Robert Wood

Robert Wood, who was Dawkins’ partner in visiting and recording the antiquities of Palmyra, was a bit older, the son of an Irish Presbyterian minister, educated at Glasgow University and later registering at Padua, after a period as a travelling tutor.   He first visited Syria and Egypt in the early 1740s.   He met Dawkins in Rome whilst working as private secretary to the Earl of Milltown.   Their travels in the eastern Mediterranean were a serious research trip.   They equipped their boat with a library of ‘all the Greek historians and poets, some books of antiquities, and the best voyage writers’, took with them tools for digging and, following the model of Desgodets’ measurements of buildings in Rome, undertook detailed drawings of classical remains, together with maps and reconstructions.   Not only was Wood author of The Ruins of Palmyra and The Ruins of Baalbec, but he also published an Essay on the Original Genius of the Writings of Homer, first written as a letter to Dawkins in 1755 although not published for twenty years.  

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