• Date of Birth: September 14, 1873
  • Born City: Cleveland
  • Born State/Country: OH
  • Parents: Robert Alfred & Martha Turney A.
  • Date of Death: September 29, 1948
  • Death City: Berkeley
  • Death State/Country: CA
  • Married: Amelia Sanborn, 4 Jan. 1899; Lois Hanscom, 4 Dec. 1946.
  • Education:

    B.A. Pomona Coll., 1895; M.A. U. California, 1896; Ph.D. Yale, 1898; travel and study in Germany & Greece, 1905-6.

  • Dissertation:

    "A Study of the Optative Mode in Conditional and Conditional-Relative Clauses in Greek" (Yale, 1898); printed: "On the So-Called Iterative Optative in Greek," TAPA 33 (1902) 101-26.

  • Professional Experience:

    Reader Gk., U. California, 1895-7; instr. Gk. & class, arch, to prof. Gk., 1898-1943; chair, Gk. dept., 1917-23, 1934-6; prof. ASCSA, 1924-5.

  • Publications:

    "The Meanings of [Insert correct Greek Here]," CP 4 (1909) 353-8; The First Year of Greek (New York, 1917; rev. ed., 1931); The Greek Theatre of the Fifth Century before Christ (Berkeley, 1920); "The Orchestra-Terrace of the Aeschylean Theatre," UCPCP 7 (1922) 121-8; "Problems of the Proskenion," UCPCP 7 (1923) 197-207; "Changing and Unchanging Greece," University of California Chronicle 29 (1926) 270-93; Stage Antiquities of the Greeks and Romans and Their Influence (New York, 1927); A Concordance to Euripides, with Gabriel Italie (Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1954); "A Note on ΛΟΠΑΣ in Hesychias and Suidas," Studies Capps, 1-2.

  • Notes:

    James Allen made significant contributions to our knowledge of the ancient Greek theater, both the physical structures, in particular the theatre of Dionysus in Athens, and the dramas enacted therein. He was an excellent teacher of the Greek language and the author of a widely used textbook of beginning Greek. His Stage Antiquities of the Greeks and Romans has remained a useful handbook for the general reader on ancient theater structures, actors and acting, tragedies and comedies, and all the business of play production in Greece and Italy. He also participated in productions of Greek plays, directing the production of Aristophanes' Birds that inaugurated the Hearst Greek Theatre on the Berkeley campus in 1903. He later acted Oedipus in Oedipus the King, employing histrionic abilities that served him well for forty-five years in his lecture courses on Greek drama and the Homeric epics in English translation.

  • Sources:

    Fontenrose, 21-3; NYTimes (30 Sept. 1948) 27; Sch. & Soc. 68 (9 Oct. 1948) 249; WhoAm 2:22.

  • Author: Joseph Fontenrose