HAMMOND, Mason

  • HAMMOND, Mason
Date of Birth
Born City
Boston
Born State/Country
MA
Parents
Samuel & Grace Learoyd H.
Date of Death
Death City
Cambridge
Death State/Country
MA
Married
Florence Hobson Pierson, 1935
EDUCATION

A.B. Harvard, 1925; B.A. Oxford (Rhodes Scholar), 1927; B.Litt., 1930; L.H.D., St. Bonaventure, 1978; D.Litt. (hon.), Harvard, 1994.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Instr. to prof. classics, Harvard, 1928-50; Pope Professor of Latin, 1950-73; instr. to prof. classics, Radcliffe College, 1928-42; prof.-in-charge- for classical studies, AAR, 1937-39, 1955-57; vis. prof., 1951-52,1963; acting director, Villa I Tatti (Florence, IT), 1972-73; vis. prof. classics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1974.

PUBLICATIONS

“The Significance of the Speech of Maecenas in Dio Cassius, Book LII,” TAPA 63 (1932) 88-102; “Notes on Some Poems of Hildebert in a Harvard Manuscript (Ms. Riant 36),” Speculum (1932) 530-39; Plautus. Menaechmi, ed. with N. Moseley (Cambridge, MA, 1933) REVS: CP 1933 327 Shorey | CJ 1934 XXX 175 Canter | TLS 1934 45 | CR 1935 38 Beare | G&R 1934 III 191; The Augustan Principate in Theory and in Practice during the Julio-Claudian Period (Cambridge, 1933; repr. New York, 1968) REVS: REA 1934 105-108 Gagé | ZRG 1934 456-459 Schönbauer | CR 1934 144 Charlesworth | CPh 1934 163-164 Larsen | REL 1934 463-465 Cavaignac | JRS 1934 222-223 Balsdon | AHR 1934 XXXIX 759 McFayden | Kl XI 1936 118 Stein | CW 1936 XXX 19 Reinhold | PhW 1935 314 von Premerstein | Gn 1935 615-616 Hohl | JS 1937 150-166 Piganiol | Latomus XXX 1971 1251 Combès; “Corbulo and Nero's Eastern Policy,” HSCP (1934) 81-104; “Curatoris tabularum publicarum,” in Classical and Mediaeval Studies in Honor of E. K. Rand, ed. L.W. Jones (New York, 1937) 123-32; “Pliny the Younger's Views on Government,” HSCP 49 (1938) 115-40; “The Tribunician Day during the Early Empire,” MAAR 15 (1938) 23-61; “Hellenistic Influences on the Structure of the Augustan Principate,” MAAR 17 (1940) 1-25; “Septimius Severus, Roman Bureaucrat,” HSCP 51 (1940) 137-73; “The Impact of War on Classical Archaeology from Syracuse to Berlin,” AJA (1946) 290-92; “Ancient Imperialism: Contemporary Justifications,” HSCP 58-59 (1948) 105-161; “The Tribunician Day from Domitian through Antoninus,” MAAR 19 (1949) 37-76; City State and World State in Greek and Roman Political Theory until Augustus (Cambridge, MA, 1951) REVS: Gnomon XXIII 1951 463 Volkmann | REL XXIX 1951 436-437 Piganiol; “Germana Patria,” HSCP 55 (1951) 147-174 | RPh XXVI 1952 102-103 Magdelain | CW XLV 1952 203 Haywood | CJ XLVII 1952 199 Swain | RFIC XXX 1952 381-383 Lana | AJPh LXXIII 1952 427-432 von Fritz | CHR XXXVIII 1952-1953 205-206 Brady | AHR LVII 1951-1952 412-413 Staar | Latomus XI 1952 264-265 Hammer | CR N.S. III 1953 45-47 N. G. L. Hammond | JRS XLIV 1954 122 Sherwin-White | REA LVI 1954 196-197 Aymard | ZAnt V 1955 193-195 Obradović; “A Statue of Trajan Represented on the Anaglypha Traiani,” MAAR 21 (1953) 125-83; “The Transmission of the Powers of the Roman Emperor from the Death of Nero in A.D. 68 to that of Alexander Severus in A.D. 235,” MAAR 24 (1956) 61-133; “The Classical Tradition in Political Theory and Experience and its Survival,” CJ 51 (1956) 171-87; “Composition of the Senate A.D. 68-235,” JRS 47 (1957) 74-81; “Imperial Elements in the Formula of the Roman Emperors during the First Two and a Half Centuries of the Empire,” MAAR 25 (1957) 17-64; “Plato and Ovid's Exile,” HSCP 63 (1958) 347-61; The Antonine Monarchy Papers & Monographs of the AAR XIX (Rome, 1959) REVS: CW LIII 1960 292 Benario | AJPh LXXXI 1960 448-450 Starr | REL XXXVIII 1960 446-449 Piganiol | Erasmus XIII 1960 160-164 Béranger | AC XXIX 1960 547-548 Noyen | Gnomon XXXIII 1961 188-194 Gray | Emerita XXIX 1961 363-366 d'Ors | CR XI 1961 275-276 Crook | Phoenix XV 1961 54-55 Jones | AHR LXVI 1960-1961 113-114 Salmon | CPh LVI 1961 56-57 Oost | Iura XIII 1962 336-339 Frezza | RSI LXXIV 1962 609-614 Garzetti; Aeneas to Augustus. A Beginning Latin Reader for College Students (Cambridge, 1962) REVS: CW LVI 1963 293 Schoenheim | Latomus XXII 1963 628 Tadic-Gilloteaux | CB XLII 1966 77-78 Rexine; “Inexpensive Books for the Study of Roman History,” CW 56 (1962) 13-20; “Res olim dissociabiles, princ ipatus ac libertas: Liberty under the Early Roman Empire,” HSCP 67 (1963) 93-113; “Three Latin Inscriptions in the McDaniel Collection,” HSCP 68 (1964) 79-97; “The Sincerity of Augustus,” HSCP 69 (1965) 139-52; “Stamped Potters' Marks and Other Stamped Pottery in the McDaniel Collection,” with N.L. Hirschland, HSCP 72 (1967) 369-82; “A Bibliographical Handlist on Vergil's Aeneid,” with J.E. Haffner & M.C.J. Putnam CW 60 (1967) 377-88;The City in the Ancient World, assisted by L.J. Bartson, Harvard Studies in Urban History (Cambridge, MA, 1972) REVS: CW LXVIII 1974 139-140 Reid | TLS LXXIII 1974 80 | Aegyptus LIII 1973 191-194 Criniti | RA 1974 351-352 Béquignon | BO XXXI 1974 56-58 Pleket | AHR LXXVIII 1973 1430-1431 Sinnigen | CPh LXX 1975 231-233 Oost | CR XXV 1975 252-254 Arnheim | JHS XCV 1975 238-240 Wycherley | ACR III 1973 86 Starr | JAOS XCV 1975 115-116 Renger | AArchHung XXVII 1975 247-248 Castiglione; “The Emergence of Mediaeval Towns: Independence or Continuity,” HSCP 78 (1974) 1-33; “The Antonine Monarchy, 1959-1971, II, 2,” in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt. Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der neueren Forschung. Joseph Vogt zu seinem 75. Geburtstag gewidmet, II,2 : Principat, [Politische Geschichte (Kaisergeschichte)], ed. H. Temporini (Berlin, 1975) 329-53; Latin: A Historical and Linguistic Handbook (Cambridge, MA, 1976) REVS: CR XXIX 1979 170 Adams; “A Famous Exemplum of Spartan Toughness, CJ 75 (1979-1980) 97-109; “An Unpublished Latin Funerary Inscription of Persons Connected with Maecenas,” HSCP 84 (1980) 263-77; Plautus. Miles Gloriosus, ed. with introd. & notes by Hammond, Arthur M. Mack & Walter Moskalew (Cambridge, 1963; rev. ed., 1997) REVS: AC XXXIII 1964 195-196 Cambier | Gnomon XXXVI 1964 577-580 Maurach | PACA VII 1964 68 Sedgwick | Phoenix XVIII 1964 247 Smethurst | CW LVII 1964 280 Lieberman | CJ LX 1964 81 Hough | JRS LIV 1964 240-241 Laidlaw | CPh LX 1965 268-271 Henry & Walker | CR XV 1965 44-47 Griffith | CB XLI 1965 80 Zimmermann | REA LXVIII 1966 175 Taladoire | AJPh LXXXVII 1966 121-122 Casson | Mnemosyne 1999 Ser. 4 52 (3) : 356-357 Costas Panayotakis; “Critical appreciations: VI: Homer, Iliad 1.1-52,” with J. Griffin, G&R 29 (1982) 126-42.

NOTES

Mason Hammond devoted nearly all of his professional life to Harvard. He was prepared at St. Mark’s School, to which he later rendered service including as chairman of the Board of Trustees, in 1921 he achieved the highest score of all those who sat for examinations for admission to the Harvard Class of 1925, which also included John H. Finley and Sterling Dow. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in his junior year, graduated summa cum laude, and gave the Latin Oration at Commencement. He earned a second B.A. and a B. Litt. at Balliol College, Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar.

In 1928 Hammond returned to Harvard, where he began his career in the Classics and History departments. He served three terms as professor-in-charge at the American Academy in Rome and two terms as director of the Villa I Tatti, Harvard’s Center for Renaissance Studies. In 1950, he succeeded his mentor, Arthur Stanley Pease, as Pope Professor of the Latin Language and Literature.

In World War II, Hammond served as chief of the section for Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives in the allied military government, seeing duty in Algiers, Palermo, Naples, London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Berlin. In Berlin, placed in charge of German art works saved from transportation to Russia by General Patton’s Third Army, he faced boxes marked “Rembrandt” and “Rubens,” which he considered unwise to open; he did, however, open another box, to find an original illustration by Botticelli for Dante’s Divine Comedy. His work, and that of many others, is recorded in Rescuing da Vinci by Robert M. Edsel (2006), adapted by George Clooney for his 2014 film, The Monuments Men. For his services in the war Hammond was awarded the Bronze Star, and was decorated by the governments of Holland, France, and Italy.

Hammond’s research and teaching were directed mainly to Roman constitutional history, ancient political thought, and Latin literature. These themes were exemplified in his first and last books, The Augustan Principate (1933) and The City in the Ancient World (1972). He also took a great interest in pedagogy, and all of his students remember the long scrawl of commentary which adorned each of their papers. He was among the few who used Harvard’s collection of ancient artifacts to illustrate literary texts and social history, and it was he who established and administered an A.M. teaching program in classics. His edition of Plautus’s Miles Gloriosus (edited with two students), was aimed specifically at students and his Latin: A Historical and Linguistic Handbook is a comprehensive description of the language.

At Harvard he was master of Kirkland House from 1946 to 1955, and before that was the first head tutor of Lowell House where, with professor Julian Lowell Coolidge and President Lowell, he helped foster the first generation of the House system. He served for many years on the Committee on Commencement Parts, where he supervised the delivery of the Latin oration and for more than fifty years (1936-86)—with exceptions for war service and leaves of absence—he was Commencement Caller, calling forth the procession from the Old Yard. During his service on the Committee on Seals, Arms, and Diplomas, he helped to provoke the “Latin Riots” when he supported President Pusey’s view that the College diploma be printed in English, using the practical argument that most undergraduates could not read Latin. 

During his retirement, Hammond devoted himself to the history of the Harvard as college and university, writing monographs on the stained glass in Memorial Hall, music at Commencement, Harvard china, Latin and Greek inscriptions on College buildings, and the gated enclosures of the Yard. 

For nearly seventy-five years Hammond maintained an almost unbroken record of participation in the daily service of Morning Prayers, and long after retirement he nourished his friendships with undergraduates through regular attendance at the Signet Society, whose graduate board he once served as president. 

His marriage to the former Florence Pierson (1909-99) of New Orleans, which lasted nearly 65 years, led his classmate and colleague John Finley to declare that Hammond “went off to conquer Rome but was conquered by Florence.”

SOURCES

NYTimes (21 October 2002); WhAm (1980-81) 1423; Harvard Gazette (17 October 2002)

AUTHOR
Wendell V. Clausen & Elliot Forbes