North American Scholar

FLAGG, Isaac Gonzalez

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1843-09-07
  • Born City: Beverly
  • Born State/Country: MA
  • Parents: Wilson & Caroline Eveleth F.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1931-02-10
  • Death City: Berkeley
  • Death State/Country: CA
  • Married: Mary Lynes, 1867.
  • Education:

    A.B. Harvard, 1864; study at Berlin & Göttingen, 1869-71; Ph.D. Göttingen, 1871.

  • Professional Experience:

    Tutor Gk. Harvard, 1865-9; prof. Gk. Cornell, 1871-88; temp. asst. class, philol. U. California, 1890-1; assoc. prof., 1892-9; assoc. prof. Gk., 1899-1909.

  • Dissertation:

    “An Analysis of Schiller's Tragedy, Die Braut von Messina, after Aristotle's Poetics” (Göttingen, 1871).

  • Publications:

    The Hellenic Orations of Demosthenes (Boston, 1880); Pedantic Versicles (Boston, 1883); Iphigenia among the Taurians (Boston, 1889); Outlines of the Temporal and Modal Principles of Attic Prose (Berkeley, 1893); The Lives of Cornelius Nepos (Boston, 1895); A Writer of Attic Prose: Models from Xenophon (New York, 1902); Plato. The Apology and Crito (New York, 1907); A Homeric Dictionary for Schools and Colleges based upon the German of Dr. Georg Autenrieth, trans. Robert P. Keep, rev. Flagg (New York, 1913); Circe: A Dramatic Fantasy (East Aurora, NY, 1915); Persephone: A Masque (San Francisco, 1916); Hylethena and Other Poems (Boston, 1919); “Hesperides,” U. Cal. University Chronicle 24 (1922) 239-62; Three Plays (Berkeley, 1936).

  • Notes:

    Isaac Flagg taught first at the newly established Cornell before moving west. At Berkeley he was known for his success in undergraduate classes. In the introduction to his edition of Nepos, he explains his method of requiring students to read texts aloud so the listener could ascertain whether the student understood the passage in question. Much of his writing was poems and poetic dramas. He produced no great body of classical scholarship apart from his school texts; he is remembered for his revision of Keep's translation of Autenrieth, still in print. His most important student was Ivan Linforth. Flagg's career at Berkeley was troubled and Fontenrose quotes the remark of Arthur Ryder that Flagg was a mouse who had outlived many cats. From 1893 to 1897 his position was under attack by a faction of the Board of Regents, but he was supported wholeheartedly by President Martin Kellogg and other influential members of the University of California faculty. Though he maintained his job, he was not promoted to professor until he retired.

  • Sources:

    Fontenrose, 12-5 et passim; WhAm 4:315.

  • Author: Joseph E. Fontenrose