North American Scholar

HELLER, John Lewis

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1906-10-02
  • Born City: Riegelsville
  • Born State/Country: PA
  • Parents: Glenn Conley & Mary Belle Stahr H.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1988-11-06
  • Death City: Urbana
  • Death State/Country: IL
  • Married: Suzanne Wallace Finley, 20 June 1936.
  • Education:

    A.B. Haverford, 1927; A.M. Princeton, 1928; Ph.D., 1933.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. Gk. & Lat., Wesleyan (CT) 1928-9; instr. Lat. Haverford, 1929-31; instr. class. Allegheny Coll., 1933-7; asst. prof, to prof, class, langs. U. Minnesota, 1937-49; chair dept., 1947-9; prof, class. U. Illinois, 1949-75; dept. head, 1949-66; curator Classical Museum, 1949-61; Mellon vis. prof, class. U. Pittsburgh, 1969-70; asso. ed. CJ, 1943-50; ed. publications APA, 1945-9; pres. APA, 1965-6; Founder's Medal, Soc. for Hist, of Nat. Hist., 1986.

  • Dissertation:

    “The Lament for the Dead in Roman Folk-Custom and Literature” (Princeton, 1934)

  • Publications:

    “Festus on Nenia,” TAPA 70 (1939) 357-67; “Nenia ‘παὶγνιον’” TAPA 74 (1943) 215-68; “Classical Mythology in the Systema Naturae of Linnaeus,” TAPA 76 (1945) 333-57; “Nepos ‘σκορπιστής’ and Philoxenus,” TAPA 93 (1962) 61-89; “Linnaeus' Hortus Cliffortianus” Taxon 17 (1968) 663-719; Studies Perry (ed.); Serta Turyniana: Studies in Greek Literature and Palaeography in Honor of A. Turyn (ed.) (Urbana, 1974); Studies in Linnaean Method and Nomenclature (Frankfurt a.M., 1983); “Notes on the Titulature of Linnaean Dissertations,” Taxon 32 (1983) 218-52; “Notes on the Meaning of Κολοκύντη,” ICS 10 (1985) 67-119.

  • Notes:

    John Heller gave much of both himself and of his time to advancing the work of others through his editorial work for the American Philological Association and the Classical Association of the Middle West and South. Only those who suffered his severe, yet kind and patient criticism can report the benefits they and scholarship received from it. He was a true lover of language, a philologist in the original sense of the word, fascinated in particular by the names of things. He assisted modern agronomists in the development of a new nomenclature for soils, investigated the history and nature of Linnaeus' binomial nomenclature of plants, and in the classical field sought to elucidate such mysteries as the labyrinth in both its literary and pictorial forms or the mysterious plant lurking in Seneca's Active Apocolocyntosis. In addition to these somewhat unusual topics hewrote frequently on the problems of education of teachers and on the position of Latin in the secondary schools. Nor did he hesitate to take an active role in the affairs of state and regional associations.

  • Sources:

    APA Newsletter (Feb. 1989) 14-15; WhWh 1978-9:1452.

  • Author: John J. Bateman