SMYTH, Herbert Weir

SMYTH, Herbert Weir. Wilmington, DE 8.8.1857 — Bar Harbor, ME 16.7.1937. U.S. Classical (Greek) Scholar also interested in Indology. Son of Clement Biddle Smyth, an iron manufacturer, and Sarah Ann Sellers. Educated at Swarthmore (A.B. 1876) and Harvard (A.B. 1878) Further studies in Germany: 1879-81 Leipzig, 1881-83 Göttingen. Ph.D. 1884 Göttigen. In 1883-85 Instructor in Classics, German and Sanskrit at Williams College, 1885-88 Lecturer and Reader at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, in 1888-1901 Associate Professor and Professor at Bryn Mawr. In 1901-02 Professor of Greek and 1902-25 Eliot Professor of Greek Literature at Harvard. Married 1887 with Eleanor Adt.

Smyth was the leading Greek grammarian of his day in the U.S.A. and apparently abandoned his early side interest in Sanskrit. In his later years, from the early 1900s, he mainly worked on Greek lyric, dramatic and epic poetry.

Publications: Diss. Der Diphthong ει im Griechische unter Berücksichtigung seiner Entsprechungen in verwandten Sprachen. 82 p. Göttingen 1884.

Articles on Greek linguistics in AJP, TAPA, etc.; The Sounds and Inflections of the Greek Dialects: Ionic. 27+668 p. Oxford 1894; A Greek Grammar for Colleges. 16+784 p. N.Y. 1920.

Translated: A. Weber: “Sacred Literature of the Jains”, IA 17, 1888, 279-292, 339-345; 18, 1889, 181-184, 369-378; 19, 1890, 62-70; 20, 1891, 18-29, 170-182, 365-376; 21, 1892, 14-23, 106-113, 177-185, 210-215, 293-311, 327-341 & 369-373 (concluded), also as book in 1894.

Edited: Greek Melic poets. N.Y. 1900; Aeschylus. 1-2. Loeb Series L. – N.Y. 1922-26.

Sources: W. W. Briggs Jr. in Briggs (ed.), Biogr. Dict. of N. Am. Class. 1994, 602-604; Wikipedia.

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