Dirk tom Dieck Held, the Elizabeth S. Kruidenier ’48 Professor of Classics at Connecticut College in New London CT, died of a cerebral hemorrhage on March 21, 2012. He took his A.B. and Ph.D in Classics at Brown University.
Joining the faculty of Connecticut College in 1971, he held the Chair of the Classics Department for thirty-two years. Professor Held presented and/or published over one hundred learned papers on a wide variety of topics. He was widely known and respected for the quality of his scholarship and his dedication to the field.
Colleague Robert Proctor, Professor of Italian, remarked, “Dirk Held lived the liberal arts ideal. His scholarship was both profound and wide-ranging, from Plato’s understanding of love to Nietzsche and the reception of classical antiquity in the modern world. He was a modern exemplar of ancient Roman humanitas: culture, kindness, generosity, and wit.”
Some of his recent published works include:
- "From Ashurbanipal to Plato: Religion and Naturalism in Ancient Science," Language and the Scientific Imagination, Proceedings of the 11th International Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas, Helsinki. (2010)
- "Eros, Beauty and the Divine in Plato," New England Classical Journal August 2009, pp. 155-168 (http://www.caneweb.org/necj/pdf/ErosBeautyDivine.pdf) (2009)
- "Europe, History, Postmodernism: Greece and the Problem of Aboriginality", Actas del VIII Congresso Cultura Europea. Navarra: Editorial Aranzadi. pp. 41-46. (2009)
- "Socratic Modes of Reason in Plato, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche" in Ann Ward, ed. Socrates: Reason or Unreason as the Foundation of European Identity (2007)
- "Antigone on the Neckar: Greek Tragedy and Enigmas of the Modern," New EnglandClassical Journal (2007)
Reviews written by Professor Held appeared in Ancient History Bulletin, Ancient Philosophy, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, Canadian Philosophical Reviews, Classical World, New England Classical Journal, and Review of Metaphysics.
Held's presentation of his work at national and international conferences was also extensive. Recent presentations include:
- "Memory, Culture and Hellenism," presented to the Inaugural Conference on Transcultural Memory, University of London, School of Advanced Studies. (2010)
- "Ocularity and Discursivity in Plato's Republic, Bk VII," presented to the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy (2009)
Born on March 24, 1939, he was the son of the late Oskar Edouard Held and Ethel Crofton Hunt. He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Elizabeth Candace Allen; daughters Elizabeth Jensen and Kristin Held; grandsons Nicholas Thomson and Martin Jensen; and his brother Robert Crofton Held. He was descended from Pierre S. DuPont and was buried in the family cemetery, DuPont de Nemours, in Wilmington, Delaware.