WHEELER, Benjamin Ide. Randolph, Mass. 15.7.1854 — Vienna, Austria 3.5.1927. U.S. Classical and IE Scholar. Son of Benjamin W., a Baptist priest, and Mary E. Ide. Studies at Brown University 1871-75 (A.B. 1875, A.M. 1878), instructor at the same 1879-81. In 1881-85 further studies in Germany: Leipzig, Heidelberg, Jena, and Berlin (under Brugmann, Curtius, Ostoff, Delbrück, J. Schmidt, etc.), Ph.D. 1885 Heidelberg (under Osthoff). In 1885-86 Instructor of German at Harvard. Then in 1886–87 acting Professor of Classical Philology at Cornell University, 1887-88 Professor of Comparative Philology, and 1888–99 of Greek and Classical Philology ibid., finally 1899-1919 Professor of Comparative Philology at University of California in Berkeley. In 1899-1919 also President of the university, 1919 emeritus. One year, 1895-96, he was Professor of Greek Literature at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and 1909-10 visiting Professor at Berlin. LL.D. 1896 Princeton, 1900 Harvard, 1900 Brown, 1901 Yale, 1902 Johns Hopkins, 1904 University of Wisconsin, 1904 Illinois College, 1905 Dartmouth, 1906 Columbia, 1916 University of Kentucky, Hon. Ph.D. 1912 Univ. of Athens, 1915 L.H.D. Colgate. Married 1881 Amey Webb, one son.
Wheeler was mainly a Greek scholar (and more a philologist than linguist), but at Berkeley he also taught Sanskrit (founded the Sanskrit Dept.), Gothic and Balto-Slavic. He made numerous visits to Europe, in 1909-10 visiting Professor at Berlin University.
Publications: Diss. Der griechische Nominalaccent. 8+146 p. Strassburg 1885.
– Analogy and the Scope of Its Application in Language. 50 p. Ithaca NY 1887; Dionysos and Immortality: the Greek faith in immortality as affected by the rise of individualism. 67 p. Boston 1899; Alexander the Great: The Merging of East and West in Universal History. 15+520 p. N.Y. 1900; etc.
– “The Origin of Grammatical Gender”, Jn. of Germanic Philol. 2, 1899, 528-545 ; other writings.
Sources: N.C.A.B. 4, 480; Who Was Who in Am. 1; *M.C. Deutsch, The Abundant Life: B.I.W. Berkeley 1926; *I.M. Linforth, D.Am.B. 21, 44-46; W.F. Wyatt Jr. in Briggs (ed.), Biogr. Dict. of N. Am. Class. 1994, 692f.; Wikipedia with photo.
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