North American Scholar

FRANK, Tenney

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1876-05-19
  • Born City: Clay Center
  • Born State/Country: KS
  • Parents: Oliver & Caroline Danielson F.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1939-04-03
  • Death City: Oxford
  • Death State/Country: England
  • Married: Grace Edith Mayer, 28 May 1907.
  • Education:

    A.B. U. Kansas, 1898, A.M. 1899; Ph.D., U. Chicago, 1903; study at Göttingen, 1910; Berlin, 1910-1; L.H.D., Union Coll., 1938.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. Lat. U. Chicago, 1901-4; assoc. to prof. Lat., Bryn Mawr, 1904-19; prof. Lat. Johns Hopkins, 1919-39; Horace White lecturer, Bryn Mawr, 1929; Sather prof., 1929-30; Martin lctr., 1931; lctr. Hertz Foundation, British Academy, 1930-1; George Eastman vis. prof. Oxford, 1938-9; ann. prof, class. School, AAR, 1916-7; prof, in charge, 1922-3, 1924-5; pres. APA, 1928-9; assoc. ed. AJP, 1920-36; ed., 1936-9.

  • Dissertation:

    “Attraction of Mood in Early Latin” (Chicago, 1903); printed (Lancaster, PA, 1904).

  • Publications:

    Roman Imperialism (New York, 1914); An Economic History of Rome to the End of the Republic (Baltimore, 1920; 2d ed., rev. & expanded, 1927); Vergil: A Biography (New York, 1£22); A History of Rome (New York, 1923); Roman Buildings of the Republic (Rome, 1924); Catullus and Horace: Two Poets in their Environment (New York, 1928); Life and Literature in the Roman Republic (Berkeley, 1930); Aspects of Social Behavior in Ancient Rome (Cambridge, 1932); An Economic Survey of Ancient Rome, vol. 1: Rome and Italy of the Republic (Baltimore, 1933); An Economic Survey of Ancient Rome, vol. 5: Rome and Italy of the Empire (Baltimore, 1940).

  • Notes:

    Tenney Frank was one of the leading American scholars in the first half of the 20th century in the fields of Roman social and economic history. He also made major contributions to the study of several of the poets of the late Republic and early Empire and to the dating of Republican buildings in the city of Rome. His career displayed a remarkable fusion of literary, historical, and archaeological interests, which resulted in numerous publications that illuminate the life and history of ancient Rome. He died while holding the George Eastman Professorship at Oxford, the first classical scholar appointed to this prestigious chair. This appointment was only the last of a long series of honors and distinctions which recognized his eminence: He was Sather lecturer, Martin lecturer, a corresponding fellow of the British Academy, an honorary member of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, a fellow of the Swedish Royal Society of Letters, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.Frank's list of publications (AJP 60 [1939] 280-7) contains more than 165 items, ranging from brief notes to extensive books, and a seeming infinitude of reviews. The crowning project of his career was the five-volume Economic Survey of Ancient Rome, which he edited and of which he himself wrote two volumes. It has proven to be a monumentum aere perennius.

  • Sources:

    W. F. Albright, Year Book APhS (1939) 444-6; London Times (4 April 1939); T. R. S. Broughton, “Tenney Frank—Humanist, Historian, Originator,” Johns Hopkins Alumni Magazine 27 (1939) 107-10; idem, “Tenney Frank” Classical Scholarship: A Biographical Encyclopedia, ed. W. W. Briggs & W. M. Calder III (New York, 1990), 68-76; idem, DAB 22, suppl. 2, 203-5; Norman W. DeWitt, AJP 60 (1939) 273-87, with bibliography by Evelyn Hoist Clift; NatCAB 19:236-7; Arthur Stanley Pease, PAAAS1A (1940-42) 123-25; WhAm 1:422.

  • Author: Herbert W. Benario