North American Scholar

COLEMAN-NORTON, Paul Robinson

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1898-02-28
  • Born City: Reading
  • Born State/Country: PA
  • Parents: James Edward, a legislator, & Fannie Mulholland Coleman N.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1971-05-09
  • Death City: Princeton
  • Death State/Country: NJ
  • Married: Lillian May Leinbach, 20 Dec 1942
  • Education:

    AB Princeton, 1919; AM, 1920; DPhil Oxford (Christ Church Coll) (Rhodes Scholar), 1923

  • Professional Experience:

    Fell, class Princeton, 1923-5; instr Gk & Lat to asso prof 1925-64; Lat scribe of univ, 1928-64

  • Dissertation:

    Palladi Dialogus de vita S Joannis Chrysostomi (Oxford, 1923); printed (Cambridge, 1928)

  • Publications:

    Roman State and Christian Church: A Collection of Legal Documents to AD 535 (London, 1926); “The Authorship of the Epistola de Indicis Gentibus et de Bragmanibus,” CP 21 (1926) 154-60; “The Correspondence of St John Chrysostom (with Special Reference to His Epistles to Pope S Innocent I),” CP 24 (1929) 279-84; “St JohnChrysostom and the Greek Philosophers,” CP 25 (1930) 305-17; “St Chrysostom's Use of Josephus,” CP 26 (1931) 85-9; “St Chrysostom's Use of the Greek Poets,” CP 27 (1932) 213-21; “Philosophical Aspects of Early Roman Drama,” CP 31 (1936) 320-37; “Socialism at Sparta,” The Greek Political Experience (Princeton, 1952), 61-77; “The Conception of Fortune in Roman Drama,” Studies Capps, 93-102; “Cicero's Doctrine of the Great Year,” LThPh 3 (1947) 293-302; “Cicero and the Music of the Spheres,” CJ 45 (1949-50) 237-41; “Cicero's Contribution to the Text of the Twelve Tables,” CJ 46 (1950-1) 51-60, 127-34; The Twelve Tables (trans) (3d ed rev, Princeton, 1950; 4th ed, 1952); “The Apostle Paul and the Roman Law of Slavery,” in Studies in Roman Economic and Social History in Honor of Allan Chester Johnson, ed Coleman-Norton, F C Bourne & J V A Fine (Princeton, 1951); “Gaius Julius Caesar and Roman Law,” CW 50 (1956-7) 24-6; over 500 articles for Encyclopedia Americana, Collier's Encyclopedia, & others

  • Notes:

    Coleman-Norton, an authority on Roman law and author of over 400 articles on classical and theological subjects, was a learned, humane, and eccentric man, much liked by students, to whom he gave time liberally and who learned much from him. Although distrusted by some influential senior colleagues, including W. J. Oates, who successfully blocked his promotion to professor, Coleman-Norton nevertheless remained loyal to Princeton and discouraged offers of a professorship elsewhere. Except for his large lecture course in Roman law, where he demanded little work and gave high grades, for many years he taught small classes in Latin prose and the Greek New Testament. In his rooms in 1903 Hall, dressed in pajamas, or later in khaki shorts, he enjoyed expressing unconventional views to startle others. Thus, when asked if he had children, he liked to reply, “None that I acknowledge.” He was the master of a florid Latin style, which he employed for Princeton in its ceremonial correspondence as its official Latin scribe. He held this position throughout his career, except for the period of his service in Army Intelligence in World War II. For that he won the Distinguished Service Medal as well as the Croix de Guerre from the French and the Corona d'ltalia from the Italian government.

  • Sources:

    NatCAB 56:449; NYTimes (11 May 1971) 42

  • Author: George A. Kennedy