In Memoriam: Theodore V. Buttrey, Jr.

(Written by Sarah E. Cox, and shared with the SCS by Ofelia N. Salgado-Buttrey)

Theodore V. Buttrey, Jr.

29 December 1929 – 9 January 2018

Renowned educator, numismatist and classicist, Theodore V. (“Ted”) Buttrey, Jr., died on January 9, 2018, eleven days after his 88th birthday.  Born in Havre, Montana, as a child he attended the Peacock Military Academy in San Antonio, Texas, where he first encountered the coins of Mexico, a life-long interest.  His secondary education was at the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, after which he entered Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude in 1950 in Classics.  In the summer of 1952, he participated in the inaugural Summer Seminar in Numismatics conducted by the American Numismatic Society, an experience that may well have been pivotal in setting the later course of his career.  In 1953, still at Princeton, he completed his Ph.D. thesis on a numismatic subject, “Studies in the Coinage of Marc Anthony,” a chapter of which was condensed and published as “Thea Neotera on Coins of Antony and Cleopatra,” ANS Museum Notes 6 (1954), pp. 95-109.  There followed a Fulbright scholarship to study in Rome.

In 1954 Ted joined the faculty of Yale University, where he remained for a decade, first as an instructor and then as assistant professor in the Department of Classical Studies; he also served as curator of the numismatic collection and, from 1962 to 1964, as assistant professor in the Department of Medieval Studies.  In 1964 he moved to the University of Michigan, where he remained until his retirement in 1985, starting as associate professor of Greek and Latin and rising to full professor in 1968.  From 1969 to 1971 he also served as Director of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.  After retiring from Michigan he moved to the University of Cambridge, to become an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Classics of Clare Hall College, where he had previously been a Visiting Fellow and Resident Member.  In addition, from 1988 to 1991 he served as Keeper of Coins and Medals at the Fitzwilliam Museum, and from 2008 until his death held the post of Honorary Keeper of Coins.  Ted was a life member of the SCS (the APA at that time) and the AIA, as well as a member of the Royal Numismatic Society and the Société Française de Numismatique, and he received a host of awards and honors, including the Medal of the Royal Numismatic Society, the Huntington Medal of the ANS, the medal of the Norwegian Numismatic Society, and the Wolfgang Hahn Medal of the Institut für Numismatik und Geldgeschichte of Vienna University.

Ted’s publications, both books and articles, totaled well over 100.  Most were concerned with topics in numismatics, especially antiquity, where the broad span of his interests encompassed Athenian coins, Republican denarii, Flavian coins, the coinage of Pescennius Niger, and even calculating ancient coin production.  The modern era of numismatics also consumed much of his time, and a challenge to the authenticity of a collector’s gold bars of the Spanish-American southwest even got his name in the newspapers.  But he never forsook his devotion to Classics, as evidenced by his early article, “Accident and Design in Euripides’ Medea,” published in AJP in 1958, while he was at Yale, and to an even greater extent by the television programs he produced for Michigan Media on Homer, Greek drama and theatre, Herodotus, Suetonius, and other classical subjects.  As recently as 2015, in conversations at the International Numismatic Congress in Taormina, he discussed plans for a book on the role of fate in Oedipus Rex, arguing against the idea of unshakeable destiny.

While never thought of as one who suffered fools gladly, he was a charismatic teacher and approachable mentor, encouraging of younger scholars, as well as a witty and engaging raconteur.  He will be greatly missed, but he leaves an immense legacy for his students, colleagues, and family to cherish and spread.

---

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


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Adam Blistein recently sent a message to all members inviting you to volunteer to stand for election to Association offices and to serve on APA committees.  The required form may be accessed here, and you may find full information about what is involved in serving in the various positions here

Why do we send this message every year, and why is it important that we have members respond? 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 06/18/2013 - 1:09pm by Adam Blistein.

The New York Times makes a case that Hollywood learned about the wisdom of producing sequels, prequels, etc. from - among others - ancient Greek tragedians. 

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Tue, 06/04/2013 - 7:03pm by Adam Blistein.

In high school, Joshua D. Sosin had two favorite subjects: Latin and biology. "In the end I decided that my Latin teacher was cooler, and if I, too, wanted to be cool, I should do Latin," he says. That led to a concentration in classics, philosophy, and religion at what is now the University of Mary Washington, where he studied not only Latin but also Greek and Egyptian Coptic. He got a Ph.D. in classics from Duke University in 2000. "At no point did I consider what I would do with any of this," he says.

What he did was go on to a career as a papyrologist and epigraphist, a scholar of inscriptions. Now Mr. Sosin, who is 40, is about to put that training to fresh uses in a job configured unlike any other at Duke. In July he will become director of the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing, a new digital-humanities unit of the Duke University Libraries.

Read more at The Chronicle of Higher Education.

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Mon, 06/03/2013 - 2:01pm by Information Architect.

The World Languages Department at Wenatchee Valley College announces a new web site to support its Latin program as well as spoken-Latin activities in the Pacific Northwest. "Boreoccidentales" provides a forum for the events and activities of the Circulus Latinus Seattlensis ("Seattle Latin-Speaking Club") and the Conventiculum Vasintoniense/Septimana Californiana. The web site also houses Cataracta, an online journal, with works by modern Latin authors. Inclusion in the online journal is open to anyone, world-wide! For more information, please contact Dr. Stephen Berard through the "Contact Us" web form.
http://www.boreoccidentales.com

View full article. | Posted in Websites and Resources on Wed, 05/29/2013 - 7:15pm by .

All APA and AIA members, be they Grizzled comic veterans or Dewy-eyed tiros, are invited to participate in The 12th Annual Staged Reading of The Committee on Ancient and Modern Performance (CAMP): Plautus’ Rudens, directed by Alison Futrell (University of Arizona) and John Given (East Carolina University). This is the journey of a plucky young woman, kidnapped, torn from the arms of love, shipwrecked, waterlogged, epiphanied, menaced and manacled, to be bound again at last by the salty ties of tender devotion! This is the rambunctious musical production populated by pimps, piscatores, prostitutes, pirates, peons, and paramours! This is the rope-y tug-of-war to tug your heartstrings and tease your toes to tapping!

Rudens aims to be an uproarious extravaganza. There will be singing. There will be dancing. There will be silliness. We need actors able and willing to play big, even in small roles. We also need costumers and other off-stage crew. We need you!

The Rudens performance will take place on the Friday evening, January 3, 2014, at the APA-AIA Meetings in Chicago. Rehearsals begin two days prior to the performance, on January 1. (Travel on December 31 may be necessary.) Actors are expected to familiarize themselves with scripts in advance, though memorization is not required. Acting experience is not required, but is not unwelcome.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 05/29/2013 - 1:43pm by Adam Blistein.

I am sorry to announce that the AIA has terminated its participation in the Joint AIA–APA Placement Service.  This unfortunate decision dissolves a partnership that has lasted for more than three decades.  We at APA discouraged this step because we believe it will put an additional burden on many candidates and institutions both at the joint annual meeting and throughout the hiring process.  In moving ahead, we are determined to continue to offer an excellent Placement Service to our registrants, even as we work on upgrading what has been offered in the past. 

In 2011 the APA independently commissioned the creation of an online system to handle Placement Service registration, the immediate posting of new position listings on a private web site, and the scheduling of interviews at the annual meeting.  During the current academic year, Information Architect Sam Huskey and his colleague Alex Ward made several improvements to this System, including programming that issued an e-mail notification to registered candidates on the day following the posting of a new position.  Sam and Alex are now at work on further improvements for 2013-14, particularly some steps to make the registration process easier for both candidates and institutions.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 05/28/2013 - 7:43pm by Adam Blistein.

The Academy /Vivarium Novum /is offering ten full tuition scholarships for high school students of the European Union (16-18 years old) and ten full tuition scholarships for University students (18-24 years old) of any part of the world. The scholarships will cover all of the costs of room, board, teaching and didactic materials for courses to be held *from October 7, 2013 until June 14, 2014* on the grounds of the Academy’s campus at Rome.

Application letters must be sent to info@vivariumnovum.net by July 15 in order to receive consideration.

A good knowledge of the fundamental of Latin and Greek is required.

The courses will be as follows:

   1. Latin language (fundamental and advanced)
   2. Greek language (fundamental and advanced)
   3. Latin composition
   4. Roman History
   5. Ancient Latin literature
   6. History of ancient Philosophy
   7. Renaissance and Neo-Latin literature
   8. Latin and Greek music and poetry
   9. Classics reading seminars

View full article. | Posted in Degree and Certificate Programs on Thu, 05/23/2013 - 2:22pm by Adam Blistein.

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new website on the reception of ancient Greek tragedy, hosted by the Open University of Cyprus: http://eumenides.ouc.ac.cy.

As part of a research project, coordinated by Dr. Vayos Liapis and funded by the Research Promotion Foundation of Cyprus, the website aims at cataloguing and analysing the various ways in which ancient Greek tragedy and tragic myth have been adapted, reinterpreted, revised or re-imagined in Modern Greek poetry and theatre from the late 19th century to the present day.

Among other things, the website contains a fully searchable database of modern Greek poems and plays which set out to adapt, update, parody, or otherwise rewrite classical Greek drama. At present, users have access to entries on the poetry of George Seferis and Yiannis Ritsos, as well as to audiovisual material.

For further information please visit our website at: http://eumenides.ouc.ac.cy. Follow us on Twitter (@EumenidesProjec) and Facebook (Eumenides Project) in order to receive notifications for new entries, publications, news and forthcoming events.

View full article. | Posted in General Announcements on Tue, 05/21/2013 - 5:59pm by Adam Blistein.

We regret to report the death of Calvert Watkins, winner of the 1998 Goodwin Award of Merit for his book, How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics.  Prof. Watkins spent his entire teaching career at Harvard, and the University's memorial notice appears here.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 05/20/2013 - 1:25pm by Adam Blistein.

A Conference at the University of Michigan
September 20th–21st, 2013
Angell Hall 3222

The idea of large-scale Roman missteps—whether imperial domination, sexual immorality, political corruption, greed, religious intolerance, cultural insensitivity, or the like—has been a notion “good to think with” since antiquity, and persists in familiar comparisons between the Roman Empire and the present-day United States. This conference seeks to go beyond a merely thematic discussion to re-examine the connections between “Roman error,” broadly conceived, and basic features of the reception of antiquity including: misunderstanding and misprision, repetition and difference, the subject’s relation to a (remembered or unconscious) past, performance and illusion, and links between text and image. If the Romans “erred,” what are the consequences for Rome’s inheritors as they attempt to construct a stable relation to Rome as a flawed “source” or model? We ask not simply, “Are Rome’s errors ours?” but, “How does Roman error figure in the reception of Rome itself?”

FRIDAY, September 20th

2:00 Welcome

Error and Empire

2:15 Phiroze Vasunia (University of Reading), “The Roman Empire and the Error of Civilization”

3:00 Margaret Malamud (New Mexico State University), “Worse than Cato? How to Think about Slavery”

View full article. | Posted in Conferences, Lectures, and Meetings on Fri, 05/17/2013 - 4:53pm by .

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