North American Scholar

ELMER, Herbert Charles

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1860-03-30
  • Born City: Rushford, Allegany Co.
  • Born State/Country: NY
  • Parents: Charles J. & Lucy Jane Ashley E.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1935-09-24
  • Death City: Ithaca
  • Death State/Country: NY
  • Married: Rose Elmore, 1886; Bertha E. Beebe, 26 Aug. 1891.
  • Education:

    A.B. Cornell, 1883; Ph.D. Johns Hopkins, 1888; study in Germany & Italy, 1885-6, 1895-6, 1909-10.

  • Professional Experience:

    Asst. prof, to prof. Lat. Cornell, 1888-1928.

  • Dissertation:

    “The Copulative Conjunctions que, et, atque in the inscriptions of the Republic, in Terence, and in Cato” (Johns Hopkins, 1888); printed AJP 8 (1887) 292-328.

  • Publications:

    “Horace, Sat. 1.10,21,” PAPA 23 (1892) xviii-xxiii; 'The Latin Prohibitions,” PAPA 24 (1893) vi-xiii; “A Note on the jnomic Aorist,” PAPA 25 (1894) lix-lxiii; P. Terenti Phormio (Boston, 1895); “The Supposed May-Potential Use of the Latin Subjunctive,” PAPA 28 (1897) xvi-xix; “The Distinction between the Latin Present and Perfect Tenses in Expressions of Contingent Futurity,” PAPA 28 (1897) txxvii-xl; Studies in Latin Moods and Tenses (Ithaca, NY, 1898); The Captivi of Plautus (Boston, 1900); “On the Subjunctive with Forsitan,” TAPA 32 (1901) 205-17; “Is There Still a Latin Potential?,” PAPA 32 1901) cxvii-cxx; “A Suggestion for a riew Latin Dictionary,” PAPA 35 1904) xxxiv-xxxvi; A Latin Grammar (New York, 1928).

  • Notes:

    Elmer studied Latin grammar with Kirby Flower Smith at Johns Hopkins and returned to his alma mater, to which he devoted the next 40 years of his life. He was a precise grammarian in the mold of his mentor and Gilersleeve and he carried his love of precision as well as his love of texts into the classroom. His teaching was considered by his colleagues “effective, exact, patient, and sympathetic,” and he successfully encouraged many of his students to become classicists themselves. His life's work culminated in the publication of his Latin Grammar.

  • Sources:

    Resolutions of the Trustees and Faculty of Cornell University m the Retirement of Herbert Charles Elmer; WhAm 4:286.

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.