North American Scholar

DEWITT, Norman Johnston

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1908-08-01
  • Born City: Lincoln
  • Born State/Country: IL
  • Parents: Norman Wentworth, a classicist, & Katherine Ida Johnston D.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1966-11-18
  • Death City: Minneapolis
  • Death State/Country: MN
  • Married: Lois Elizabeth Pfister, 1941.
  • Education:

    B.A. Victoria Coll., U. Toronto, 1930; M.A. 1933; Ph.D. Johns Hopkins, 1938; D. Litt. Lincoln (TL) Coll., 1965.

  • Professional Experience:

    Prof. Lat. Western Reserve U., 1938-41; Washington U. (St. Louis), 1941-9; chair Lat. dept., 1947-9; prof. Lat. U. Minnesota, 1949-66; chair dept. class., 1949-65; sec.-treas. CAMWS, 1938-41; pres., 1956-7; ed. CJ 1945-50.

  • Dissertation:

    “The Romanization of Gaul” (Johns Hopkins, 1938); printed as Urbanization and Franchise in Roman Gaul (Lancaster, PA, 1940).

  • Publications:

    “Pseudolus and Hannibal's Elephant,” CP 36 (1941) 189-90; Demosthenes. Funeral Speech, Erotic Essay, Exordia, Letters (trans, with Norman Wentworth DeWitt), LCL, (Cambridge & London, 1949); “Selections from Cicero” (trans.) Classics in Translation, 2:100-45; College Latin (Chicago, 1954); “Toward Misunderstanding Caesar,” Studies Ullman (1960) 136-42.

  • Notes:

    Norman Johnston DeWitt, the son of the Toronto classicist, was exposed to classical study at home from an early age. He worked at Johns Hopkins under Tenney Frank and with his father translated the private orations of Demosthenes for the LCL. While this translation is his chief work of scholarship, he contributed greatly to the profession as editor of Classical Journal. His popular and effective classroom teaching resulted in a series of appearances on radio and television, for which he won a Variety Award in 1954. As a director of the EMC Corporation, he produced an innovative series of audio tapes on teaching.

  • Sources:

    W.A. McDonald, CJ 62 (1966-7) 287-8; WhAm 4:247.

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.