Theodore Bent and (Sir) Arthur Evans

The iconic portrait (1907) of Arthur Evans by William Richmond (wikipedia)

That Bent and Arthur Evans (born 1851, the year before the former) were acquainted is to be expected (although at different Oxford colleges, they both studied history there at the same time), and attested by the pair attending the same events and meetings. For example, the Evening Mail of Friday, 12 July 1889 reports: “Lord Carnarvon presided on Wednesday [10 July 1889] afternoon over a joint meeting of the subscribers to the British School at Athens and the Cyprus Exploration Fund, held in the rooms of the Society of Arts [8 John Adam Street, London]. There were present the Greek Minister, Lord Savile, Sir Charles Newton, Mr. F.C. Penrose, Professor Jebb, the Provost of Oriel, Mr. R.A. Neil, Mr. Sydney Colvin, Mr. Walter Leaf, Mr. D. Bikélas, Mr. H.F. Pelham, Mr. D.G. Hogarth, Professor Percy Gardner, Mr. J.T. Bent, Mr. Arthur Evans, Mr. Ernest Gardner, director of the British School at Athens, Mr. F.B. Tarbell, late director of the American School at Athens, Dr. W.C. Perry, and Mr. George A. Macmillan, Secretary.” The emphasis is ours.

Evans’ personal offprint of Bent’s ‘Researches Among the Cyclades’ (1884, Journal of Hellenic Studies) (

The assembly included several other names famous in the spheres of archaeology and exploration, e.g. Newton, Penrose, and Hogarth (the latter crossing swords with Bent on occasion). Henry Howard Molyneux Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon was to die the following June (1890), aged only 59. Bent went to see him in October 1889 to see if he might be able to help the explorer plan some excavations in the Black Sea coastal town of Bourgas (Bulgaria) the following season. In the end the Bents travelled south down the Turkish littoral, and the season after (1891) they were at Great Zimbabwe.