North American Scholar

FOBES, Francis Howard

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1881-08-01
  • Born City: Somerville
  • Born State/Country: MA
  • Parents: Edwin Francis, a manufacturing confectioner, & Jessie Burnell F.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1957-09-17
  • Death City: Amherst
  • Death State/Country: MA
  • Education:

    A.B. Harvard, 1904; A.M. 1905; B.A. Oxford (Balliol Coll.) (Rhodes Scholar), 1907; Ph.D. Harvard, 1912; M.A. (hon.) Amherst, 1923; LL.D. Glasgow, 1954.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. Lat. Union Coll., 1912-19; prof. Lat. Amherst, 1920-48; chair dept., 1939-48.

  • Dissertation:

    “De libris aliquot Suetonianis” (Harvard, 1912).

  • Publications:

    “Textual Problems in Aristotle's Meteorology;' CP 10 (1915) 188-214; “Medieval Versions of Aristotle's Meteorology; ibid., 297-314; Aristotelis Meteorologicum libri quattuor (Cambridge, 1919); Jephthah by John Christopherson, Gk. text ed. & trans. Fobes (Newark, DE, 1928); Theophrastus. Metaphysics, trans. & comm. with W. D. Ross (Oxford, 1929); The Letters of Alciphron, Aelian and Philostratus, trans, with Allen Rogers Benner, LCL (Cambridge & London, 1949); Averrois Cordubensis Commentarium medium in Aristotelis De generatione et corruptione (Cambridge, 1956); Philosophical Greek: An Introduction (Chicago, 1957).

  • Notes:

    Fobes is remembered for his texts of Aristotle and for his translations, which are still widely used. In his nearly 30 years at Amherst, he combined the demands of heavy teaching and rigorous scholarship while maintaining the highest standards for both. He also developed an interest in printing and was the owner of the Snail's Pace Press, producing fine editions of English and Greek texts, including his favorite, Housman's “Fragment of a Greek Tragedy.” In addition, he designed a Greek font of special attractiveness and named it “Benner Greek” after his collaborator, Allen R. Benner of Andover. He donated to the Houghton Library at Harvard some 100 rare volumes, including 73 16th-century commentaries on Aristotle.

  • Sources:

    NatCAB 47:347-8; NYTimes (18 Sept. 1957) 33.

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.