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William Rollo
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William Rollo

William Rollo was a southern African academic. He was born in 1894 in Glasgow and graduated from the University of Glasgow with an MA in classics in 1915.[1] After the war he completed his DLitt in linguistics at Leiden University. His thesis was on the Marquina dialect of the Basque language. He immigrated to South Africa in 1925, where he was professor of classics, then Head of the Classics Department and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Cape Town until 1953, when he was invited to take up the post of interim principal of the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, now the University of Zimbabwe.[2]
He was a skilled linguist and during the Second World War he taught himself Japanese so he could teach the rudiments of the language to South African pilots who were going to fight in the Far East. He died in 1960 in Grahamstown, while teaching classics at Rhodes University.


  1. University of Glasgow
  2. University of Zimbabwe

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