In Memoriam: Albert Henrichs

Albert Henrichs (December 29, 1942 – April 16, 2017)

On June 14, 1969, Albert Henrichs arrived in Vienna from Cologne, carrying four lumps of ancient leather in a cigar box. An expert Austrian conservator gradually unpeeled what turned out to be 192 pages of a tiny book measuring 1.4 x 1.8 inches, written in Greek and dating from the fifth century CE. By evening the following day, Henrichs had transcribed the text. It was a sensation for the history of religion: a detailed tract about Manichaeism, a rival of Christianity, founded in Mesopotamia in the third century by a young mystic called Mani, whose autobiographical account of his divine revelations is quoted in the text. Henrichs was 26. His publication of this astonishing codex, together with Ludwig Koenen, curator of papyri at Cologne, sealed his reputation as a Wunderkind of classical scholarship.

            As a baby, Henrichs was rescued from the carpet-bombing of Cologne to spend his early years in Bad Ems, originally a settlement on the northern border of the Roman empire. After the war, American GIs barracked in a nearby villa made the cherubic toddler their mascot, spoiling him with oranges and peanuts; Henrichs later attributed his affinity for the United States to that early memory from a war-stricken childhood. Subsequently educated at Cologne (PhD 1966), he spent two years working on the papyri collection at the University of Michigan, returning to Cologne for his Habilitation and then moving to Berkeley in 1971. He was appointed with tenure at Harvard in 1973 at the precocious age of thirty. In 1984 he was appointed the tenth Eliot Professor of Greek Literature, the first to have been neither born in the United States nor educated at Harvard.

            Henrichs’ training as a papyrologist afforded him a second sensational coup: the publication of 46 fragments from a second-century papyrus codex containing excerpts from a lurid Greek novel, Phoinikika (“Phoenician Saga”), by an otherwise unknown Lollianos. In it, a frank account of the protagonist’s loss of virginity pales into insignificance beside a subsequent episode, in which the protagonist, having joined a band of robbers in Egypt, participates in an act of human sacrifice and cannibalism, consuming the heart of a murdered boy to seal his oath of allegiance to the gang. All this Henrichs pieced together and explicated from the most daunting jigsaw of broken pieces. Unparalleled command of ancient Greek and its literature, profound knowledge of the religions of the ancient Mediterranean world, and the papyrologist’s tenacious attention to detail were the hallmarks of his scholarship.

            In his latter years, with his halo of white hair and rotund form, Henrichs resembled Silenus, a prominent figure in the boisterous revelry accompanying Dionysus, Henrichs’ favorite god and a persistent theme in his scholarship. In the latter half of the twentieth century, scholarship on Greek religion focused on ritual. Henrichs brought it back to the question of the gods, and what made them so: immortality, anthropomorphism, and power. He showed that the dancing of the tragic chorus, hitherto interpreted as a vestige of the ritual origins of tragedy, is a unique element of each play, crafted by the playwright to reflect an emotional response to the unfolding of the plot. His scholarly publications—nearly 200 in all—always bloomed afresh, rooted in the history of scholarship, which he knew intimately. The reception of Dionysus in modern culture also fascinated him, as did writers and cultural icons as varied as Rilke, Yeats, Mark Twain, Jim Morrison, and Lawrence of Arabia. His writing, whether in his native German or (flawless) English, was clear, compelling, and electric with insight.

            As a teacher, Albert Henrichs was unforgettable. His learning was legendary, and yet in every class he approached the text with the excitement of somebody discovering it for the first time. He taught until shortly before his death, stopping only when he could no longer reach Boylston Hall. At home, his hospitality was worthy of a devotee of Dionysus. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. He is mourned by generations of devoted students and colleagues the world over, and by his wife, Sarah Nolan; his children by his first marriage, Markus and Helen; their mother, Ursula; and two grandchildren.

Submitted by Kathleen M. Coleman, Harvard University, with gratitude to Sarah Nolan for much vivid detail.

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(Photo: "Candle" by Shawn Carpenter, licensed under CC BY 2.0)   

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We've put together a list of the special events that will take place at the 2018 Annual Meeting.

Note that, while paper sessions will take place in the Marriott, a large portion of the evening events will be housed in the Westin.

The upcoming December Newsletter from the SCS office will have more information about these and other events at the Annual Meeting.

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 11/22/2017 - 10:39am by Erik Shell.
Advanced Seminar in the Humanities 2018– 2019
Literature and Culture in the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece, Rome, and the Near East

From March 12 to March 23, 2018 Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, in cooperation with Venice International University, will offer an advanced seminar on “Literature and Culture in the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece, Rome and the Near East”.

The Program

The program is conceived as a two year commitment over two successive years (2018 and 2019). The first session (March 12-23, 2018) will consist of lectures by scholars with a seminar approach on the origins and development of literary genres and literacy in Ancient Greece, Rome and the Near East. Some of the lectures will run simultaneously and will be devoted respectively to the interpretation of specific classical and near Eastern texts, with more focus on textual analysis. An evening lecture by an invited speaker special is also under consideration.

The lectures will alternate with a series of site visits, for example, to the Marciana Library, the Library of San Lazzaro degli Armeni, and the Basilica of San Marco.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:35pm by Erik Shell.

CLASSICAL ASSOCIATION OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST (CAPN)
ANNUAL MEETING, MARCH 9-10, 2018
CALL FOR PAPERS

The 48th Annual Meeting of the Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest (CAPN) will take place at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, on March 9-10, 2018. The keynote speaker will be Professor Joy Connolly, Provost of the Graduate Center, CUNY.

Call for Papers: We invite papers on any aspect of the ancient Mediterranean world, including Greece, Rome, Egypt, and the Ancient Near East. We especially seek those that are likely to be of broad interest and seek to make connections among different elements of the ancient world. Such connections may cross traditional disciplinary boundaries (such as archaeology, drama, history, literature, and philosophy) or geographical boundaries (e.g., looking at intersections between Greek society and Roman society) or even temporal boundaries (including receptions of Mediterranean antiquity in later places and times). We also welcome pedagogical papers, especially those that address the instruction of Latin and Greek at the primary, secondary, and university levels. Teachers and students of Classics at any level of instruction (K-12, college, or university) are encouraged to submit abstracts.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 11/21/2017 - 12:00pm by Erik Shell.
30th International Conference of Philosophy
"POLIS, COSMOPOLIS AND GLOBALISATION"
July 20-26, 2018
Samos, Greece

Call for Abstracts

This conference will bring together philosophers, classicists, researchers and scholars from all areas whose work concerns important issues involving various aspects of globalization, the notion of globalization itself and/or Greek philosophy. The conference aims at providing a platform for in-depth analysis and discussion of the above mentioned themes.

We welcome submissions from a wide range of disciplines, including economy, ontology, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politic, as well as other relevant disciplines and fields. Each paper session will have 20 minutes for presentation followed by Q/A session.

Papers presented at the conference will be eligible for inclusion in a proceedings Volume. We are looking to publish works that explore ideas, concepts, theories and their implications across multiple disciplines and professions that grapple with the relevant problems of our age.

View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 11/21/2017 - 10:39am by Erik Shell.

Mark Masterson, Senior Lecturer of Classics at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) and member of the SCS for over 20 years, has been awarded a grant $476,000 from the Marsden Fund administered by Royal Society for his research project, "Revealing Desire between Men in the Byzantine Empire". He will be holder of this grant for three years starting in 2018.  Here is a link to the awards the Royal Society made this year:

https://royalsociety.org.nz/what-we-do/funds-and-opportunities/marsden/awarded-grants/marsden-awards-2017/

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View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 11/21/2017 - 8:39am by Erik Shell.
Scene from Roman History, depicting a Youth receiving Armor from a Dying Man

The pitfalls facing intermediate Latin students as they move from a basic knowledge of forms and the simplified Latin of textbooks to actually reading Latin are well-known. It’s not just the artful word order or sophisticated grammar of classical texts. As Kenneth Kitchell emphasized in a well-known article (Kitchell 2000), the geographical and cultural knowledge required can baffle even the student well trained in verb forms, case usage, and syntax. Then there is the well-known tendency of students themselves to ignore low-hanging fruit, to spurn the solicitously extended helping hand in the form of commentaries on their Latin texts, notes specifically designed to help them surmount these difficulties. What can be done?

View full article. | Posted in on Mon, 11/20/2017 - 8:00pm by Emma Vanderpool.

The SCS Outreach Prize Committee has awarded the 2017 Outreach Prize to Professor Roberta Stewart of Dartmouth College for her work in developing book discussion groups on the Homeric poems with military veterans. Professor Stewart's long-running initiative is now a major collaborative project of Dartmouth College and New Hampshire Humanities, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Award Citation

Even in today's busy, noisy, and self-absorbed world, the passionate, quiet, and selfless work of the individual does not remain unnoticed. We are proud to offer the 2017 SCS Outreach Prize to Roberta Stewart for her tireless pursuit of healing and social justice (in New Hampshire and Vermont) through engaging veterans in reading and discussing Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. By teaching them how to appropriate the two epics as living texts, she has given veterans, as one of them put it, the controlling voice in processing their experiences and their Odyssean stories of homecoming in particular.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Sun, 11/19/2017 - 8:40pm by Helen Cullyer.

Contributed by Professor Jamie Romm, Bard College:

William (Bill) Mullen, professor of classics at Bard College, died suddenly on Nov. 2, 2 days before he would have turned 71.

Bill earned his B.A. degree from Harvard and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.  His doctoral dissertation was titled “Pindar’s Aeginetans,” a study of the odes for Aeginetan victors. Bill published a book on Pindar, "Choreia: Pindar and Dance," (Princeton 1982), in which he made a bold attempt to reimagine the choreography of the danced epinician poems.

Bill was beloved of many students at Bard in the 32 years he taught there, and built the college's Classics program virtually ex nihilo. He came to Bard as associate professor of classics in 1985, after earlier stints at Boston University and St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland.   He was a devotee of oral recitation of ancient verse and participated actively in The Readers of Homer, a nonprofit organization that sponsors audience-participation readings of the Homeric epics. In 2013–14, he served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the United States Air Force Academy, an honor of which he was particularly proud. 

View full article. | Posted in In Memoriam on Fri, 11/17/2017 - 12:38pm by Helen Cullyer.

This is a reminder that the deadline to fill out the registration form for the Career Networking Event is November 22nd.

This event is only open to those who pre-register for it.

To sign up, fill out this form before the 22nd, and be sure to direct any questions to info@classicalstudies.org

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(Photo: "_DSC7061" by rhodesj, licensed under CC BY 2.0)

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 11/16/2017 - 8:18am by Erik Shell.
CLEISTHENES WORKSHOP
 
on Ancient Greek Thought and Practices from Homer to Plato
 
April 5th (2 pm) – 6th (5pm), 2018 in Besançon, France.
Scientific Committee : Michel Fartzoff, Karin Mackowiak, Arnaud Macé
Logiques de l'Agir EA 2274 & Institut des sciences et techniques de l'Antiquité EA 4011
 
CALL FOR PAPERS.
 
View full article. | Posted in Calls for Papers on Tue, 11/14/2017 - 10:50am by Erik Shell.

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