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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The Société Internationale de Bibliographie Classique (SIBC), the not-for-profit organization that oversees the publication of L’Année, has reorganized. Rather than giving one office editorial control over the others, all offices will now have editorial control over the content that they produce. SIBC will also form an editorial board to oversee the production of each volume, with an editor to ensure consistency and quality control. Dr. Lisa Carson, Director of the American Office of L’Année, will be the SCS representative on the editorial board.

The French Office of L’Année is changing.  CNRS has withdrawn from the project, and the University of Lille (3) will establish a new one beginning in 2015.

L'Année philologique on the Internet now covers 87 years of classical bibliography with volumes 1 (1924-1926) to 83 (2012).  As of the end of July 2014, 17,000 records from volume 83 (2012) had been posted online.  Because of the withdrawal of CNRS from the project, publications from France and other countries for which the French Office is responsible are momentarily not included.  However, both SIBC and the new French Office at the University of Lille will strive to deal with any backlog in indexing as quickly as possible. 

The online version of L’Année has the following new features:

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 10/08/2014 - 4:00pm by Adam Blistein.

We have posted calls for abstracts from organizer-refereed panels and affiliated groups authorized to hold sessions at the 2016 annual meeting. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 10/07/2014 - 10:52am by Adam Blistein.

By the middle of October all members with valid e-mail addresses (except life members) will receive a message from the Johns Hopkins University Press offering them the opportunity to pay their dues online.  Later in the month, the Press will also mail a printed invoice. 

This summer the Board of Directors accepted a recommendation from the Finance Committee to increase dues.  This is the first increase in dues since 2011 and was implemented to keep dues levels in line with inflation rather than to bring in a substantial amount of new income.  In addition, the Board accepted the Committee’s recommendations that (a) the number of dues categories be reduced and (b) dues for members making $100,000 or more be calculated at a slightly higher rate than those for members at lower income levels.  Also, a new dues category, for members earning $160,000 or more, was established at the top of the salary range.  As a result of the new categories, dues for some members will decline slightly, and, except at the highest salary levels, no one’s dues will increase by more than $10.  Members who joined the society before 1980 and who have paid dues for 30 consecutive years are eligible for a lower dues rate.  That rate is now $64, the rate otherwise paid by members earning between $30,000 and $40,000.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 10/07/2014 - 10:10am by Adam Blistein.

Newberry Library Fellowships provide support to researchers who wish to use our collection. We promise you intriguing and often rare materials; a lively, interdisciplinary community of researchers; individual consultations on your research with staff curators, librarians, and other scholars; and an array of both scholarly and public programs. Applicants may apply for both Long- and Short- Term Fellowships within one academic year. All applicants are strongly encouraged to consult the Newberry’s online catalog and collection guides before applying.

We are now accepting applications for the 2015-16 academic year.  For more information, visit our website: www.newberry.org/fellowships

Long-Term Fellowships (Deadline: December 1, 2014).  Long-Term Fellowships are intended to support individual scholarly research and promote serious intellectual exchange through active participation in the Newberry’s scholarly activities. Applicants must hold a PhD at the time of application in order to eligible. Applicants may apply for 4 to 12 months of support, with a stipend of $4,200 per month. For more information, including a list of available Long-Term Fellowships, please visit www.newberry.org/long-term-fellowships.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Wed, 10/01/2014 - 4:07pm by Adam Blistein.

The Vergilian Society has published its list of tours to take place in Summer 2015

View full article. | Posted in Summer Programs on Wed, 10/01/2014 - 3:55pm by Adam Blistein.

Bella Vivante will lead this tour from July 13-28, 2015.  This Greek theatrical tour, in English, will explore in place the physical and dramatic origins of theatre in Ancient Greece. We will:

  • Visit ancient theatre sites and learn the principles of their construction.
  • Read select ancient Greek plays in English and explore ancient theatrical production.
  • View performances of ancient Greek plays, some in ancient theatres such as Epidauros, and discuss the elements of their modern productions.
  • Meet with contemporary Greek dramatists to discuss stagings of ancient Greek plays.
  • Give our own reading/performance in an ancient theatre.
  • Have time to relax, experience Greek culture, and savor scrumptious Greek food and drink!

We will visit sites and museums and view performances in and around our 2 bases of Athens and Nauplion.  The tour will include in Greece

  • Services of HERC (Hellenic Educational & Research Center)
  • Lodging: quality hotels w/ breakfasts
  • In-country travel: private, luxury buses
  • Museum & site entry fees
  • Performance tickets

For further information, write to: bvivante4@gmail.com

View full article. | Posted in Summer Programs on Wed, 10/01/2014 - 3:50pm by Adam Blistein.

Our colleagues at the American Classical League have sent us this message:   

On Saturday September 27, the ACL/JCL/ETC Office is moving. Its new address will be:

860 NW Washington Blvd.,
Suite A
Hamilton, OH  45013

The ACL's phone number and fax number, will remain the same:  513-529-7741 (phone) 513-529-7742 (fax).  During this period it may take us longer to process orders and respond to your messages. We will be transitioning phone service on Monday, Sept. 29; so, it may be best to email on Monday.  Once we are settled, we will create a 'virtual visit' so that you can see our new home.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 09/26/2014 - 9:15am by Adam Blistein.

In July’s column, I drew out some thematic similarities between the January 2014 movie The Legendary Hercules starring Kellan Lutz and the July 2014 movie Hercules (henceforth “Rockules”) starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  In this month’s column, I discuss Rockules as an adaptation of Steve Moore’s Hercules: The Thracian Wars comic books.

View full article. | Posted in on Thu, 09/25/2014 - 2:16am by .

Congratulations to SCS member (and Outreach Prize winner) Rob Ketterer of the University of Iowa who has received the Newberry Library—American Musicological Society Short Term Fellowship for 2014-15 to use the Library's resources for his project Early Opera, Ancient History, and European Relations with the Ottoman Empire.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 09/10/2014 - 2:11pm by Adam Blistein.

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