North American Scholar

HAMMER, Jacob

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1894-10-31
  • Born City: Tarnopol
  • Born State/Country: Austria (now Ternopil, Ukraine)
  • Parents: Heinrich & Fanny H.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1953-03-24
  • Death City: New York
  • Death State/Country: NY
  • Married: Anne H.
  • Education:

    A.B., Gymnasium Tomopol, 1913; U. of Lemberg, 1913-14, 1917-18; U. of Vienna, 1920-21; M.A. Columbia, 1923; Drisler Fellow in Classics, 1923-24; Ph.D., 1926; Guggenheim Fell., 1929-30.

  • Professional Experience:

    Teacher Czortkow Gymnasium, 1917-19; asst. Librarian, Dept. of Philosophy, Columbia, 1922-23; instr. Greek & Latin, Hunter College, 1925-29; asst. prof. Latin, 1929-36; asso. prof., 1936-48, prof. 1948-53; fell. IAS (Princeton), 1937-8; vis. prof., 1944-5.

  • Dissertation:

    "Prolegomena to an Edition of the Panegyrics Messalae: The Military and Political Career of M. Valerius Messala Corvinus" (Columbia, 1926) publ. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1925).

  • Notes:

    Hammer emigrated to the United States in 1920 while still enrolled at the University of Vienna, in order to study at Columbia. He was naturalized in 1926, the year he received his Ph.D. with a well received dissertation on Messala Corvinus. As a student researching his topic, he had begun to publish a series of notes on Roman poets in the locally edited CW. His first major project was a successful translation (with Moses Hadas) of K├Ârte's Hellenistic Poetry, but he soon developed an interest in medieval world and in 1929 received a Guggenheim award to research the manuscripts of Geoffrey of Monmouth's history of the British kings. His subsequent publications dealt largely with the results of his research on this work and in 1951 he published his Lebenswerk, two years before he died.

  • Sources:

    NYTimes (26 Feb. 1953) 25; School & Society (7 March 1953) 156; Wilson Library Bulletin 27 (April 1953) 588.

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.