North American Scholar

BATES, William Nickerson

  • Image
  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1867-12-08
  • Born City: Cambridge
  • Born State/Country: MA
  • Parents: Charles & Anna Pamela Nickerson B.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1949-06-10
  • Death City: Cambridge
  • Death State/Country: MA
  • Married: Edith Newell Richardson, 28 Dec. 1901.
  • Education:

    A.B. Harvard, 1890; A.M., 1891; Ph.D., 1893; study at ASCSA, 1897-8; L.H.D. U. Pennsylvania, 1940.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. Gk. Harvard, 1893-5; instr. Gk. U. Pennsylvania, 1895-1902; instr. class, arch., 1899-1902; asst. prof. Gk. & class, arch., 1902-7; asst. curator U. Museum, 1904-24; prof. Gk., 1907-39; dept. head, 1910-39; lctr. arch. Johns Hopkins, 1904; ed., AJA, 1908-20; ed.-in-chief, 1920-24; ann. prof. Gk. & actng. dir. ASCSA, 1905-6; del. Int. Cong, for hist, of Religions, Leiden, 1912; fell. A A AS.

  • Dissertation:

    "Quaestiones Lycophroneae" (Harvard, 1893); abstract, "The Date of Lycophron," HSCP 6 (1895) 75-82.

  • Publications:

    "Ionic Capitals in Asia Minor," HSCP 10 (1899) 29-31; Iphigenia in Tauris (New York, 1904); Ancient Greece (with Gustav Friedrich Hertzberg) (Philadelphia & New York, 1905); "A Signed Amphora of Meno," AJA 2d ser. 9 (1905) 170-81; "A Head of Heracles in the Style of Scopas," AJA 13 (1909) 151-157; "The Origin of the Greek Alphabet," Old Penn (25 Mar. 1916) 837-42; "Notes on the Dating of the Homeric Poems," AJP 46 (1925) 263-7; Euripides, A Student of Human Nature (Philadelphia & London, 1930); "Quintus of Smyrna and the Siege of Troy," Studies Rolfe, 1-18; "Aphrodite's Doves at Paphos in 1932," AJP 53 (1932) 260-1; "The Dating of the Oedipus Tyrannus," AJP 54 (1933) 166-8; "The Kw^oi of Sophocles," AJP 55 (1934) 167-74; "The Satyr Dramas of Sophocles," Studies Capps, 14-23; Sophocles, Poet and Dramatist (Philadelphia & London, 1940); "The Euripides Papyri," AJP 62 (1941) 469-75; ed. "Archaeological News," AJA, 1909-20.

  • Notes:

    Bates was a leading authority on Greek inscriptions and ancient Greek drama. He came from an old Massachusetts family and grew up in Cambridge, where he was an acquaintance of Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes. At Harvard he studied with Goodwin, White, Wright, Lane, Greenough, Allen, and Louis Dyer. He wrote numerous reviews, particularly in CP and AJA, and his books on Sophocles and Euripides stressed the importance of recently discovered fragments of these authors.His chief archaeological interest was vases, particularly those of Brygos. He used vase-paintings and papyrus finds to help reconstruct plots and to bring to life the action of the plays. He gave important service to the AIA, most notably as editor of AJA. He resigned his editorship when it appeared to him that the journal was broadening its editorial policy beyond what he considered the bounds of archaeology. When he was given his L.H.D. at Penn, the citation read, "as teacher, author and editor, with sound learning and the humility which befits the scholar, [he] has brought to our modern world the art and thought, the wisdom and beauty of ancient Greece."

  • Sources:

    S. B. Luce, AJA 53 (1949) 388; London Town and Country Life (30 Nov. 1931) 11-12; WhAm 2:49.

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.