All Scholars

CUNNINGHAM, Maurice Patrick

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  • Date of Birth: August 27, 1913
  • Born City: Nicholson
  • Born State/Country: PA
  • Parents: James Joseph & Anna Finan C.
  • Date of Death: February 25, 1978
  • Death City: Appleton
  • Death State/Country: WI
  • Married: Regina Marie Conley, 17 June 1941.
  • Education:

    A.B. U. California, Berkeley, 1938; Ph.D., 1941.

  • Dissertation:

    “The Singular and Plural of Substantives in Latin Poetic Diction” (California, 1941).

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. class., Stanford, 1945-46; Smith, 1946-47; Yale, 1947-49; instr. to prof., Lawrence U. (Appleton, WI), 1949-78; Hiram A. Jones prof, class., 1960-78; vis. prof. U. Michigan, 1959-60, 1967; Trinity College (CT) 1960-1 (summers); U. Wisconsin, 1972; APA repres., Thesaurus Linguae Latinae, 1967-72.

  • Publications:

    “Seneca Epistulae 14.8,” CP 43 (1948) 46; “Some Poetic Uses of the Singular and Plural of Substantives in Latin,” CP 44 (1949) 1-14; “The Novelty of Ovid's Heroides,” ibid., 100-6; “Didactic Purpose in the Oresteia,” CP 45 (1950) 183-4; “Medea AIIO MHXANHE,” CP 49 (1954) 151-60; ''Enarratio of Horace Odes 1.9,” CP 52 (1957) 98-102; “Who Wrote Ovid Met. 1.547-547a (Magnus)!,” CP 55 (1960) 38-9; “Casta Dignitas Continentiae in Augustine's Confessions,” CP 57 (1962) 234-8; “A Theory of the Latin Sentence,” CP 60 (1965) 24-28; Aurelii Prudentii Clementis Carmina, Corpus Christianorum, series Latina vol. 126 (Turnhout, 1966); “Otis on the Metamorphoses” (review article) CP 60 (1965) 24-28; “Contexts of Prudentius' Poems,” CP 71 (1976) 56-66; “Some Principles of Latin Phrasing: Quintilian 11.3.35-38 on Aeneid 1.1-3,” CW 47 (1953-4) 17-22; “Some Phonetic Aspects of Word Order Pattern in Latin,” PAPS 101 (1957) 481-505.

  • Notes:

    At the time of his death Maurice Cunningham was one of two leading Prudentian scholars in the world as well as an internationally recognized authority on Horace, Ovid, and Latin grammar. His enarratio of Odes 1.9 and his theory of the Latin sentence are acknowledged scholarly classics, and his edition of Prudentius is a model of editorial technique and its preface a model of vintage philology (but see Klaus Thraede, Gnomon 40 [1968] 681-91). He insisted that both Ovid and Prudentius be studied as poets whose products struck a responsive chord in their audiences and whose poetics represented the norms of a newer and more popular art form of their respective periods. Much of Cunningham's scholarship masqueraded under the guise of reviews, many of which were published in CP during his tenure (1970-4) on its editorial board. As a teacher, Cunningham was inspiring, to put it mildly, receiving in 1968 Lawrence University's first award for excellence in teaching, and producing more than his fair share of future classical scholars (despite teaching in the hinterland of American education for most of his career). His students were especially adept at reading Latin aloud, a skill which Cunnningham himself possessed to an almost unparalleled degree, as witness also his articles on Latin phrasing and word order. Cunningham's remarkable sensitivity to language was undoubtedly a product of his family upbringing during his formative years. His sister Mary became a college-level English instructor, and his brother James, better known as J. V., became a distinguished poet and critic. Throughout his career as master scholar and teacher Maurice Patrick Cunningham served the Muses well, as the ovatio received from CAMWS in 1975 (CJ 71 [1976-7] 86) so eloquently testifies.

  • Sources:

    DAS 1974:101; The Lawrentian (3 Mar. 1978).

  • Author: Daniel J. Taylor