1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Davies, John

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DAVIES (Davisius), JOHN (1679–1732), English classical scholar and critic, was born in London on the 22nd of April 1679. He was educated at Charterhouse and Queens’ College, Cambridge, of which society he was elected fellow (July 7th, 1701). He subsequently became rector of Fen Ditton, prebendary of Ely, and president of his college. He died on the 7th of March 1731–1732, and was buried in the college chapel. Davies was considered one of the best commentators on Cicero, his attention being chiefly devoted to the philosophical works of that author. Amongst these he edited the Tusculanae disputationes (1709), De natura deorum (1718), De divination and De fato (1725), Academica (1725), De legibus (1727), De finibus (1728). His nearly finished notes on the De officiis he bequeathed to Dr Richard Mead, with a view to their publication. Mead, finding himself unable to carry out the undertaking, transferred the notes to Thomas Bentley (nephew of the famous Richard Bentley), by whose carelessness they were burnt. Davies’s editions, which were intended to supplement those of Graevius, show great learning and an extensive knowledge of the history and systems of philosophy, but he allows himself too much licence in the matter of emendation. He also edited Maximus of Tyra’s Dissertationes (1703); the works of Caesar (1706); the Octavius of Minucius Felix (1707); the Epitome divinarum institutionum of Lactantius (1718). Although on intimate terms with Richard Bentley, he found himself unable to agree with the great scholar in regard to his dispute with Trinity College.