AVERY, John. Conway, Mass. 18.9.1837 — North Bridgetown, Maine 1.9.1887. U.S. Indologist, Linguist and Ethnologist. Professor of Classics in U.S. Universities. Son of Joseph A. and his wife Sylvia, lost rather early his parents. Graduated 1861 from Amherst College, then further studies at the Leicester Academy (Mass.) in 1861-62. In 1862 tutor at Amherst, then 1863-67 Whitney’s student at Yale. In 1867-68 further studies of Sanskrit and Avesta at Berlin and Tübingen. In 1870-71 Professor of Latin and 1871-77 of Greek at Iowa College in Grinnell. In 1877-87 Professor of Greek at Bowdoin College. Retired in June 1887 in order to be able to concentrate on his research, but succumbed to an infection when nursing his only son. Married in 1866, one son.
Avery was a skilled Linguist and Ethnographist, especially interested in India. A major monograph on Indian primitive tribes remained unfinished. Not as good as a teacher, students had often difficulties to follow him. His papers are at Yale.
Publications: A great number of brief articles on Sanskrit, Indian languages, peoples, ethnology, etc. e.g. in JAOS and PAOS.
– “Contributions to the History of Verb-Inflection in Sanskrit”, JAOS 10, 1880, 219-324; “The unaugmented Verb-forms in the Rig- and Atharva-Vedas”, JAOS 11, 1885, 326-361.
– “The Religion of the Aboriginal Tribes of India”, IA 14, 1885, 125-134.
Sources: Dict. of Am. Biogr. 1; Who Was Who in Am. Historical Vol.; geni.com names his parents, but ignores the marriage.
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