Bury, John Bagnell

Bury, John Bagnell băgˈnəl byo͝oˈrē [key], Irish historian, an authority on the Byzantine Empire. He was professor at the Univ. of Dublin from 1893 to 1902 and at Cambridge from 1902. Bury considered history a science, stressed historical continuity, and considered accident a frequent determinant in the history of premodern societies. His breadth of viewpoint is reflected in his attention to administration, institutions, topography, and the arts, which contributed to his unrivaled knowledge of late Roman and Byzantine times. History of the Eastern Empire from the Fall of Irene to the Accession of Basil I, a.d. 802–867 (1912) is but one of his many outstanding studies. Bury also wrote authoritatively on ancient Greece, and his works include as well History of Freedom of Thought (1913), The Idea of Progress (1920), and a scholarly life of St. Patrick (1905). His edition (7 vol., 1896–1900) of Gibbon's Decline and Fall was masterful. Bury edited Pindar's Nemean and Isthmian odes and was an editor of and contributor to The Cambridge Ancient History.

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