Edith Mary Smallwood (8 December 1919 – 4 September 2023): British Historian and Professor
Edith Mary Smallwood was a distinguished British historian known for her expertise in Romano-Jewish History. Born on 8 December 1919 in Wandsworth, Surrey (now London), she grew up with a passion for academics and history.
Smallwood received her education at the Mary Datchelor Girls’ School in Camberwell and later at Girton College, University of Cambridge, where she earned a scholarship. In 1942, she graduated with First Class Honours in Classics and went on to become a Research Fellow at Girton, achieving her PhD in 1951 under the supervision of Prof. Jocelyn Toynbee.
Her academic career began in 1951 when she was appointed a lecturer in classics, specializing in the Latin department at Queen’s University, Belfast. Over the years, she climbed the academic ladder, achieving significant milestones. Smallwood became a senior lecturer in 1963, a reader in 1967, and was ultimately honored with a personal chair as a professor of Romano-Jewish History in 1978.
In recognition of her academic prowess, Smallwood was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1972. She also had the opportunity to broaden her scholarly horizons during the 1971–72 academic year as a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.
After a fulfilling and accomplished career, Smallwood retired to Edinburgh in 1983. She continued to be an influential figure in the academic community until her passing on 4 September 2023, at Cluny Lodge in Edinburgh, at the remarkable age of 103. Edith Mary Smallwood’s contributions to Romano-Jewish History and academia remain highly esteemed and appreciated.