Chandler, Richard (1738-1810) (DNB00)
|←Chandler, Richard (d.1744)||Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 10
Chandler, Richard (1738-1810)
CHANDLER, RICHARD (1738-1810), classical antiquary and traveller, son of Daniel Chandler, was bom at Elson, in Hampshire, in 1738. He was educated at Winchester school, on the foundation. He entered Queen's College, Oxford, on 9 May 1755, and obtained a demyship at Magdalen College, 24 July 1757, becoming in 1770 (25 July) a probationer fellow of the same society. Short ly after taking his degree of B.A. he publislied, anonymously, in 1759, 'Elegiaca Græca,' being the fragments of Tvrtæus, Simonides, Theognis, Alcæus, Sappho, and others, accompanied by succinct notes. This book Chandler printed without accents. His first publication of magnitude was his description of the Oxford Marbles. On the acquisition of the Pomfret portion of the Arundel Marbles in 1755 the university determined to make provision for a handsome publication of its entire archæological treasures. With this task Chandler was entrusted, and his 'Marmora Oxoniensia' was published at Oxford ('impensis Academia') in 1763. It was a sumptuous folio volume in two parts, describing the lapidary inscriptions in the collections as well as the statues and other antiquities. The decipherment of the inscriptions had already been attempted by Selden, whose work was afterwards edited by Dean Prideaux ; Maittaire had also undertaken a more elaborate edition, but he omitted to transcribe or collate the inscriptions, which, indeed, Prideaux had pronounced a hopeless task. The second part of the 'Marmora Was illustrated by a number of plates of the statues and antiquities, drawn and engraved by J. Miller. The style is not very true to the original, and the busts, in particular, are veiy badly represented. The Pomfret section of the Arundel Marbles had been abominably 'restored' by the Italian sculptor Guelfi ; these restorations have now for the most part been done away with, in accordance with the advice of Prof. C. T. Newton, but the engravings in Chandler's book display the marbles as restored by Guelfi. The sculptures described by Chandler (now in the university galleries, Oxford) have been since re-described by Prof. A. Michaelis in his 'Ancient Marbles in Great Britain' (p. 538 ff.), who throughout gives references to the 'Marmora Oxoniensia. In 1764 Chandler was introduced to the society of Dilettanti by Wood, the editor of the 'Ruins of Palmyra,' and, being already favourably known by his 'Marmora,' was commissioned by the society to undertake a tour of exploration at its expense in Asia Minor and Greece. This was the first independent mission of the society (which had been formed about 1733 by some gentlemen fond of classical travel and antiquities). Chandler was accompanied by Nicholas Revett, an architect who had already given proof of his abilities in connection with Stuart's 'Ruins of Athens,' and by a young painter of talent named Pars. Chandler himself was appointed treasurer for the little party, and had the command of the exptnlition. The instructions drawn up by the Dilettanti Society (17 May 1764) directed the travellers to make Smyrna their headquarters, and thence 'to make excursions to the several remains of antiquity in that neighbourhood ; ' to make exact plans and measurements, to make 'accurate drawings of the bas-reliefs and ornaments,' 'copying all the inscriptions you shall meet with,' and keeping 'minute diaries.' Chandler and his companions embarked at Gravesend on 9 June 1764, and spent about a year in Asia Minor. Among the places which they visited, and which Chandler in his 'Travels' more or less fully describes, are: Tenedos, Alexandria Troas, Chios, Smyrna, Erythrse, Teos, Priene, lasus (in Caria), Mylassa (Caria), Stratonicea, Laodiceia (ad Lycum), Hierapolis, Sardes, and Ephesus, where Chandler asks if a wonder of the world, the temnle of Artemis, can really have 'vanished like a phantom, without leaving a trace behind. The party left Smyrna for Athens on 20 Aug. 1765. At Athens Chandler expresses his regret that 'so much admirable sculpture as is still extant about (the Parthenon) . . . should be all likely to perish as it were immaturely from ignorant contempt and brutal violence.' 'We purchased two fine fragments of the frieze (of the Parthenon) which we found inserted over the doorways in the town, and were presented with a beautiful trunk which had fallen from the metopes, and lay neglected in the garden of a Turk.' Besides Athens, Chandler and his friends visited other parts of Greece Proper ; they had originally intended to proceed from Zant« to Ithaca, Cephallenia, and Corcyra (Corfu), but the plan was given up, partly on account of 'the infirm state of health under which we laboured.' They embarked on 1 Sept. 1766 (new style), reaching England on 2 Nov. in that year. Col. Leake has devoted some criticism to Chandler's researches in Attica. The researches of Chandler and of his predecessor, Stuart, in connection with the topography of Athens 'have cleared up' (he says) 'much that had been left obscure and faulty by Spon and Wheler, and in some instances Chandler's superior learning enabled him to correct the mistaken impressions of Stuart, but others he has left uncorrected, and he has added many errors and negligences of his own, as well in the application of ancient evidence as in regard to the actual condition of the ruined buildings.'
The valuable materials collected by Chandler and his companions were communicated to the world in three important publications : 1. a fine illustrated volume entitled 'Ionian Antiquities; or, Ruins of Magnificent and Famous Buildings in Ionia,' published at the expense of the Society of Dilettanti in 1709 (London, folio) : the account of the architecture was by Revett, the historical part of the work being by Chandler. 2. 'Inscriptiones antiquae, plcrceque nondiim editae, in Asia Minore et Grajcia, presertim Athenis, collect ne (cum appendice),' Oxford, 1774, folio. In this work, for which Chandler himself was alone responsible, the author prints the Greek texts both in uncial and cursive characters, and provides a translation (in Latin) and some short notes. This book made accessible to scholars for the first time a number of valuable texts, which have since been re-edited in Boeckh's great 'Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum.' 3. 'Travels in Asia Minor ; or, an Account of a Tour made at the Expense of the Society of Dilettanti,' Oxford, 1775, 4to ; and ' Travels in Greece; or, an Account of, &c.,' Oxford, 1776, 4to. These two books, which practically form a single work, contain Chandler's journal. Several editions of the work have been published, among others an edition in 2 vols. London, 1817, 4to, and a French translation in 8 vols., Paris, 1806, 8vo. A copy of the first edition (1776-1776, 2 vols.), in the British Museum, contains numerous manuscript notes made by Chandler's companion, Revett ; these were transcribed and printed in the edition of the 'Travels in Asia Alinor and Greece,' published by R. Churton at Oxford in 1825 (2 vols. 8vo). In 1772 Chandler was senior proctor of his university ; in 1773 he was admitted to the degrees of B.D. (23 April) and D.D. (17 Dec.) In July 1779 he was presented by his college to the consolidated livings of East Worldham and West Tisted, near Alton, Hampshire. In 1786 (2 Oct.) he married Benigna, daughter of Liebert Dorrien, by whom he had a son, William Berkeley, and a daughter, Georgina. Chandler spent the winter after his marriage at Nimes, and then visited Switzerland, living chiefly at Vevay and Rolle. In 1787 he proceeded to Italy and occupied himself at Florence and at Rome (in the Vatican) in collating manuscripts of his favourite poet, Pindar ; he also began to examine some interesting manuscripts of the Greek Testament in the Vatican, but we are told that while he was 'poring upon them with great avidity, the jealousy of the papal court deprived him of them.' In 1800 Chandler was presented to the rectory and vicarage of Tilehurst, near Reading, Berkshire, where he resided till his death, which took place 9 Feb. 1810, after he had only partially recovered from a paralytic or apoplectic seizure. While at Tilehurst he published 'The History of Ilium or Troy,' 1802, 4to; another work by him, 'The Life of W. Waynflete. Bishop of Winchester, collected from Records, Registers, Manuscripts, and other authentic evidences,' was published posthumously (London, 1811, 8vo, edited by C. Lambert).
[Chandler's works ; R. Churton's Account of the Author, prefixed to his edition of Chandler's Travels, 2 vols., Oxford, 1825, 8vo ; Gentleman's Magazine, 1810 (lxxx.) 188 ; Leake's Topography of Athens, 2nd edit., 1841, i. pp. 97, 98, 326-8 ; Michaelis, Ancient Marbles in Great Britain.]