A bit of a broad question but I have an image in my head of a very old guy locked away from society working on something no one else cares about, it could be because it's archaic or because it's so specific to his own obsessions. One would say "Mr Prof has been engaged in a very ______ study for the past hundred years".
I feel like the word is based on a historical figure name? I.e. a Herculean task, the Socratic Method, etc. It's a word like that? I thought it was "Ascetic" at first but that's not it at all.