THE DEPARTMENT OF LATIN
THE "Act to establish the Catholepistemiad, or University, of Michigania," of August 22, 1817, provided for "a didaxia, or professorship, of anthropoglossica, or literature, embracing all the epistemiim, or sciences, relative to language." Three weeks later it was enacted that "in Classical Academies the Pupils shall be instructed in the French, Latin, and Greek languages," and authorization was given for the establishment of the "Classical Academy of the City of Detroit," the first branch of the Catholepistemiad.
On the following Candlemas Mr. Hugh M. Dickie was appointed Instructor of the Academy, and a year later Mr. Ebenezer Clapp was named to the same post at a salary of "not over $500, such salary to be retained by him out of tuition." In the spring of 1822 the trustees employed the Reverend A. W. Welton in the same capacity. On the first of December, 1825, they extended for one year the contract of Mr. Ashbel S. Wells, a graduate of Hamilton College, who had been "in charge of the Classical department of this institution" for an unnamed period. The salary was increased to $600 at the same time, but eleven months later, when Mr. Wells resigned, it was $170.19 in arrears, presumably because of low tuition receipts. Mr. Charles C. Sears, the next incumbent, was hired for $500, with a guarantee that if the tuition payments did not equal this amount, the trustees would make good the deficit.
Financial difficulties presently made further appointments and guarantees impractical, and the trustees apparently were glad to place the University building at the disposal of any qualified teacher who was willing to provide instruction in return for tuition fees. In November of 1828, the lower room (English school) of the University was "granted to Mr. Healy … for the tuition of scholars in the classics or such other branch or branches of education as may be useful and necessary in the state of the country," and in the following year it was voted by the trustees that when Mr. Hathon should leave the upper room [classical school], Mr. Delos Kinnicutt should be "permitted to occupy it." Finally, on September 1, 1830, the whole building was lent to the citizens of Detroit for the establishment of a common school. Throughout the history of the first institution in Detroit the classical languages had constituted the core of its academic curriculum.
When the University was reorganized in 1837, it was provided, in language much less picturesque than that of 1817, that among the professorships in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts there should be "one of ancient languages." In July of 1841, before the University at Ann Arbor opened its doors to students, the Reverend George Palmer Williams (Vermont '25, LL.D. Kenyon '49) was appointed Professor of Languages. For four years he had been principal of the Pontiac branch of the University. He had shown executive ability in this position and had devised the first "Administrative Questionnaire," with the purpose of creating standards for the admission of prospective students. Before a month had passed, during which Professor Williams framed the original entrance requirements to the University, his title was changed to Professor of Mathematics, and the Reverend Joseph Whiting (Yale '23, A.M. ibid. '37), principal of the Niles branch, was made Professor of Languages, or, as he Page 628was designated in the first Catalogue (1843-44), Professor of Greek and Latin Languages. For four years he served in this capacity. At his death, the first in the faculty, a plot of campus ground was set apart as a University cemetery, and a sum of $100 was appropriated by the Regents for the erection of a suitable monument. It has not been determined whether any burials were ever made in this cemetery, but Professor Whiting is honored by one of the four inscriptions* on the professors' monument, which now stands just east of the University Library.
In September of 1845, the Reverend John Holmes Agnew (Dickinson '23, D.D. Washington College '52) was appointed to succeed Professor Whiting. He did not assume his duties until the following May. In the interval Burritt A. Smith (Yale '44), tutor in Latin and Greek from 1844 to 1846, must have carried the work of the department, with such help as other faculty members could give him. In his first year at Michigan, Agnew served as president of the faculty. Later, as its secretary, he manifested his independence in the historic secret society controversy. On the last day of 1851 the Board of Regents voted to end the services of Agnew and two others at Commencement, apparently in part because of the struggle for the establishment of fraternities and in part because of the pressure exerted by religious groups, which was made more effective by serious dissensions within the faculty itself. In the following August he was a candidate to succeed himself, but was rejected by a vote of four to three.
The days of Professor Agnew saw the de facto separation of instruction in Latin and Greek which was soon to receive official sanction. Since he was unable himself to conduct all the classes in both languages, he chose to hear all the Greek classes, abandoning instruction in Latin. His colleagues in philosophy, Professors Andrew Ten Brook and Daniel D. Whedon, unwilling to permit the subject to fail, reluctantly assumed the burden.
When asked to suggest a successor to Agnew, Ten Brook proposed his friend James Robinson Boise (Brown '40, Ph.D. hon. Tübingen '68, LL.D. Michigan '68), of Brown University, as Professor of Greek. In August, 1852, Boise was elected Professor of the Latin and Greek Languages, but in December the appointment of a professor of the Latin language and literature gave official recognition to the separation of the two departments and made possible the independent development of the Department of Greek under the able leadership of Professor Boise.
In the Catalogue of 1852-53 appeared a remarkable statement, written probably by Boise before the separation of the Departments of Latin and Greek. As evidence of the purposes and spirit of classical instruction at the middle of the last century, it is worthy of being quoted in full. In general, this statement of policy is valid at the present day. It read:
The primary object of this department is to give the student a critical knowledge of the structure of the ancient languages themselves, of the principles of interpretation, and of those rhetorical principles which will enable a person to express himself in idiomatic and perspicuous English. In this department, therefore, nearly as much attention is paid to the study of English as to the study of Greek and Latin. But another and not less Page 629important object which is aimed at, especially in the later studies in this course, is the full comprehension of all that relates to the author read. It is not merely the words and the outward expression of the thought to which attention is directed, but the thought itself; and in connection with this analysis of the subject matter of each author, the age and other circumstances in which he wrote are carefully considered. This leads to a general study of antiquity, the laws, government, social relations, religion, philosophy, arts, manufactures, commerce, education: in short, everything which belonged to Grecian and Roman life. A constant comparison is also made between the ancient and modern world, and especially of the ancient republics, with the peculiar circumstances and history of our own country. It is not for a moment presumed that any one of the above important topics can be fully considered in the brief space allotted to the study of philology, but it is the constant aim of the instructor in this department to give such hints and suggest such inquiries as will lead to the independent investigation and research of the student.
The new Professor of Latin was the Reverend Erastus Otis Haven (Wesleyan '42, A.M. ibid. '45, D.D. hon. Union '54, LL.D. Ohio Wesleyan '63), later President of the University. He assumed his new duties at what appears now to have been a propitious moment. President Tappan had just begun his administration and was proclaiming a new university program. This involved, it is true, the recognition of a course of scientific studies, which did not include the classical languages, but also it made provision for the establishment of "university" (i.e., graduate) courses. Among the first university courses to be announced was one in the Latin language and literature. Haven appears not to have accepted this invitation to expand the Latin program, but to have devoted much of his time to the teaching of rhetoric and, especially, history. Wisdom undoubtedly dictated his transfer in 1854 to the chair of history and English literature.
To fill the vacancy thus created, Boise suggested, and, on June 29, 1854, the Regents appointed, Henry Simmons Frieze (Brown '41, LL.D. Michigan '85) of Brown University. He began his work the following October, and continued to direct the fortunes of the Department of Latin for three and a half decades. In many ways the developments in the department reflected the character of the man. He was gentle and shy, but a capable administrator, an excellent teacher, and a competent scholar at a time when classical studies had not become highly specialized. Above all, he was a true humanist, with an extraordinary range of interests. His devotion to music is recorded elsewhere (see Part I: Frieze Administration). His lectures on painting, sculpture, and architecture, which were eagerly attended, laid the foundation for the Department of Fine Arts. It is not surprising that to a man of his fine sensibilities Latin was more than a stone on which to whet students' minds. President Angell, who had been his pupil in an Eastern preparatory school, spoke thus of his experience in the classes of Professor Frieze (Reminiscences, p. 17):
Contact with this inspiring teacher formed an epoch in my intellectual life, as in that of so many other boys. He represented the best type of the modern teacher, at once critical as a grammarian and stimulating with the finest appreciation of whatever was choicest in the classic masterpieces. At first, as we were showered with questions such as I had never heard before, it seemed to me, although the reading of the Latin was mainly a review to me, that I should never emerge from my state of ignorance. But there was such a glow of enthusiasm in the instructor and the class, there was such delight in the tension in which we were kept by the daily exercises, that no task seemed too great to be encountered. Though in conjunction with our reading we devoured the Latin grammar Page 630so that by the end of the year we could repeat almost the whole of it, paradigms, rules, and exceptions without prompting, the work of mastering it did not seem dry and onerous, for we now felt how the increasing accuracy of our knowledge of the structure of the language enhanced our enjoyment of the Vergil and the Cicero, whose subtle and less obvious charms we were aided by our teacher to appreciate.
On assuming his duties at the University of Michigan, Frieze undertook a policy of expansion by extending the program in Latin into the senior year. In 1855 he received a leave of absence for travel in Europe for the express purpose of obtaining materials for a classical museum, and Benjamin Braman (Brown '54) was employed as his substitute for 1855-56 with the title of Professor of the Latin Language and Literature. In 1858 Frieze returned with a collection of statuary and other works of art which formed the nucleus of the Museum of Art and Antiquities, of which he was long the curator. He next evinced his concern with the question of secondary education by publishing a series of recommendations for the preparatory course in Latin, and then helped to establish a new course in the second semester of 1858-59 called the Teachers' Class in Ancient Languages, "for the benefit of those who may wish to prepare themselves for teaching in Union and High Schools." This is reputed to have been the first teachers' course offered in the United States and with modifications of title and content has been given uninterruptedly to the present day. Also in that year the subject matter of the graduate course in Latin was first indicated. This course was entitled Latin Literature and dealt with the Roman satirists.
The paucity of suitable textbooks, particularly for use in preparatory schools, led Professor Frieze to undertake, during the closing years of this decade, the editing of Vergil's Aeneid. Labor of love though it was, this task demanded of him a difficult sacrifice. "So passionately was he devoted to music," wrote Professor Andrew White in his Autobiography, "that at times he sent his piano away from his house in order to shun temptation to abridge his professional work, and especially was this the case when he was preparing his edition of Vergil." This book, which was printed in 1860, enjoyed wide popularity and ran through several editions, the last of which was a revision made in 1902 by Professor Walter Dennison. Further to meet the needs of his classes, Frieze produced in 1865 his edition of the tenth and twelfth books of the Institutes of Quintilian.
Because of expansion in the program of the department and the increase in the number of students, Fitch Reed Williams ('58, A.M. '69) was appointed Instructor in Latin in 1858, and in 1860 Adam Knight Spence ('58, A.M. '61) was added to the staff as Instructor in Greek, Latin, and French. After serving the department three years, Spence confined his attention to Greek and French, and later to French alone. Williams later entered politics and became a state senator; Spence was called to the presidency of Fisk University.
In 1863 Charles Kendall Adams ('61, A.M. '62, LL.D. Chicago '79, LL.D. Harvard '86), later to attain distinction as a historian and as president first of Cornell University and then of the University of Wisconsin, was engaged as Instructor in Latin and History, to assist Professor Frieze. At the beginning of his fifth year the history classes demanded his full attention, and the place thus left vacant was filled by the appointment in 1867 of Martin Luther D'Ooge ('62, LL.D. '89, Ph.D. Leipzig '72, Litt.D. hon. Rutgers '01) to an assistant professorship of ancient languages. On January 1, 1868, Boise, who had admirably Page 631administered the Department of Greek, became a member of the faculty of the University of Chicago, and D'Ooge was made Acting Professor of Greek. To make possible the necessary redistribution of courses in the two departments, Edward Lorraine Walter ('68, Ph.D. Leipzig '77), then a senior Latin student and later to become head of the Department of Modern Languages, was employed as an assistant in Latin.
The earliest statement of specific entrance requirements to the University (R.P., 1837-64, p. 183) provided, among other things, that candidates must sustain an examination in "the Grammar of the English, Latin, and Greek Languages, the Exercise and Reader of Andrews, Cornelius Nepos, Vita Washingtonii, Sallust, Cicero's Orations," and other subjects. By 1848, the Catalogue shows, the Vita Washingtonii and Sallust had been replaced by Vergil's Bucolics and six books of the Aeneid, and in the following year the Bucolics was omitted, and all twelve books of the Aeneid were required. As early as 1852 the requirements in Latin had become what they were to remain, except for short intervals, until well into the next century, namely, Latin grammar, Caesar's Commentaries, Cicero's Select Orations, six books of the Aeneid or the equivalent, Latin composition, and Greek and Roman geography. For some reason not now apparent these requirements were reduced in 1855 to all of Caesar's Commentaries (on the Gallic Wars, presumably) and one book of Vergil, but were gradually restored during the succeeding decade to the standard of 1852.
The introduction in 1852 of a scientific course, in which no study of the ancient languages was required, seems to have had little immediate effect upon the work in Latin, for the popularity of the traditional classical course was not diminished. The Latin program appears to have been excellent, with courses in almost all of the more important Latin authors and with lectures on Latin literature, Roman history, and antiquities. Frieze was deeply interested in the expanding field of archaeology, and in the Regents' Proceedings were recorded several appropriations of money for the purchase of pictures for the Departments of Latin and Greek. The large panorama of the city of Rome, which has engaged the attention of many generations of students and is now mounted on the wall of one of the lecture rooms (2003 Angell Hall), was secured in March, 1864.
The decade 1870-79 was marked, especially toward its close, by continued growth of the University and by the enlargement and strengthening of the Department of Latin. Frieze's duties as President pro tempore from 1869 to 1871 placed added responsibility upon Assistant Professor Walter, which was further increased when he was acting head of the department during the absence of Frieze between 1871 and 1873. The "broad and scholarly character of his teaching" received special mention in the President's Report for 1874. In that year he left for three years of study and travel in Europe. Upon his return in 1877 with the degree of doctor of philosophy, he resumed his connection with the Department of Latin, but in 1879 he became Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures, and in this field made his richest contribution to the University.
In 1875 Elisha Jones ('59, A.M. '62) left the superintendency of the Ann Arbor schools and joined the staff as Acting Assistant Professor of Latin in the absence of Professor Walter. On the return of the latter from Europe, Jones was transferred to the Department of Greek, but he became Assistant Professor of Latin in 1879, when Walter accepted the professorship of modern languages. In 1878-79 Calvin Thomas ('74, A.M. '77, Page 632LL.D. '04), an instructor in modern languages who later gained renown as Professor of the Germanic Languages and Literatures, first at Michigan and then at Columbia, gave instruction in Latin. In the following year, under the auspices of the department, he gave the first course in Sanskrit to be offered at this University.
There were no great changes in the program of the Department of Latin during this decade. The Calendar of 1873-74 announced that "the Roman pronunciation of Latin has been adopted at Michigan, as previously in the universities of England and at Harvard and Cornell." For a number of years Frieze had offered courses in Latin to be included in the program for the degree of master of arts. These were in the Roman satirists in the first semester and in the epistolary writings of Pliny the Younger and the works of Seneca in the second semester. In addition to these courses, the Calendar of 1874-75 announced as courses for postgraduate students Seneca's Prose Works and Lactantius. One of the practical difficulties which confronted the department is illustrated by the statement, in the President's Report for 1878, that a course in the thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth books of Pliny's Natural History (on the history of art) had been announced for the preceding year but had been withdrawn because no suitable edition of the text was available.
In the President's Report of 1870, written by Professor Frieze, an effort to improve standards of instruction in the secondary schools was mentioned. In conformity with general University policy, the admission requirements in Latin were subsequently increased to include the whole of Vergil's Aeneid or its equivalent. Frieze, in the same report, also wrote with approbation of the liberalizing of the college curriculum by the introduction of nonclassical programs of study, stating that it would avoid the "false and foolish antagonism, which elsewhere has been provoked between classical and scientific studies." In President Angell's report of 1872 it was stated that there were sixty senior Latin students in that year, and that the combined enrollment in the classical course and in the Latin and scientific course was 65 per cent of the total enrollment of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, which at that time included the Department of Engineering. Angell observed that students in the Latin and scientific course often transferred, if able, to the classical course, and that a certain proportion of those in the scientific course likewise transferred to the Latin and scientific course. After referring to these conditions, he said (p. 7):
Those timid friends of classical learning who have feared that it would be abandoned in our colleges, if scientific studies were admitted to equal honor with the classical, and those scientists who suppose that there is no real and intelligent demand for classical training, especially in the West, may with equal profit scrutinize these figures.
The change in policy brought about in the last two years of the decade, by which courses required for a degree were largely limited to the first two years of a student's program and the work of the last two years was made mostly elective, adversely affected the enrollment in advanced Latin classes. Apparently Frieze endeavored to counteract this result by further developing the courses then offered in antiquities. In 1879 he prepared a catalogue of the Museum of Art and stated in the President's Report (p. 32):
In the lectures on Classical Art and Antiquities, our means and material of illustration have been found painfully deficient… [The collection] has received but very small accessions, and is quite inadequate to the proper illustration of a complete course of lectures… A university which lacks Page 633apparatus of this kind, must be considered imperfectly equipped.
From 1880 to 1882, during President Angell's absence in China, Frieze was again Acting President. In the work of the department he was chiefly assisted by Elisha Jones, who was made Associate Professor in 1881. Although Jones had been trained by Frieze, his scholarly interests were concerned largely with the niceties of language structure, rather than with the broader aspects of classical culture. He was therefore known best by the students whom he drilled, but the love and devotion with which he labored won him the respect of everyone. He was a masterly teacher, a slight, frail man, commonly known as "Shorty" Jones, and the sobriquet bore a goodly measure of affection. His Greek Prose Composition (1872), First Lessons in Latin (1877), and Latin Prose Composition (1879) went through several editions and were widely used in secondary schools throughout the United States, contributing much to the improvement of elementary instruction in the classics and drawing favorable attention to the University. Had he lived to finish his work on an edition of selections from the correspondence of Cicero, there would be more tangible evidence of his refined scholarship and of his ability as a teacher of college students.
In 1880 Charles Mills Gayley ('78, LL.D. '04, LL.D. Glasgow '01) was added to the staff as an instructor, and four years later he became Acting Professor of Latin. He was a vigorous and very popular teacher. Though his connection with the department lasted only six years, his name has been known to the many generations of students who have sung "Laudes atque Carmina" and "The Yellow and the Blue," for which he composed the words.
Andrew Cunningham McLaughlin ('82, '85l, LL.D. '12), after a year as Instructor in Latin, was transferred in 1887 to the Department of History. The rather surprising number of such exceptional teachers transferred from the Department of Latin to other departments during the earlier history of the University is evidence of the thoroughness of training and the consequent versatility of students within the less highly diversified curriculum of the period. There is no doubt that some of these changes were prompted by the popularity of the instructors and by the hope that they would lure students to elect courses in the newer and less highly esteemed departments to which they had been transferred. It was no slight contribution which the Department of Latin thus made to the general interests of the University.
In the death of Professor Jones, on August 16, 1888, the Department of Latin suffered a heavy loss. That Professor Frieze, who had been strongly attached to him, was deeply moved by his death, is apparent in the affectionate tribute which he prepared for the Michigan Argonaut of October 20, 1888:
As to Professor Jones, never has the University had an officer more free from faults, more respected and loved both by his colleagues and by the students under his charge. And my peculiar relations with him will justify me in saying thus publicly, that never in my life, whether in trial or prosperity, have I had a more true and self-forgetful and devoted friend.
During the decade which closed with 1889, further variety was given to the courses in Latin. This change was made possible partly by the development of the elective programs for junior and senior students, and partly by the publication of suitable texts of works not previously available for study. Jones introduced a special course in Plautus, also courses in Martial's Epigrams and Cicero's Letters. Gayley was the first to offer Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius, and in 1885 Frieze gave a course in Lucretius Page 634for the first time. From 1887 to 1889 the course in Sanskrit, which had been offered by Calvin Thomas every year since 1879, was taught in the Department of Latin by Walter Miller (A.M. '84, LL.D. Arkansas '16), who was transferred from an instructorship in Greek to one in Latin in 1887 and the next year became Acting Assistant Professor of Latin. The popularity of the Latin courses continued during the eighties, and it was necessary to provide four sections of the freshman classes.
An almost complete change in the staff of the Department of Latin occurred in the year 1889-90. Early in the first semester Frieze found it impossible to meet his classes regularly because of poor health. When he felt that he had recovered sufficiently he attempted to resume his teaching. It was apparent, however, that his strength was failing, and he died on December 7, 1889. He was deeply mourned, for he had won the genuine affection of students and faculty alike. He had long served as Dean of the Faculty of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, having been returned each autumn to this office, which was then elective. His resting place in Forest Hill Cemetery is marked by a beautiful and dignified monument, a replica, in all save the inscription, of the sarcophagus of one of the great Scipios. It was thus that alumni and colleagues sought to express their love for one of the finest men Michigan has known.*
It is possible that Professor Frieze had some previous intimation that his work was nearing its close. Knowing that Joseph Horace Drake ('85, Ph.D. '00, '02l), who had become an instructor in the department in 1888, was to be abroad for a period of study, he sought another assistant, and, impressed by his scholarship and his interest in music, selected Francis Willey Kelsey (Rochester '80, Ph.D. hon. ibid. '88, LL.D. ibid. '10) to become Professor of Latin in 1889-90. Kelsey's vigor and enthusiasm won him immediate acclaim, and on Professor Frieze's death he was made head of the department.
The task which Professor Kelsey undertook was to develop graduate work in Latin upon the excellent foundation of undergraduate study which had been laid by his predecessor; this involved the further task of providing an adequate library. The deficiency of the classical section, even for undergraduate work, had been realized by the students, one of whom referred in the Chronicle to the generosity of Professor Frieze, who had placed his private collection of books on art and archaeology in the Library for the use of his classes. Professor Kelsey found even the policy of the Library discouraging, since books were not freely placed at the disposal of students. When he insisted that certain volumes be made available to his advanced classes, he gained his point only after giving a guarantee that he would himself replace any books which might be lost. It has been said that he taught the University the proper use of the Library; certainly his efforts were influential in effecting a change in its regulations and in assembling an excellent collection of books for classical studies.
John Carew Rolfe (Harvard '81, Ph.D. Cornell '85) was called from Harvard in 1890 as Assistant Professor of Latin. In 1892-93 Kelsey had leave of absence, and Rolfe, as Acting Professor, directed the department, to which Joseph Drake had returned as Assistant Professor. In 1893, Henry Arthur Sanders ('90, Ph.D. Munich '97) and Clarence Linton Meader ('91, Ph.D. '00) were appointed Page 635instructors in Latin. Both were to be associated with the department for many years. While Professor Rolfe was on leave in 1896-97, his place was taken by Assistant Professor Emory Bair Lease (Ohio Wesleyan '85, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins '94), later to be associated with the College of the City of New York and widely known among American classical scholars. At the same time, William Henry Wait (Northwestern '79, Ph.D. Allegheny '88), who had come to the Department of Greek the preceding year, was made Instructor in Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit. Walter Dennison ('93, Ph.D. '98) became Instructor in Latin in 1897. Meader spent the year 1897-98 in Rome and Greece as fellow of the American School of Classical Studies and the following year at Munich. In the fall of 1899 Sanders returned as Instructor after several years of study abroad.
The decade which thus closed was remarkable for the growth in the department and for the many changes, both in personnel and in the courses introduced. The number of freshman sections had increased from four to seven. The first doctor of philosophy degree in Latin and Greek was granted in 1891, the first in Latin in 1892. Six candidates had received the doctor's degree and twenty-three the degree of master of arts when the decade ended.
Professor Kelsey, at the very beginning of his administration, introduced a course called Methods, Province, and Scope of Classical Philology and in both semesters offered a course called Seminary in Latin Philology. He also gave a course designated Seminary in Roman Archaeology: Topography and Architectural History of the City of Rome, and Sculpture and Painting in the Roman Period. Later, he added a museum course in archaeology, and seminars in the study of Roman coins and lamps and the critical examination of the Rhetorica ad Herennium. Rolfe instituted the course in Latin inscriptions. Drake first gave one entitled Seminary in Roman History in 1893-94 and another new course, Introduction to Roman Constitutional Antiquities, three years later. In 1893-94 Meader offered a course in the Institutes of Gaius and Justinian, and the following year he was made Lecturer on Roman Law in the Department of Law while continuing as Instructor in Latin. During his absence in 1898-99 Professor Drake was vested with this lectureship. Assistant Professor Lease gave a course in Christian Latin, and Mr. Dennison offered Introduction to Latin Paleography. With few exceptions and with minor modifications in title these courses have been successfully continued to the present day, for the benefit of graduate and advanced undergraduate students. The courses in Greek and Roman political history, a subject which had been taught in the language departments from their very inception, were eventually transferred to the Department of History. Sanskrit was offered throughout most of the decade by one of the instructors in Latin and Greek.
Professor Kelsey was on leave for the year 1900-1901, and the department was directed by Professor Rolfe, aided by Assistant Professor Drake and four instructors, one of whom also taught Greek and Sanskrit. In 1902 Rolfe accepted a professorship of the Latin language and literature in the University of Pennsylvania, a position which he occupied with distinction until his retirement, and Walter Dennison, who had accepted an associate professorship of Latin at Oberlin College in 1899, returned to the department as Junior Professor of Latin. John Garrett Winter (Hope '01, Ph.D. Michigan '06), who was later to become head of the Department of Latin, was appointed Instructor Page 636in Greek and Latin in 1906, but conducted courses chiefly in the Greek Department. In 1898 Drake, while retaining his position in Latin, was appointed Lecturer in Roman Law in the Department of Law. In 1906 his title was changed to Professor of Latin, Roman Law, and Jurisprudence, and in 1908 to Professor of Law, thus terminating his membership in the Latin Department. At the same time Albert Robinson Crittenden ('94, Ph.D. '08) was added to the staff on temporary appointment, and two years later became Assistant Professor of Latin.
The first decade of the century was marked by an attack upon University traditions which had most serious effects upon the Department of Latin. As early as 1880 it had been necessary for the president to take cognizance of a complaint that too great emphasis was being placed upon classical studies, for in his report he called attention to the fact that classical languages were not required for admission to the University or for graduation from it. It was nevertheless true that most students coveted the bachelor of arts degree, and that for this degree training in both Greek and Latin was still demanded. Both departments of the classical languages vigorously opposed any change which would deprive this degree of its traditional meaning and rob it of the respect which it commanded. After years of agitation, however, the faculty followed the example of other institutions and voted, early in 1901, to grant but one degree, that of bachelor of arts, to all graduates of the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts. Two other changes which were logically implied in this action were the recognition of the assumed equality of all courses, resulting in a system of almost completely free electives, and the abandonment of differentiated entrance requirements. The University is still struggling to reduce the chaos which ensued upon the revolution of 1901.
In the Department of Latin the effects were immediate and appalling. The enrollment in freshman Latin, which had steadily increased until 1901, dropped from seven sections to five in 1901-2, and to four sections in 1905-6, probably representing a loss of more than one-half in the number of students, since, with a declining enrollment, the sections were doubtless smaller. There was some compensation in the improved quality of work which was possible in the freshman and sophomore classes after the weak and uninterested students had transferred to other departments. It was also noticeable that a somewhat larger proportion of students continued in the Department of Latin in their junior and senior years. Thus for some time the more advanced courses were not seriously affected by the changes in requirements for admission and graduation. It was possible even to increase their number, for the decrease in freshman and sophomore sections had reduced teaching schedules to a point which made the addition of new courses feasible. Kelsey now gave lectures on the antiquities of Pompeii and developed the course in Roman archaeology into two courses. Dennison gave a course called the Private Life of the Romans and introduced another, named Martial and Petronius' Banquet, with Special Reference to Private Life. Drake gave a general course in Roman literature in English and expanded his work in Roman law. Sanders gave Vergil's Georgics and, later, a course entitled Lectures on the Sources of the Roman Historians, and Meader, following his work with Wölflin, introduced the study of the Caesarian Bellum Africum and Bellum Hispanicum, and in 1904 first announced a course in comparative linguistics, a study to which his attention was henceforth increasingly Page 637directed until the time of his retirement from teaching in 1938. The addition of advanced courses was not disproportionate to the increase in the number of graduate students. From 1900 to 1910, fifty-seven candidates received the master of arts degree in Latin and twelve that of doctor of philosophy, eleven in Latin and one in Greek and Latin, and of this number nearly all had received their undergraduate training within the department.
The announcement of the new general entrance requirements, specifying a minimum of two years of Latin, French, or German, was attended by a definition of two units in Latin, followed by the statement: "This preparation is not sufficient to enable the student to enter Latin classes in the University." In 1904 this pronouncement was supplemented by the words, "but arrangements are made whereby students who present two or three units may make up full entrance requirements under private instruction." In the Calendar of the next year this statement was replaced by the single sentence: "N.B. This preparation is sufficient to enable the student to enter Latin A or B in the University." There followed, in its proper place, an announcement of these two courses, similar to high-school courses of the third and fourth years and hitherto regarded as preparatory, but carrying full college credit from that date. By anticipation it may be added that in 1910, in response to a demand that the needs of premedical and predental students be more adequately supplied, two courses in elementary Latin were announced. Since they were not recognized as college courses, and no credit was given for them, every student was charged a tutoring fee of $10 for each course until 1927, when, by faculty action, elementary Latin was placed on the same basis as other elementary language courses. The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts had expanded downward to include all of the secondary school's courses in Latin.
Dennison once more, in 1910, withdrew from the department, going to Swarthmore College, where he served as a professor of Latin until his death in 1917. His place was not immediately filled, but in 1911 Instructor John G. Winter, most of whose courses had been in the Department of Greek, was made Assistant Professor of Ancient Languages. Miss Orma Fitch Butler ('97, Ph.D. '07) began her long service to the department in 1912, as an assistant in Roman archaeology. During Kelsey's absence in 1919-20 James Eugene Dunlap (Ripon '10, Ph.D. Michigan '20) served as Instructor in Latin.
The decade which thus ended was one of severe trials. The department had hardly succeeded in adapting its program to the changes of the preceding decade when, in 1912, the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts attempted to prevent certain abuses of the elective system by imposing "group requirements" for graduation and a limitation upon the amount of work which a student might elect in any one group (see Part II: Office of the Registrar). The mandatory diversification of program made it almost impossible for a Latin student to gain the necessary familiarity with Greek and also the practical acquaintance with both French and German which was required and indispensable for research leading to the degree of doctor of philosophy. Thus, the effect of the new legislation upon the Department of Latin was to prevent it from giving its own students the preparation for graduate work which had hitherto been regarded as essential. Henceforth the doctor's degree was more frequently conferred upon students whose undergraduate work was done in other institutions.
Page 638The Department of Latin was also affected adversely by the World War. Since it had little to offer toward the immediate solution of those questions which so completely occupied the attention of the world, its courses attracted a smaller number of students. This was likewise true of Latin in secondary schools, which were preparing a thin crop for subsequent transplanting, with results to be mentioned later.
Kelsey's leave of absence of 1919-20 was renewed for 1920-21, when Dr. Butler was also given leave of absence to assist him in projects which he was developing in Mediterranean lands. Bruno Meinecke (Tennessee '08, Ph.D. Michigan '22) served as Assistant Professor during this year, then left for Hope College, where he served on the faculty for six years. Kelsey was planning further excavation abroad in the interests of the department, and in anticipation of his absence Dunlap, who from 1920 to 1923 had taught at Indiana University, was recalled as Assistant Professor of Latin and Greek. Another instructor was added to the staff, and George Robert Swain ('97, A.M. '14), who had held an assistantship in the department from 1914 to 1917, was appointed teaching assistant in Latin and technical expert in photography. In 1921-22 Professor Winter was on leave of absence for a year of study and travel abroad.
With the establishment of the University High School in 1923, Wilbert Lester Carr (Drake '98, A.M. ibid. '99) was called from Oberlin College as Associate Professor of Latin and of the Teaching of Latin, and head of the Department of Latin in the new school, and the courses in pedagogy which had been taught by Professor Crittenden were now transferred to the School of Education. In 1925 Dr. Meinecke returned to the University and introduced courses in medical Latin and in Medieval Latin.
For many years Meader had devoted his time largely to the teaching of Russian and general linguistics. John Henry Muyskens ('13, Sc.D. '25), Instructor in French, began to assist in the phonetics instruction in 1921 and four years later was appointed Assistant Professor of Phonetics in the Department of Latin. He continued to serve in this department until 1932, when the courses in general linguistics and phonetics were incorporated in the Department of Speech and General Linguistics.
Early in 1927 Kelsey returned from Europe in poor health. He attempted to resume his duties as head of the department, but soon entered the hospital, where his death, on May 14, 1927, ended a service to the University which had extended over nearly four decades. Through all this period he had maintained the vitality and energy which had characterized him on his first arrival on the campus in 1889. He was an exacting but inspiring teacher. His devotion to the welfare of the department and its members was untiring and unselfish. Like Professors Frieze and Jones, he brought wide recognition to the University by his publication of texts, particularly his school editions of selections from Cicero and of Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, which were used from coast to coast. So popular was this edition of Caesar that upon one occasion, when Kelsey was to make a public address in Denver, he was introduced as "the man who wrote Caesar's Gallic War." His zeal in promoting sound instruction in the classics led him to maintain close relations with the secondary-school teachers of Michigan. He was similarly active and influential in several national associations and did much to foster high ideals of scholarship. In 1904 he started the Humanistic Series of the Page 639University of Michigan Studies, which has brought renown to the University throughout the world. By his own efforts he secured money for the publication of the earlier volumes, and he was editor of the series until his death. Through the response to his appeals for help, the work upon the great Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, which German scholars could no longer support after the World War, was saved from abandonment. His most widely known scholarly work was the volume, Pompeii: Its Life and Art, based upon the work of Professor Mau; his greatest contribution to classical scholarship was his effective fostering of scholarly ideals and institutions. He pointed the way which the Department of Latin must follow for years to come.
At the death of Professor Kelsey, Professor Sanders was designated as acting head of the Department of Latin, and he continued in this capacity through the next year, 1927-28. The proposed reorganization of the College, which was under discussion at this time, made adjustments within the department doubly difficult. As the year approached its close, Sanders accepted an appointment as director of the American School of Classical Studies in Rome and received an extended leave of absence from the University. By unanimous request of the members of the department, Professor John G. Winter was appointed to succeed him in the task of administration.
Winter's administrative ability had previously been recognized by President Little, and in 1928 he assumed his position as head of the Department of Latin, Professor of the Latin Language and Literature, Director of the Museum of Classical Archaeology, and Director of the Division of Fine Arts. He reorganized the Museum and obtained for it the use of Newberry Hall, thus fulfilling the dream of Professor Frieze. To provide more adequately for instruction in archaeology, which had been one of Professor Kelsey's principal interests, Benjamin Dean Meritt (Hamilton '20, LL.D. ibid. '37, Ph.D. Princeton '24) was called from the assistant directorship of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens to be Associate Professor of Latin and Greek. He revived certain courses in archaeology which had been omitted from the Announcements for several years, and Dr. Butler taught a course in numismatics. During the year 1929-30 Winter held the lectureship of the Thomas Spencer Jerome Foundation in the American Academy in Rome.
The decade which closed in 1930 was one of varied fortunes. In the early years the adverse effects of the World War upon enrollments were a cause of serious concern. Then an increase in the size of classes began, which continued almost to the end of the period. These changes may be illustrated by the enrollment variations in two senior courses, the Teachers' Course in Caesar and the Teachers' Course in Vergil, which were each given in two large sections in 1913-14. In 1923-24 the numbers had fallen to one section of scarcely a dozen students, but in the following year they began to rise, reaching a maximum in 1928-29, when thirty-eight students were enrolled in each course.
Of equal significance was the development of new interests by members of the staff. During his absence in 1919 and subsequent years, Kelsey had supervised excavations in Antioch of Pisidia, had assisted in exploratory excavations at ancient Carthage, and had initiated the University's archaeological work in Egypt on the site of the old town of Karanis in the Fayum. He also arranged for the purchase of numerous Greek and Latin manuscripts and for the acquisition of papyri recovered from the sands of Egypt. A full account of these efforts Page 640and of their very important results is recorded elsewhere (see Part VIII: Art and Archaeological Collections). Here it is sufficient to state that they added stimulus to instruction in archaeology and gave new direction to the research interests of various members of the Departments of Latin and Greek, making possible the remarkable scholarly achievement of this decade and of the one to follow.
When Winter returned in 1930, Carr had resigned from the faculty to accept a position in the Teachers' College of Columbia University, and the vacancy thus created had been filled by the appointment of Fred Sylvester Dunham ('06, A.M. '07), of the Cleveland Public Schools, as Assistant Professor of Latin and of the Teaching of Latin, and head of the Department of Latin in the University High School.
After an absence of three years, Sanders returned to the department in the fall of 1931 as Professor of Latin. In the following year he was also named Chairman of the Department of Speech and General Linguistics, in which were incorporated the courses in phonetics and linguistics which had been developed under the direction of Meader. At the time of this reorganization Meader's long service to the Latin Department was ended by his transfer to the staff in speech and general linguistics. He had contributed much, especially in the organization of new courses, and many generations of students recall with pleasure the hours spent in his classes.
Meritt was given leave of absence for 1932-33 to be visiting professor at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, after which he resigned and accepted a professorship in the Johns Hopkins University.
On December 17, 1933, Albert R. Crittenden died, after a very brief illness. For more than a quarter of a century he had been a quiet but effective teacher in the department, and his loss was a severe blow. He had revived the course in Roman law a few years after Professor Drake had withdrawn from the department and had provided for the needs of his classes by publishing, in 1928, Readings in Roman Law. Professor Emeritus Drake returned to the teaching of Latin to conduct these classes until the close of the year.
In 1934 Meinecke became Associate Professor and Frank Olin Copley (Stanford '30, Ph.D. ibid. '34) was appointed Instructor in Latin. Clark Hopkins (Yale '17, A.M. Oxon. '21, Ph.D. Wisconsin '24) was called to the University in 1935 to be Associate Professor of Greek and Latin. He had been field director of Yale University's excavations at Dura-Europos in Syria and was thus able to continue and develop the courses in archaeology in addition to his teaching of Greek and Latin authors.
As the year 1937-38 was drawing to its close Assistant Professor Butler became too ill to continue her work and died shortly after, on June 16. Her twenty-five years of teaching and of labor on the archaeological collections had ended. In the minutes of the faculty this tribute was paid to her:
Loyalty to friends, devotion to work, and interest in her students were dominant traits in her character. The simple dignified words found in so many of the Latin inscriptions on which she worked may be appropriately applied to a life which, like hers, deserves remembrance: Bene merenti.
In the fall of 1938 Enoch Ernest Peterson (Luther '12, A.M. Michigan '32) a member of the staff of the Museum of Classical Archaeology, assumed Assistant Professor Butler's laboratory course in antiquities and the course in numismatics. At the same time Roger Ambrose Pack ('29, Ph.D. '34), who had been appointed Acting Instructor in Latin and Page 641Greek in 1936, joined the staff as an instructor.
At the end of the first semester of 1938-39 Professor H. A. Sanders, who had reached the age of retirement, became Professor Emeritus of Latin, more than forty-six years after his first appointment in 1893. His unremitting industry in varied scholarly pursuits, but especially in the study of old Biblical texts, has brought distinction to himself and to the University. He has been a shrewd counselor in the affairs of the department and a kindly adviser to its younger members. His insistence upon high standards of scholarship and his courageous defense of the interests of the department have commanded the respect of all his colleagues.
In less than two decades preceding 1940 there was a complete change in the staff of the department except for its present head, Professor J. G. Winter. To him has fallen the difficult task of maintaining the high standards of teaching and of scholarship set by his predecessors. His associates look forward with confidence to the decade which lies before them.
The years 1930-40 have witnessed more clearly than any preceding period the unfortunate results of the confusion which has developed in secondary education. In the high schools there have been an unparalleled influx of pupils (many of them of inferior ability), a resulting shift of emphasis in instruction toward vocational preparation, and a too prevalent abandonment of definite standards of achievement. These factors have affected the department in various ways. Fewer students enter the University with the traditional four years' preparation in Latin, and it has been necessary to give added attention to those courses in the department which were formerly regarded as preparatory to college work. Enrollments in the senior courses are correspondingly smaller than in the preceding decade.
Fortunately, the graduate courses of the department have attracted superior students from an ever widening area which extends beyond the borders of the United States. In the decade ending in 1940 the master of arts degree was conferred upon 189 students in Latin. Seven received the degree of doctor of philosophy in Latin, and six received the same degree in Latin and Greek.
Summer courses were first organized in 1894 and were principally of undergraduate character. Gradually the demand for graduate courses increased, and those designed for undergraduates attracted fewer students until in the early twenties it was no longer practicable to include in the summer program courses for which graduate credit was not given. The number of students seeking advanced degrees through summer work in the department has grown larger, with only an occasional downward fluctuation. During the five years ending in June, 1935, 219 students were enrolled in summer courses in Latin, and in the next five years the number was 303. The University's program in the classical languages is now unsurpassed by any in the country. Two institutes for teachers of Latin have been held during the summer session and have enrolled teachers from Maine to California, and from the Gulf states to the Canadian border. At no time in its history has the Department of Latin been more widely recognized than it is at present.
Recognition must here be given to the generosity of Mr. Theodore D. Buhl, of Detroit, in establishing the Buhl classical fellowships in 1901, and to Mrs. Theodore D. Buhl and her son, Mr. Lawrence D. Buhl, in continuing them. In a period of forty years more than fifty graduate students have been recipients of these fellowships, to many of whom the Page 642continuance of their studies would otherwise have been impossible. In addition to six members of the present University faculty who are occupied in teaching or research in the classics, former Buhl classical fellows are known to be engaged in teaching or administrative work in the University of North Dakota, Butler University, Pomona College, Southwestern University, the University of Illinois, New York City College, Luther College, Colby College, Sweet Briar College, Indiana University, the Michigan State Normal College, and other institutions of similar standing.
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