Friday, December 02, 2011

Death of Wilfred Lambert, Obituary and Reflections

Jim West reports on the sad news of the death of Prof. Wilfred Lambert and links to a nice, detailed obituary in the Birmingham Post:

I got to know Professor Lambert while I was at the University of Birmingham between 1995 and 2005.  He was unfailingly gracious and kind-spirited though I must admit to thinking him, at times, a little eccentric.  He was a regular in the coffee room in the Arts Building and I remember many interesting conversations with him there.  He would always try to get to our Biblical Studies colloquium and on one occasion presented a paper.  I used to have to make a special effort to tell him about the colloquium because he never embraced email; everything was done the old-fashioned way.

I knew about his Christadelphian affiliations and remember his disdain for a lot of modern medicine, and especially modern drugs.  I had not realized until reading the obituary, though, that he was so thoroughly Brummy, born in Erdington, at King Edward's High School in Edgbaston (where many a great classicist studied) and so on.  Nor did I know that he was a conscientious objector during the war.

The obituary has a little (but important) mistake:
His knowledge of ancient eastern history could not be bettered and in January 2010 Prof Lambert and colleague Dr Irving Finkel identified pieces from a cuneiform tablet that was inscribed with the same text as the Cyrus Cylinder, a clay artefact dating from 6 BC praising the rule of Babylon monarch King Cyrus The Great.
It should, of course, be the 6th Century BC.  Details about that discovery are found in a press release at the British Museum (scroll down to 23 January 2010).


Hugh Houghton said...

Another little mistake: the Birmingham Post should have written "King Edward's School", not "King Edward's High School" (unless Lambert had a sex-change).

Mark Goodacre said...

Ah, well caught, Hugh.

Unknown said...

Since Wilfred was a Christadelphian it was to be expected that he was also a Conscientious Objector.