vol. III: The Collegiate University (Oxford 1986).

Kirsty Milne, ‘The Forgotten Greek Books of Elizabethan England’, Literature Compass 4.3 (2007), 677-87.

Arthur Tilley, ‘Greek Studies in England in the Early Sixteenth Century’, English Historical Review 53.210-211 (1938), 221-239, 438-456.

Roberto Weiss, ‘The Private Collector and the Revival of Greek Learning’, The English Library before 1700: Studies in its History, ed. Francis Wormald and C. E. Wright (London 1958), 112-35.

Jonathan Woolfson, Padua and the Tudors: English Students in Italy, 1485-1603 (Cambridge 1998).