North American Scholar

BOVIE, Smith Palmer

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1917-12-24
  • Born City: Gallipolis
  • Born State/Country: OH
  • Parents: George Frederick & Gladys Carpenter B.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1999-05-14
  • Death City: Somerset
  • Death State/Country: NJ
  • Married: Maria E.F. Feiler, 21 September 1946.
  • Education:

    B.A. Princeton, 1940; M.A. Columbia, 1948; Ph.D., 1954.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. Greek & Latin, English Kent School, 1940-1; 1946; insert. English, Columbia, 1946-52; asst. prof. Barnard, 1952-8; vis. asst. prof. classics, Princeton, 1958; asso. prof. Indiana U., 1958-61; prof., 1961-2; prof.-in-charge, summer session, AAR, 1960-2; prof. classics, Rutgers, 1963-89.

  • Dissertation:

    "Dominant Themes in Virgil's Georgics" (Columbia, 1954).

  • Notes:

    Palmer Bovie, known in college as "Bov," wrote, "I always wanted a...teaching career, and I managed to have one come my way, so I have no complaints." After graduating from Lawrenceville, Bovie graduated from Princeton with honors in the first group of the broadly based Special Program in the Humanities. He was a member of Phi Beta Kapp, the Princetonian board, and a member of Dial Lodge. After a year of teaching in a prep school, Bovie joined the Army for the duration of World War II. His first jobs were in English, but when he got to Indiana he concentrated on classics and became one of the most prolific translators of classical literature of his generation. He translated the great Latin poets Virgil, Horace, Lucretius, and Martial (omitting only Ovid), but his specialty was the translation of drama, both Latin and Greek, and the editing of comprehensive collections of translations (including his own) of all Greek and Roman drama.  

  • Sources:

    WhWasWh 41 (1980-1) 2714.

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.