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REES, BRINLEY RODERICK (1919-2004), ysgolhaig clasurol, addysgydd a phrifathro coleg prifysgol | Y Bywgraffiadur Cymreig

REES, BRINLEY RODERICK (1919-2004), ysgolhaig clasurol, addysgydd a phrifathro coleg prifysgol

Enw: Brinley Roderick Rees
Dyddiad geni: 1919
Dyddiad marw: 2004
Priod: Zena M. S. Rees née Mayall
Plentyn: Hugh Rees
Plentyn: Mark Rees
Rhiant: Mary Ann Rees née Roderick
Rhiant: John David Rees
Rhyw: Gwryw
Galwedigaeth: ysgolhaig clasurol, addysgydd a phrifathro coleg prifysgol
Maes gweithgaredd: Addysg; Ysgolheictod ac Ieithoedd
Awdur: Ceri Davies

Ganwyd Brinley Rees 27 Rhagfyr 1919 yn y Ton-du, Penybont ar Ogwr, yn fab i John David Rees, dilledydd, a Mrs Mary Ann Rees (gynt Roderick). Symudodd y teulu i Aberhonddu, lle'r addysgwyd ef (1931-8) yng Ngholeg Crist. Dan hyfforddiant ysbrydoledig prifathro'r ysgol, y Parchg A. D. James, llwyddodd yn eithriadol mewn Groeg a Lladin a dyfarnwyd iddo yr ysgoloriaeth flaenaf yn y Clasuron yng Ngholeg Merton, Rhydychen. Fel yn hanes llawer o'r un genhedlaeth, torrwyd ar ei astudiaethau gan alwadau milwrol. Yn Nhymor Mihangel 1939 dyfarnwyd iddo anrhydedd (gyda rhagoriaeth) mewn arholiad arbennig mewn Groeg a Lladin. Yna, o 1940 hyd 1945, bu'n gwasanaethu yn y Gatrawd Gymreig, lle cyrhaeddodd reng capten. Dychwelodd i Rydychen ar ddiwedd y rhyfel ac ennill anrhydedd dosbarth 1af yn arholiad Moderations y Clasuron (Tymor y Drindod 1946).

Yn 1947-8 bu'n athro cynorthwyol yn y Clasuron, i ddechrau yn ei hen ysgol yn Aberhonddu ac yna yn Ysgol Uwchradd y Bechgyn, Caerdydd, cyn ei apwyntio yn 1948 i'w swydd brifysgol gyntaf yn ddarlithydd cynorthwyol, yn ddiweddarach darlithydd, yn y Clasuron yng Ngholeg Prifysgol Cymru, Aberystwyth. Dylanwad mawr arno yn Aberystwyth oedd y papurolegydd nodedig Syr Harold Idris Bell, a ddaethai i fyw yno wedi ymddeol o'i swydd yn yr Amgueddfa Brydeinig. Dan gyfarwyddyd Bell cwblhaodd Rees draethawd Ph.D. (Cymru), ‘A critical study of a selection of hitherto unedited papyri’ (1956), gwaith a gynhwyswyd yn ddiweddarach yn The Merton Papyri, vol. ii (cydolygwyd gyda H. I. Bell a J. W. B. Barns, 1959) ac yn Papyri from Hermopolis and other Byzantine Documents (1964).

Oherwydd ei addewid amlwg fel papurolegydd, ac ar gyfrif adnoddau Llyfrgell John Rylands, apwyntiwyd Rees yn 1956 i uwch-ddarlithyddiaeth mewn Groeg ym Mhrifysgol Manceinion. Ddwy flynedd yn ddiweddarach, yn 1958, dychwelodd i Gymru, yn Athro Groeg yng Ngholeg Prifysgol Deheudir Cymru a Mynwy (fel y'i gelwid bryd hynny) yng Nghaerdydd. Parhaodd ei ddiddordeb mewn astudiaethau papurolegol, ond yng Nghaerdydd datblygodd faes ymchwil newydd a arweiniodd at gyfres o erthyglau esboniadol ar Farddoneg Aristoteles a derbyniad y gwaith hwnnw. Hefyd arwyddai ei ddarlith agoriadol (‘The Use of Greek’, 1961) ymwneud cynyddol â'r her a wynebai astudiaethau clasurol, yn arbennig oherwydd y lleihad ym mhoblogrwydd Groeg a Lladin fel pynciau ysgol. O 1963 i 1969 bu'n ysgrifennydd mygedol y Gymdeithasfa Glasurol (Classical Association), cyfrannodd at sefydlu a datblygu'r Joint Association of Classical Teachers (cymdeithas a ddygai ynghyd athrawon clasurol mewn ysgolion a phrifysgolion), golygodd y gyfrol Classics: an outline for the intending student (1970), ac ysgrifennodd (ynghyd â M. E. Jarvis) Lampas: a new approach to Greek (1970), cwrs yn cyflwyno'r iaith Roeg i ddysgwyr hŷn. Yng Nghaerdydd hefyd bu ganddo gryn ran yng ngweinyddiaeth y coleg prifysgol; bu'n Ddeon Cyfadran y Celfyddydau (1963-5) ac yn Ddeon Myfyrwyr (1967-8).

Ei ddeuddeng mlynedd yn y Gadair Roeg yng Nghaerdydd oedd y cyfnod hwyaf i Rees mewn unrhyw swydd. Yn 1970, er syndod i lawer, gadawodd i fynd yn Athro Groeg ym Mhrifysgol Birmingham, lle hefyd bu'n Ddeon Cyfadran y Celfyddydau (1973-5). Mewn cyfnod o gryn anesmwythyd mewn addysg uwch, cydnabuwyd fwyfwy ei ddawn weinyddu, ac, yn 1975, dychwelodd eto i Gymru ar ei benodi'n brifathro Coleg Dewi Sant, Llanbedr Pont Steffan, y lleygwr cyntaf i ddal y swydd. Cawsai gryn ran, pan oedd yn Ddeon y Celfyddydau yng Nghaerdydd, yn y broses a arweiniodd at dderbyn Coleg Dewi Sant yn ‘ysgol’ ym Mhrifysgol Cymru (ffederasiwn yr oedd yn fynych yn dra beirniadol ohono). Bellach yn brifathro, ymladdodd yn ddygn dros gael cydnabod Coleg Dewi Sant yn un o golegau cyfansoddol y Brifysgol, cydnabyddiaeth a ddaeth ar ôl iddo ef adael ei swydd.

Yn 1980 ymddeolodd Rees yn gynnar a dychwelyd i fyw yng Nghaerdydd, lle'r ymgymerodd â pheth dysgu rhan-amser yn ei hen adran. Cafodd gyfle hefyd i ddatblygu ei ddiddordeb cynyddol mewn maes ymchwil arall, sef hanes yr Eglwys yn y bedwaredd a'r bumed ganrif, yn arbennig y ddadl ddiwinyddol rhwng Awstin o Hippo a Phelagius. Ym mlynyddoedd ei ymddeoliad cyhoeddodd ddwy gyfrol, Pelagius: the reluctant heretic (1988) a chyfieithiad gwerthfawr o destunau gwreiddiol, Letters of Pelagius and his followers (1991).

Yr oedd Brinley Rees yn ysgolhaig eangddysg, yn ieithydd clasurol penigamp, yn hyfforddwr medrus ac yn weinyddwr effeithiol. Trawai rai fel person aflonydd a diamynedd, a'i newidiadau mewn swyddi, diddordebau ymchwil ac ymlyniadau crefyddol yn arwyddion o hynny. Mewn gwirionedd croesawai heriau gwahanol, yr oedd yn agored iawn i syniadau newydd, ac yn fynych rhoddai cwmni pobl iau fwy o fwynhad iddo na bod yn rhan o'r sefydliad academaidd. Cydnabuwyd ei gyfraniad i fyd dysg yn gyffredinol â gradd Ll.D. honoris causa Prifysgol Cymru yn 1981, i'r byd clasurol â'i ethol yn Llywydd y Gymdeithasfa Glasurol yn 1978-9, ac i ysgolheictod â dyfarnu iddo Gymrodoriaeth Emeritws Leverhulme (1984-8). Ei angor gydol ei fywyd yn oedolyn oedd ei briod Zena (g. Mayall), o Lanllieni, y cyfarfu â hi pan wasanaethai yn y Gatrawd Gymreig. Priodwyd hwy yn 1951, a bu iddynt ddau fab, Mark (g. 1954) a Hugh (g. 1957). Bu farw, yng Nghaerdydd, 21 Hydref 2004. Cynhaliwyd ei angladd, cwrdd yn nhraddodiad y Crynwyr (y bu'n addoli yn eu cwmni am flynyddoedd), ar 28 Hydref 2004, a dilyn hynny ag amlosgi yn Amlosgfa Thornhill, Caerdydd.

Awdur

Dyddiad cyhoeddi: 2013

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