KENT, Roland G.

KENT, Roland Grubb. Wilmington, Del. 24.2.1877 — Bryn Mawr, Pa. 27.6.1952. U.S. Latin, IE and Iranian scholar. Professor in Philadelphia. Son of Lindley Coates Kent, a lumber merchant, and Anna Grubb. Educated at Swarthmore College. A.B. 1895, B.Litt. 1896, A.M. 1898. Further studies in 1899-1900 at Berlin, 1900 at Munich, 1900-01 at American School of Classical Studies in Athens, 1901 at Munich and 1901-02 again in Athens. Mainly concentrated on Greek. In 1896-99 Instructor of Latin at Lower Marion High School in Ardmore, Pa., 1902-03 Harrison Fellow at University of Pennsylvania. Ph.D. 1903 there. All of his later career was also at University of Pennsylvania: 1904-09 Instructor in Greek and Latin, 1909-16 Assistant Professor of Comparative Philology, and from 1916 full Professor of the same (1942 renamed Indo-European linguistics). In 1910-14 also Lecturer in Sanskrit at Bryn Mawr. Retired in 1947. Married 1904 with Gertrude Freeman Hall.

Kent was a Latin and IE scholar specialized in Old Persian. His 1950 handbook is a much-used seminal work. In 1924 among the founders of the Linguistic Society of America. Among his students was M. W. Smith.

Publications: Diss. A History of Thessaly from the Earliest Historical Times to the Accession of Philip V of Macedonia. Manuscript 1903, one chapter publ. 8+27 p. Lancaster, Pa. 1904 (the rest not preserved).

– Yearly reports of “Info-European Philology” in American Year Book 1913-20.

– “The Vedic Path of the Gods and the Roman Pontifex”, ClPh 8, 1913, 315-321.

– “Classical Parallels to a Sanskrit Proverb”, JAOS 33, 1913, 214-216; “Note on Atharva-Veda XX.127.10”, JAOS 34. 1914, 310-312.

– “Studies in the Old Persian Inscriptions”, JAOS 35, 1915-17, 321-352; “The recently published Old Persian Inscriptions”, JAOS 51, 1931, 289-240; brief articles on Old Persian in JAOS 1920, 1921, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1938, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1947, 1952, Language 1933, 1937, 1939, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, JNES 1943, 1944, 1945, and Iranian in JAOS 1911 & 1913; also wrote on Avesta.

– “Zoroastrianism”, Religions of the past and present. Philadelphia 1918, 183-210.

– The Sounds of Latin. A Descriptive and Historical Phonology. 216 p. Language Monogr. 12. Baltimore 1932, rev. 2nd ed. 1940.

Old Persian. Grammar, texts, lexicon. 14+216 p. A.O.S. 33. New Haven 1950, 2nd rev. ed. 11+219 p. New Haven 1953 (texts including all then known O.P. inscriptions, with translations).

– The Textual criticism of Inscriptions. 76 p. Philadelphia 1926 (beside Latin, Greek and Osco-Umbrian also dealing with Old Persian).

Language and Philology. Our Debt to Greece and Rome. 7+174 p. Boston 1923; translated: Varro, De lingua Latina. 1-2. Loeb Class. Library. Cambridge & L. 1938; other works, articles on classical philology in AJPh, ClPh, ClR, ClWeekly, Language, TAPA, etc.; numerous reviews.

Sources: *W. Brandenstein, AfO 16, 1952-53, 396; W.W. Briggs Jr. in Briggs (ed.), Biogr. Dict. of N. Am. class. 1994, 323f. and Database of classical scholars (in dbcs.rutgers.edu, with photo); *H.M. Hoenigswald, Lex. Gramm. 1996, 508; G.S. Lane, Language 29, 1953, 1-13 (with bibliography); R. Schmitt, Encyclop. Iranica 16:3, 2017, 238-240 (online); Directory of Am. Scholars 1st ed. 1942; *Nat. Cycl. Am. Biogr. 47, 496f..; Wikipedia.

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