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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I am very pleased to report that the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has made an additional grant of $300,000 to the American Philological Association (APA) for its Gatekeeper to Gateway Campaign to raise an Endowment for Classics Research and Teaching.  This grant, like the Foundation’s earlier gift of $325,000 in September 2008, supports the production of Classics bibliography through the American Office of L’Année philologique.  It also enables the APA to exceed all matching fund requirements of the challenge grant awarded to the Association by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in June 2006. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 10/01/2012 - 5:41pm by Adam Blistein.

The Classical Works Knowledge Base (CWKB) is a new service of the American Philological Association developed under the direction of Eric Rebillard (Cornell University). The project was supported by a grant made to the American Philological Association (APA) in 2010 by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

CWKB contain information for the retrieval of citations from ancient Greek and Latin texts--from Homer (8 c. BC) to Bede (mid 8 c. AD)-- in the following online resources: Brepols Library of Latin Texts, Perseus Library, PHI Latin Texts,  Thesaurus Linguae Graecae.

CWKB adopts an OpenURL approach. It is both a relational database and a link resolver software. The relational database stores metadata about authors and works; the link resolver parses the OpenURLs, makes a lookup in the relational database, and returns links to digital libraries of Greek and Latin literatures. This web page has more information.

L'Année philologique online is the first resource to use CWKB for linking citations of ancient texts to digital libraries of text.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 8:14pm by Adam Blistein.

The Humanities Research Center at Rice University hosts up to three interdisciplinary visiting professors each year. The fellowship term ranges from one semester to one year.  Fellows teach one humanities course, participate in special symposia, and take part in an informal lecture series. Applicants must hold a tenured/tenure-track position and have received the PhD no later than June 2010. Annual salaries are commensurate with rank and length of term. Non-US scholars are especially encouraged to apply.  Applications for 2013-14 due October 29, 2012. See http://hrc.rice.edu for information.

View full article. | Posted in Awards and Fellowships on Tue, 09/11/2012 - 2:10pm by Adam Blistein.

From the Guardian (8/31/2012)

Alarmed by a decline in the use of Latin within the Catholic church, Pope Benedict is planning to set up a Vatican academy to breathe new life into the dead language.

Long used by the Vatican as its lingua franca, Latin is currently promoted by a small team within the office of the Holy See's secretary of state, which runs a Latin poetry competition and puts out a magazine.

But Benedict – a staunch traditionalist – is backing a plan for a new academy which would team up with academics to better "promote the knowledge and speaking of Latin, particularly inside the church," Vatican spokesman Fr Ciro Benedettini said on Friday.

Read more …

View full article. | Posted in Classics in the News on Thu, 09/06/2012 - 8:57pm by Information Architect.

We are happy to announce the publication of a new edition of Careers for Classicists in Today’s World by Kenneth F. Kitchell, Jr. with the assistance of the APA Education Committee.  Careers is copyright 2012 by the American Philological Association (APA) and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License

You are free to copy, distribute, transmit, and adapt the work provided that you attribute the work to the American Philological Association but not in a way that suggests that the APA endorses you or your use of the work and provided that you do not use this work for commercial purposes.  For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. The best way to do this is with a link to this web page.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 09/06/2012 - 1:40pm by Adam Blistein.

A combined APA Newsletter for Winter and Spring 2012 is now available on the APA web site.  In a few weeks it will be mailed to members who requested printed copies of this publication when they paid their dues for 2012. 

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Wed, 09/05/2012 - 6:38pm by Adam Blistein.

The latest issue of Amphora (10.1 Summer 2012) is now available for downloading.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Mon, 09/03/2012 - 4:30pm by .

See the APA web site for the schedule of sessions for the upcoming meeting in Seattle as well as information about registration, hotels, air travel discounts, and local attractions.  Please be sure to read a message from Program Chair Joe Farrell encouraging you to attend what promises to be a very exciting meeting in a very appealing city.  We encourage companies and organizations with publications, equipment, and services of interest to classicists and archaeologists to participate in the exhibit show for the joint annual meeting.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 08/24/2012 - 7:16pm by Adam Blistein.

Members are invited to serve as volunteers at the 144th Annual Meeting of the Association in Seattle, WA this coming January.  Assignments include assistance in the Registration Area, monitoring session rooms, and supporting the Placement Service.  Interested members should contact Heather Gasda in the Association Office by October 1, 2012.  The Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee will develop a schedule of volunteer activity in late Fall.

In exchange for eight hours of service (either in one continuous or in two 4-hour assignments), volunteers receive a waiver of their annual meeting registration fees.  It is not necessary to be an APA member to volunteer.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Fri, 08/17/2012 - 7:36pm by Adam Blistein.

The August 2012 issue of Positions has been posted on the APA web site.

View full article. | Posted in SCS Announcements on Thu, 08/16/2012 - 3:22pm by Adam Blistein.

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