North American Scholar

BEESON, Charles Henry

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1870-10-02
  • Born City: Columbia City
  • Born State/Country: IN
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1949-12-26
  • Death City: Chicago
  • Death State/Country: IL
  • Married: Mabel Banta, 23 Nov. 1897.
  • Education:

    A.B. Indiana U., 1893; A.M. 1895; study at U. Chicago, 1896-7, 1901-3; Ph.D. Munich, 1907; LL.D. Indiana U. 1939.

  • Professional Experience:

    Tutor to instr. Lat. Indiana U., 1893-5; instr. Lat. & Gk. Peoria (IL) HS, 1897-1901; U. Chicago, 1906; Univ. HS, 1907-8; instr. to prof. Lat. U. Chicago, 1908-35; ann. prof. AAR, 1930-1; mng. ed. CP 1934-8; pres. Mediaev. Acad. Am., 1936-9; mem. AAAS; APhS; asso. ed. Archivum Latinitatis Medii Aevi (Bulletin Du Cange).

  • Dissertation:

    "Die Lagerung und Verbreitung der Handschriften des Isidorus von Sevilla" (Munich, 1913).

  • Publications:

    Second Latin Book, with F. J. Miller (Chicago, 1901); Hegemonius Acta Archelai, herausgegeben im Auftrage der Kirchenvater-Commission der konigl. Preuss. Akad. der Wiss. (Leipzig, 1906); W. G. Hale, Latin Composition, with the cooperation of Beeson & W. L. Carr (Boston, 1910); Isidor-Studien: Quellen und Untersuchungen zur lateinis-chen Philologie des Mittelalters (Munich, 1913) based on L. Traube's Quellen und Untersuchungen . . . Bd. 4 hft. 2 (Munich, 1906-20); A New Second Latin Book, with H. F. Scott (Chicago, 1916); "The Text Tradition of Donatus' Commentary on Terence," CP 17 (1922) 283-305; Third Latin Book, with F.W. Sanford & H. F. Scott (Chicago, 1923); Caesar's Gallic War Books I, II, III (7-16), IV with F. W. Sanford & H. F. Scott (Chicago, 1923); Primer of Medieval Latin: An Anthology from Prose and Poetry (Chicago, 1925); "The Vocabulary of Annales Fuldenses," Speculum 1 (1926) 31-7; Lupus of Ferri&res as Scribe and Text Critic (Cambridge, 1930).

  • Notes:

    After meeting his future wife, a student of William Gardner Hale, Beeson left Indiana for the University of Chicago, where Hale introduced him both to paleography and to the importance of grammatical instruction. Beeson assisted in the preparation of the Hale & Buck Latin Grammar and went on to write three textbooks in collaboration. He went to Halle to study palaeography with Ludwig Traube and became a close friend of his master and a devotee of classical survivals in medieval literature, languages, and culture. His text of Hegemonius is authoritative and makes available an important source for Manicheanism. His other significant contributions are his discussion of the manuscript family of Isidore and his study of Lupus of Ferrieres as a preserver and transmitter of classical literature. His wife Mabel sacrificed her teaching career to her husband's, proofreading, collating manuscripts and even compiling the vocabulary for A Primer of Medieval Latin. They were a well-functioning team of scholars and Beeson died suddenly just two months after his wife and collaborator.

  • Sources:

    Blanche B. Boyer, DAB Suppl. 4:61-9; NYTimes (28 Dec. 1949) 25; Sch. & Soc. 71 (7 Jan. 1950) 14; WhAm 2:55-6.

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.