North American Scholar

HANSON, John Arthur, Jr

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1931-03-05
  • Born City: Charleston
  • Born State/Country: WV
  • Parents: John Arthur & Alice Mary Dumont H.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1985-03-28
  • Death City: Princeton
  • Death State/Country: NJ
  • Married: Ann Ellis, 30 Jan. 1957.
  • Education:

    A.B. U. Michigan, 1951; M.A. Princeton, 1953; Ph.D., 1956; postgrad. AAR, 1953-5.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. to asst. prof, class. U. Michigan, 1955-64; vis. asst. prof, class. Swarthmore, 1963-4; asso. prof, to prof, class. Princeton, 1964-77; prof, class. & comp. lit., 1977-85; ed. TAPA, 1965-70; classicist-in-res. AAR, 1970-1.

  • Dissertation:

    “Roman Theatre-Temples” (Princeton, 1957); printed (Princeton, 1959).

  • Publications:

    “Plautus as a Source Book for Roman Religion,” TAPA 90 (1959) 48-101; “The Glorious Military,” in Roman Drama, ed. T. A. Dorey & D. R. Dudley (London, 1965), 51-85; “Scholarship on Plautus since 1950: I,” CW 59 (1965-6) 103-7, 126-9; “Vergil,” in Ancient Writers: Greece and Rome, ed. T. J. Luce (New York, 1982), 2:669-701; Apuleius Metamorphoses (trans.) LCL, 2 vols. (Cambridge & London, 1989).

  • Notes:

    Art Hanson was a genial, humane teacher who returned to Princeton at precisely the right time. He quickly established an excellent rapport, especially with graduate students; his, Ann's, and their daughter M. E.'s home was always open to them, and he became a true friend to many in hours of need. Besides being the principal supervisor of several dissertations, he was widely sought out to serve on dissertation committees in both classics and comparative literature because of his ability to critique scholarly work perceptively, with common sense, and without egotism or causing hurt. He had a knack of getting along with prickly people, a quality for which there is always more demand in academe than supply. Writing his dissertation under Erik Sjoqvist and George Duckworth, he combined strong interests in Roman archaeology and Roman literature, which led to his appointment as director of the Classical Summer School of the AAR from 1968 to 1970 and of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in 1975-6. His mors immatura was caused by a heart attack. The variety of his influence is attested by a generation of Princeton Ph.D.'s in various scholarly specialties.

  • Sources:

    DAS 82: 217; WhWh (1982-3) 1393.

    Image: Swarthmore College Halcyon yearbook, 1964.

  • Author: Karl Galinsky