Robert Rollock

(1555—1599) Church of Scotland minister and university principal

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Andrew Melville (1545—1622) university principal and theologian

Scottish philosophy



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Robert Rollock is believed to have been born in 1555 and died on 8 February 1599. The son of David Rollock, one of the lairds of Powis, near Stirling, and Mary Livingstone, he received his early education at Stirling Grammar School before proceeding to St Salvator's College, University of St Andrews in 1574, where the influence of Andrew Melville's educational reforms may well have been formative. Robert's elder brother, Hercules Rollock (fl. 1577–1619), a graduate of the same University, was appointed a regent of King's College, University of Aberdeen. Robert's own academic career was still more illustrious, however. Shortly after taking the MA at St Salvator's, Robert Rollock was appointed as a regent there. Subsequently, in 1580, he was appointed ‘examiner of arts’ and in that year also became Director of the Faculty of Arts. Rollock's academic interests during this period are known to have included divinity and Hebrew. As Alexander Broadie points out in The Tradition of Scottish Philosophy, interest in Hebrew amongst Scots intellectuals significantly predates Melville's educational reforms. In Rollock's case, if Melville's reforms were not the ultimate source of his philological interests, those reforms would at least have provided an academic environment which allowed such interests to flourish.


From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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