1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Phaer, Thomas

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PHAER (or Phayer), THOMAS (1510?–1560), English translator of Virgil, was educated at Oxford and at Lincoln’s Inn. He published in 1535 Natura brevium, and in 1543 Newe Boke of Preszdentes. He says on the title-page of his version of the Aenezd that he was “ solicitor to the king and queen’s majesties, attending their honourable council in the marches of Wales.” He settled at Kilgarran in Pembrokeshire, and combined the study of medicine with his legal practice. He wrote several medical works, and was admitted M.D. of Oxford in 1559. He contributed to Sackville’s Mirrour for Magistrates, “Howe Owen Glendower, being seduced by false prophecies, toke upon him to be Prince of Wales.” In 1558 appeared The Seven First Bookes of the Eneidos of Virgil converted into English Meter. He had completed two more books in April 1560 and had begun the tenth, but he died in the autumn of that year, leaving his task incomplete. The translation was finished by Thomas Twyne in 1584 Phaer’s translation, which was in rhymed fourteen-syllabled lines, was greatly admired by his contemporaries, and he deserves credit as the first to attempt a complete version, the earlier renderings of Surrey and Gawain Douglas being fragmentary although of greater poetic value.