The First Greek Book by John Williams White

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IN MEMORIAM

JOHN WILLIAMS WHITE

The death, on May 9, of John Williams White, professor of Greek in Harvard University, touches a large number of classical workers who have come into relations with him through his teaching or his writings, and concerns many a student, past or present, who may not have known his name, or a word of the language and literature which he professed. For the interest in Roman private life and Roman archaeology which so largely governs the teaching of Latin today is the result of a movement in the Greek field in which he played a large part. He was the first chairman of the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, of which the corresponding school in Rome was the natural follower. He was an active and controlling worker in the American Institute of Archaeology, which of course covered the Roman field as well as the Greek. In particular, he gave the first methodical course in Greek private life in this country, illustrating it with the lantern; and he thereby set the model for the courses in Roman private life which presently were given in various institutions.

John Williams White was born in Cincinnati, March 5, 1849. He was graduated from the Ohio Wesleyan College, Delaware, Ohio, at the age of nineteen. Three years later, in 1871, he received the degree of A.M. from his Alma Mater. In this same year began his long and happy married life. In 1874 he was appointed tutor in Greek at Harvard. In 1877 he received the degree of Ph.D. from Harvard and was appointed assistant professor. In 1884 he became full professor. He retired in 1909, not for rest, but for unbroken work.

Recognition came to him in many forms, among which were the degree of LL.D. from Wesleyan and Ohio Wesleyan, and the degree of Litt.D. from both the English and the American Cambridge.

His thirty-five years of service at Harvard were spent in activities both varied and strenuous. From the beginning he threw himself ardently into teaching, and with singular success. His animated manner, which was the natural expression of a vigorous mind, itself deeply interested, commanded the interest of his students. Hence, while he exacted a great deal of work, he always had large classes-a fact which added much to the staying power of Greek studies at Harvard in the face of adverse influences. He also entered into personal relations with many of his students, making them welcome guests at his house; and out of not a few of the acquaintances thus formed grew enduring friendships.

He came into large contact with another aspect of college life, as chairman for many years of the athletic board at Harvard. For this work he was especially qualified by his quick sympathy with youth (perhaps one should say, his own unquenchable youthfulness) and his personal interest in many sports. He was a formidable tennis player, a lover of the life of the woods, and a skilful hunter and fisherman.

His dissertation for the doctorate was upon a syntactical subject. But his permanent interests proved to be literary and archaeological. The latter have already been mentioned. The former ranged from an excellent book for beginners in Greek, through college textbooks, to such volumes of monumental power as The Verse of Greek Comedy (London, 1912), and The Scholia upon the Aves of Aristophanes (London, 1914). These last two books belong to a projected great edition of Aristophanes for which he had made elaborate collections of manuscript and other materials, and to which he had long been giving all his energies and all his hours.

He had met an earlier malady of the gravest character with incomparable courage and decision, and, as it proved, with complete success. He had every reason to hope for years of unchecked activity. But, aside from the cutting short of the work which would have been the crowning achievement of his life, the manner of his death was that for which he had prayed. The name of the illness, angina pectoris, carries grim associations. But in his case there had been but slight indications, and the actual passage from life, coming in the course of an ordinary forenoon and with no warning, was made with such swiftness as to bring to his face only the expression of painless calm. WILLIAM GARDNER HALE, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO 

In Memoriam: John Williams White
by William Gardner Hale

The Classical Journal Vol. 12, No. 9 (Jun., 1917), pp. 585-587

 

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Country House Christmas Pudding

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CHAPTER V

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How to Distinguish Fishes.

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Horn Measurements.

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The Standard Navy Boats.

Above we find,

The accompanying illustrations show further details of the standard navy boats, the lines of which appeared last week. In all of these boats, as stated previously, the quality of speed has been given [...] Read more →

Thomas Jefferson Correspondence – On Seed Saving and Sharing

The following are transcripts of two letters written by the Founding Father Thomas Jefferson on the subject of seed saving.

“November 27, 1818. Monticello. Thomas Jefferson to Henry E. Watkins, transmitting succory seed and outlining the culture of succory.” [Transcript] Thomas Jefferson Correspondence Collection Collection 89

Mrs. Beeton’s Poultry & Game – Choosing Poultry

To Choose Poultry.

When fresh, the eyes should be clear and not sunken, the feet limp and pliable, stiff dry feet being a sure indication that the bird has not been recently killed; the flesh should be firm and thick and if the bird is plucked there should be no [...] Read more →

The Hunt Saboteur

The Hunt Saboteur is a national disgrace barking out loud, black mask on her face get those dogs off, get them off she did yell until a swift kick from me mare her voice it did quell and sent the Hunt Saboteur scurrying up vale to the full cry of hounds drowning out her [...] Read more →

On Bernini’s Bust of a Stewart King

As reported in the The Colac Herald on Friday July 17, 1903 Pg. 8 under Art Appreciation as a reprint from the Westminster Gazette

ART APPRECIATION IN THE COMMONS.

The appreciation of art as well as of history which is entertained by the average member of the [...] Read more →

The Snipe

THE SNIPE, from the Shooter’s Guide by B. Thomas – 1811

AFTER having given a particular description of the woodcock, it will only. be necessary to observe, that the plumage and shape of the snipe is much the same ; and indeed its habits and manners sets bear a great [...] Read more →

The Field of the Cloth of Gold

Reprint from the Royal Collection Trust Website

The meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I, known as the Field of the Cloth of Gold, took place between 7 to 24 June 1520 in a valley subsequently called the Val d’Or, near Guisnes to the south of Calais. The [...] Read more →

The English Tradition of Woodworking

THE sense of a consecutive tradition has so completely faded out of English art that it has become difficult to realise the meaning of tradition, or the possibility of its ever again reviving; and this state of things is not improved by the fact that it is due to uncertainty of purpose, [...] Read more →

Something about Caius College, Cambridge

Gate of Honour, Caius Court, Gonville & Caius

Gonville & Caius College, known as Caius and pronounced keys was founded in 1348 by Edmund Gonville, the Rector of Terrington St Clement in Norfolk. The first name was thus Goville Hall and it was dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. [...] Read more →