About the Author
George Gilbert Aimé Murray (2 January 1866 - 20 May 1957) was an Australian born British classical scholar and public intellectual, with connections in many spheres. He was an outstanding scholar of the language and culture of Ancient Greece, perhaps the leading authority in the first half of the twentieth century. He is the basis for the character of Adolphus Cusins in his friend Shaw's play Major Barbara, and also appears as the chorus figure in Tony Harrison's play Fram. Murray is often identified as a humanist, typically with some qualification ('classical', 'scholarly', 'engaged', 'liberal'). He joined the Rationalist Press Association, and in 1952 attended a major humanist conference. He wrote and broadcast extensively on religion (Greek, Stoic and Christian); and wrote several books dealing with his version of humanism. A phrase from his 1910 lectures Four Stages of Greek Religion enjoyed public prominence: the "failure of nerve" of the Hellenistic world, of which a turn to irrationalism was symptomatic. His daughter Rosalind (later Rosalind Toynbee), a Catholic convert, attacked his secularism in her book of apologetics, The Good Pagan's Failure (1939).