History of the Department

Origins

Instruction in Classics has been offered since the foundation of the University of Chicago. In the summer of 1892, the University's first President, William Rainey Harper, hired Paul Shorey as Professor of Greek from Bryn Mawr College and William G. Hale as Professor of Latin from Cornell University. Harper himself, though primarily a scholar of Hebrew, taught classes in both Greek and Latin. 1906 saw the inauguration of Classical Philology, a quarterly journal devoted to research in the languages, literatures, history, and life of classical antiquity and one of the oldest Classics periodicals in the United States. The first issue, under the managing editorship of Edward Capps, carried an obituary of Harper alongside one of Sir Richard Jebb and articles by William Scott Ferguson, Alfred Körte, Elmer Truesdell Merrill, Frank Gardner Moore, and John Williams White. The Editor and Associate Editors of the journal continue to be appointed from Classics faculty members at Chicago.

Tradition

A number of distinguished scholars have served on the faculty throughout the Department's history, including Arthur Adkins, R.J. Bonner, Blanche Boyer, Oscar Broneer, Benedict Einarson, Werner Jaeger, Gordon Laing, Richmond Lattimore, Richard McKeon, Carl Roebuck, Gertrude Smith, and George Walsh. In keeping with the University of Chicago's interdisciplinary mission, research into Greek and Roman Antiquity has also been conducted by faculty beyond the Department, such as Carl Darling Buck, Professor of Comparative Philology and the author of one of the most seminal studies of the Greek dialects, J.A.O. Larsen, author of Greek Federal States and Professor of Greek History in the History Department, and the Italian historian and historiographer Arnaldo Momigliano, who held a visiting appointment in the Committee on Social Thought.