North American Scholar

BUTRICA, James Lawrence Peter

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1951-02-20
  • Born City: Magnolia
  • Born State/Country: NJ
  • Parents: George Peter & Catherine Elizabeth Curran B.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 2006-07-20
  • Death City: Saint John's West
  • Death State/Country: NF Canada
  • Education:

    B.A. Amherst, 1972; M.A., Toronto, 1973; Ph.D., 1978.

  • Professional Experience:

    Post-doctoral fellow, University of Victoria, 1977-9; fac. memb., 1979-81; Memorial University of Newfoundland, 1981-2006; prof. 1994-2006; President's Award for Outstanding Research, 1986; Academia Properziana del Subasio; co-editor, Museion. Journal of the Classical Association of Canada, 1994-2006. 

  • Publications:

    “Hylas and the Boreads. Propertius 1.20.25-30,” Phoenix 34 (1980) 69-75; “The Earliest Inaccurate Citation of Propertius,” AJP 102 (1981) 327-9; “Propertius III, 8. Unity and Coherence,” TAPA 111 (1981) 23-30; “Martial's Little Livy (14.190),” CB 59 (1983) 9-11; “Propertius 3.3.7-12 and Ennius,” CQ 33 (1983) 464-8; “Propertius 3.6,” EMC 27 (1983) 17-37; “Pontanus, Puccius, Pocchus, Petreius, and Propertius,” RPL 3 (1980) 5-9; “A New Fragment in Niccoli's Formal Hand,” Scriptorium 35 (1981) 290-3;  “Taking Enemies for Chains. Ovid Ex ponto 4.13.15 Again,” Phoenix 43 (1989) 258-9; “Lygdamus, Nephew of Messalla?,” LCM 18 (1993) 51-53; “Propertius' Horoscope and a Birthdate Rejected,” CP 88 (1993) 330-1; “Propertius 3.11.33-38 and the Death of Pompey,” CQ 43 (1993) 342-6; “Two Two-Part Poems in Propertius Book 1 (1.8; 1.11 and 12),” in Papers of the Leeds International Latin Seminar. 9, 1996 : Roman Poetry and Prose, Greek Poetry, Etymology, Historiography, ed. Francis Cairns & Malcolm Heath (Leeds: Cairns, 1996) 83-91; “Hellenistic Erotic Elegy: The Evidence of the Papyri,” in Papers of the Leeds International Latin Seminar. 9, 1996: Roman Poetry and Prose, Greek Poetry, Etymology, Historiography, ed. Francis Cairns & Malcolm Heath (Leeds: Cairns, 1996) 297-322; “The Amores of Propertius: Unity and Structure in Books 2-4,” ICS 21 (1996) 87-158; “Editing Propertius,” CQ n.s. 47, 1 (1997) 176-208; “Ovid. Ex Pont. I 2 et III 8: (Notes on Two Elegies to Paul. Fab. Max.),” MCr 32-5 (1997-2000) 167-79; “Using Water ‘Unchastely’: Cicero's Pro Caelio 34 Again,” Phoenix 53, 1-2 (1999) 136-9; “Using Water ‘Unchastely’: Cicero Pro Caelio 34 Again: Addendum,” Phoenix 53, 3-4 (1999) 336; “The Life and Career of Propertius in the Scholarship of the Early Renaissance,” GIF 51,2 (1999) 179-212; “The Text of the New Vatican Excerpta of Propertius,” BStudLat 29, 1 (1999) 63-67; “Propertius on the Parilia (4.4.73-8),” CQ n.s. 50, 2 (2000) 472-8; “A Pleonastic Use of και and « et » in Epic Similes,” Mnemosyne ser. 4 53,2 (2000) 129-38; “Messala and the Principate,” in Studies in Latin Literature and Roman History 7, ed. Carl Deroux (Brussels: Latomus, 1994) 279-96; "Melanippe Ecclesiazusa (Aristophanes, Ecc. 441-54),” CQ n.s. 51, 2 (2001) 610-13; “Democrates and Euripides' Andromache: (Σ Andr. 445 = Callimachus fr. 451 Pfeiffer),” Hermes 129,2 (2001) 188-97; “The Lost Thesmophoriazusae of Aristophanes,” Phoenix 55 (2001) 44-76; “Catullus 107.7-8,” CQ n.s. 52, 2 (2002) 608-9; “Clodius the pulcher in Catullus and Cicero,” CQ n.s. 52, 2 (2002) 507-16; “Myth and Meaning in Propertius 3.15,” Phoenix 48 (1994) 135-51; “The Date of Aristophanes' Lost Thesmophoriazusae: A Response to Austin and Olson,” LICS 3, 7 (2003-2004) 5; “A Slight Change of Itinerary: Two Corrections in Ovid, Fasti 4.277-90,” Ordia prima 3 (2004) 147-51; “Attis and the ‘Palestinian’ Goddesses (Ovid, Fast. 4.236),” ExClass 8 (2004) 59-67; “The Fabella of Sulpicia (Epigrammata Bobiensia 37),” Phoenix 60, 1-2 (2006) 70-121; “Epigrammata Bobiensia 36,” RhM 149, 3-4 (2006) 310-49; “Criso and ceueo,” Glotta 82 (2006) 25-35; “Some Myths and Anomalies in the Study of Roman Sexuality,” in Same-Sex Desire and Love in Greco-Roman Antiquity and in the Classical Tradition of the West, ed. Beert C. Verstraete & Vernon Provencal (Binghamton, NY: Harrington Park Press, 2005) 209-69.

  • Notes:

    Jim Butrica was the leading expert of his generation on the transmission of the text of Propertius. Beginning with his undergraduate study with Peter Marshall at Amherst, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa as an Independent Scholar and wrote a thesis entitled “Unity and Structure in Propertius, Books I, III and IV,” His interest in Propertius extended through his Toronto dissertation (under Richard Tarrant) and his publishing career, during which he argued effectively and defended repeatedly his views on the problematic history of his author’s manuscripts. In all, he published 16 articles on Propertius and at his death had a substantial contribution to the Brill Companion to Propertius in press. He devoted several years to an edition of Book 3 of Propertius, but unfortunately his battle with cancer did not allow him to complete it. His contributions culminated in his appointment in 2000 to the Accademia Properziana del Subasio.

    His studies of Propertian manuscripts naturally took him into the Medieval and Renaissance periods, but he had a scholarly home in Golden Latin literature, publishing on Martial, Ovid, Catullus, Sulpicia, and Cicero. As his career matured he began to work on elements of Greek literature that related to his studies of Roman elegy, particularly Hellenistic elegy, Euripides, Aristophanes, and the Greek epigram as found in the Epigrammata Bobiensia. At his death he had completed work on volumes 67 & 68 of the University of Toronto’s Collected Works of Erasmus and had undertaken to resurrect the Harvard Servius project with E.C. Kopff.  Memorial rewarded him with the President’s Award for Outstanding Research in 1986.

    The pursuit of accuracy and depth of scholarship that he brought to his own work was evident in his decade of editorial work for Echos du Monde classique/Classical News & Views (since 2001 Museion) as well as his decade on the editorial board of Phoenix. In the former position he encouraged younger members of the profession and spent countless hours suggesting improvements to bring their articles up to the level he demanded for publication. His publication record reflects the pure philologist that he was, but he was also agreeable to scholarship and criticism of any critical school, so long as it was of sufficient quality. Those he chose to review books were always fair and judicious non-partisans, as Jim himself always tried to be.

    Few aspects of the ancient world escaped his interest, as did few elements of the modern world, from grand opera to “The Simpsons,” and everywhere in between. He was an avid bridge player. His curiosity about all facets of the ancient world and his acquaintance with so many features of modern culture made him particularly attractive to students (he wrote the definitive article on cannabis in antiquity). While maintaining his high level of intellectual engagement in the classroom, he gave freely of his time in tutoring students and teaching overloads for those truly interested in his field. He was also a keen adviser to younger colleagues and to those outside his field who knew him as a valuable resource on the classical tradition. He also championed classics in Canada by organizing meetings of the Classical Association of Canada (especially at St. John’s in 1997) and numerous lectures in Ontario and Quebec in 2000.

  • Sources:

    M. Joyal, CCB/BCED 12.11.4 (5 September 2006).

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.