October 16, 1854: The Irish Philhellene Oscar Wilde is born

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900), or more commonly known as just Oscar Wilde, was an Irish poet and playwright.

After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of the most popular playwrights in London in the early 1890s and is best remembered for his epigrams and plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray.

His aptitude for giving oral translations of Greek and Latin texts won him multiple prizes, including the Carpenter Prize for Greek Testament.

Professor J. P. Mahaffy at Trinity College in Dublin inspired Wilde’s interest in Greek literature.

As a student Wilde worked with Mahaffy on the latter’s book Social Life in Greece.

He, despite later reservations, called Mahaffy “my first and best teacher” and “the scholar who showed me how to love Greek things.”

The famous Irish playwriter  and poet died of meningitis on 30 November 1900 and is buried at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

READ MORE: October 16th, 1912 – The Liberation of Veria.

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