North American Scholar

DORJAHN, Alfred Paul

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1894-07-11
  • Born City: Palatine Township
  • Born State/Country: IL
  • Parents: Rev. Joachim Henry, an Evangelican & Reformed Church minister, & Wilhelmine Melanie D.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1986-06-23
  • Death City: Eugene
  • Death State/Country: OR
  • Married: Helen lone Keller, 11 Sept. 1922.
  • Education:

    B.A. U. Chicago, 1917; Ph.D., 1924.

  • Professional Experience:

    Tchr. Pillsbury Academy (Owatonna, MN), 1918-20; instr. Lat., Northwestern, 1922-4; instr. Lat. Washington U. (St. Louis), 1924-5; instr. U. Chicago, 1925-7; asst. prof, to prof. Northwestern, 1927-41; John Evans prof. Lat., 1941-62; chair, dept. class, langs., 1939-62; vis. prof. Rosary Coll., Michigan State U., Ohio State U., U. Illinois Chicago Circle; Loyola U. (Chicago), 1963-73; pres. CAMWS, 1939-40; assoc. ed. CJ, 1935-43.

  • Dissertation:

    “The Athenian Political Amnesty of 403 B.C.” (Chicago, 1924).

  • Publications:

    “On the 1508 Aldine Pliny,” with Blanche B. Boyer, CP 20 (1925) 50-61; “Poetry in Athenian Courts,” CP 22 (1927) 85-93; “Extenuating Circumstances in Athenian Courts,” CP 25 (1930) 162-72; “Anticipation of Arguments in Athenian Courts,” TAPA 66 (1935) 274-95; “The Wall of Theodosius at Antioch,” AJP 62 (1941) 207-13; Latin Literature in Translation, with Kevin Guinagh (New York & London, 1942); “On Aristotle Ath. Pol. xxxviii, 3,” PhQ (1944) 289-96; Political Forgiveness in Old Athens: The Amnesty of 403 B.C. (Evanston, IL, 1946); “On Demosthenes' Ability to Speak Extemporaneously,” TAPA 78 (1947) 69-76; “Procopius De aedificiis i.4.5,” CP 43 (1948) 44-6; “A Further Study on Demosthenes' Ability to Speak Extemporaneously,” TAPA 81 (1950) 9-15; “A Third Study on Demosthenes' Ability to Speak Extemporaneously,” TAPA 83 (1952) 164-71; “On Xenophon's Hellenica 11,4,31,” Studies Robinson 2:607-12; “A Fourth Study on Demosthenes’ Ability to Speak Extemporaneously,” CP 50 (1955) 191-3; “Extemporaneous Elements in Certain Orations and the Proemia of Demosthenes,” AJP 78 (1957) 287-96.

  • Notes:

    Dorjahn was a distinguished scholar in the field of legal and constitutional antiquities. Early in his career he was called upon to proofread R. J. Bonner's and G. Smith's monumental work, The Administration of Justice from Homer to Aristotle. During his lifetime he published over 125 articles and book reviews in various professional journals. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated second in his class. He also won recognition in varsity sports by playing first base on the University of Chicago's baseball team. He was an avid sports enthusiast and maintained a life-long interest in athletics; for more than twenty years he was a member of North-western's intercollegiate athletic committee. His dynamic personality and intellectual acumen contributed to his popularity as an outstanding teacher among undergraduates. To graduate students, he was a source of inspiration, guidance, and encouragement. Through lectures, seminars, and outside speaking engagements, he sought to promote interest in the ancient world. He was a pioneer in the teaching of classical courses in English translation and co-authored one of the first widely used textbooks in the field. In appreciation of his service and his reputation as a scholar and teacher, Dorjahn was chosen “Classics Professor of the Year” in 1969 by the Classical Association of the Middle West and South. A scholarship was established in his name at Northwestern University in 1986.

  • Sources:

    William D. Fairchild, APA Newsletter (Fall 1986) 21-2.

  • Author: William D. Fairchild