MAGOUN, Herbert William. Bath, co. Sagadahoc, Maine 17.2.1856 — Belmont, Mass. 8.1. 1956. U.S. Indologist and Classical Scholar. Son of Thomas P. I. Magoun and Maria Littlefield. Studies at Iowa (now Grinnell) College (A.B. 1879, A.M. 1882). In 1879-80 Assistant Principal of High School in Oskaloosa, Iowa, 1880-81 Principal of school in Bath, Maine, 1881-84 tutor at Iowa College, and in 1884-85 worked in a life insurance company. From 1886 further studies at Johns Hopkins under Bloomfield. Ph.D. 1890 there. In 1889-90 acting Physical Director at Johns Hopkins, 1890-91 acting Professor of Greek at Colorado College, 1891-92 in clerical work, 1892-93 Professor of Greek and 1893-95 of Latin at Oberlin College in Ohio, living in Oberlin until 1898. In 1898-1904 Professor of Greek and Latin at Redfield College, 1904-22 again living in Oberlin. He was Joint-editor of the Biblia Sacra, then 1921-26 President of Massachusetts College of Osteopathy. Retired in 1926. Married Martha Roberts Mann, a biologist, two sons and one daughter.
Magoun began his career as an Atharvavedic scholar, but concentrated later on Biblical exegetics and edited Christian journals.
Publications: Diss. The Āsurī-kalpa: a witchcraft practice of the Atharva-Veda, with an introduction, transl. and commentary. Baltimore 1889, publ. in AJPh 10, 1889, 165-197; “On the Āsurī-kalpa”, PAOS for 1888, xii-xvii; “Apāṁ Napāt in the Rig-Veda”, JAOS 19:2, 1898, 137-144; “The Original Hindu Triad”, ibid. 145-150; “Apāṁ Napāt again”, AJPh 21, 1900, 274-286.
– “Agni Vṛtrahan and the Avestan Verethraghna”, Bloomfield Vol. 1920, 197-210.
– Writings on Biblical subjects.
Sources: Brief note in JAOS 76, 1956, 250; Dir. of Am. Scholars 1st ed. 1942.