An Oxford don in the 19th century model:
"He had almost total recall of the text of Herodotus and of many of the fragmentary Greek historians whose works are collected in Jacoby’s Fragmente der griechischen Historiker. ... He was profoundly knowledgeable across an extraordinary range of subjects including the history of the Jews (in almost all periods), the migrations of the Slav peoples, physical geography, and German literature, to name but a few. ... Although his first language was German, he spoke English perfectly and knew Latin and Greek to a degree that few living people now do. His knowledge of other European languages included French, Italian and Modern Greek. He always taught himself the rudiments of the languages of the countries he visited and he enriched his scholarship with a knowledge of Hebrew, Persian and, to a lesser extent, even Chinese."