North American Scholar

BENNETT, Charles Edwin

  • Image
  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1858-04-06
  • Born City: Providence
  • Born State/Country: RI
  • Parents: James L. & Lucia E. Dyer B.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1921-05-02
  • Death City: Ithaca
  • Death State/Country: NY
  • Married: Margaret Gale Hitchcock, 29 June 1886.
  • Education:

    A.B. Brown, 1878; study at Harvard, 1881-2; Leipzig, 1882-3; Berlin, 1883-4; Heidelberg, 1884; Litt. D. Brown, 1904.

  • Professional Experience:

    Teacher, Milton (FL), 1878-9; Sing Sing, NY, 1879-81; princ. prep, dept., U. Nebraska, 1884-9; prof. Lat., U. Wisconsin, 1889-91; prof, class, philol. Brown, 1891-2; prof. Lat., Cornell, 1892-1921; pres., APA, 1907-8; ed., CSCP, 1892-1921; ed., Allyn & Bacon's Latin Series (Bennett Series), 1895-1905; pres. CAAS, 1916-7.

  • Publications:

    Xenophon Hellenica (Boston, 1888-92); Tacitus Dialogus de Oratoribus (Boston & London, 1894); A Latin Grammar (Boston, 1895, rev. ed., 1908; 3d ed. published as New Latin Grammar, 1918); Appendix to Bennett's Latin Grammar (Boston, 1895; revised as The Latin Language, Boston, 1907); A Latin Composition (Boston, 1896); The Foundations of Latin (Boston, 1898); Critique of Some Recent Subjunctive Theories, CSCP 9 (Ithaca, NY, 1898); Quantitative Reading of Latin Poetry (Boston, 1899); "What was Ictus in Latin Prosody?," AJP 19 (1899) 361-83; The Teaching of Greek and Latin in the Secondary School, with George P. Bristol (New York, 1901; rev. 1910); Latin Lessons (Boston, 1901); Horace Odes and Epodes (Boston, 1901); The Characters of Theophrastus, trans, with Wililam A. Hammond (New York, 1902); Caesar's Gallic Wars I-IV (Boston, 1903); Cicero Selected Orations (Boston, 1904); Virgil Aeneid I-VI (Boston, 1905); Preparatory Latin Writer (Boston, 1905); First Year Latin (Boston, 1909); Syntax of Early Latin vol. 1 (Boston, 1910), vol. 2 (Boston, 1914); New Latin Composition (Boston, 1912); Horace Odes and Epodes (trans.) LCL (London & New York, 1914); Frontinus. The Stratagems, and the Aqueducts of Rome (trans, with Mary B. McElwain) LCL (London & New York, 1925).

  • Notes:

    A leading representative of the school of American classical philologists of the late 19th and early 20th century who, under the strong influence of the German universities of the period, made grammar, and above all syntax, the center of their scholarly research, Bennett was the author of several authoritative and influential works on Latin, was extremely active as an editor, serving for ten years as general editor of the widely used Allyn & Bacon College Latin Series, and was among the first chosen to contribute to the Loeb Classical Library. His Loeb Horace, Odes and Epodes, appeared in 1914 and has gone through 16 reprintings.Bennett's scholarship was careful and exact, and was presented in a graceful style of writing. His reputation as an authority on Latin grammar was international. According to Harry Caplan, Bennett's student and successor as a professor at Cornell, A. E. Housman, in conversation with Caplan, described Bennett as "a very good grammarian,"—high praise from one who generally found little to commend in his fellow scholars, least of all American scholars. As a teacher, Bennett was demanding but by no means austere. Students of his who went on to careers in classics have described him as gracious and sympathetic in personal relations, and untiringly patient with those who shared his zeal for the classics. Though his scholarly output was extensive, he impressed his students and colleagues as being primarily a teacher. He was much concerned, throughout his career, with the teaching of classics in the secondary schools. Deeply involved in the academic affairs of his university, he was active also in the American Philological Association and served as its president.

  • Sources:

    AJP 43 (1922) 189; C7 18 (1922-3) 23; CP 17 (1922) 279; DAB 2:191-2; Ithaca Journal-News (2 May 1921); NYTimes (3 May 1921) 17; Walter J. Sanders, BDAE 115-6; WhAm 1:84.

  • Author: Gordon Kirkwood