North American Scholar
HETTICH, Ernest Leopold
A.B. Cornell, 1919; A.M. Cornell, 1920; Ph.D. Columbia, 1933; Univ. Fell. Cornell, 1919-20.
- Professional Experience:
Asst. NY Public Library, 1920-7; instr. to prof, class. NYU, 1927-62, dir. libraries, 1947-62.
“A Study in Ancient Nationalism: The Testimony of Euripides” (Columbia, 1933); printed (Williamsport, PA, 1933).
Latin Fundamentals, with A. G. C. Maitland (New York, 1930); Excavations at Nessana, II Literary Papyri, with Lionel Casson (Princeton, 1950).
Ernest Hettich, although he published in the field of papyrology and spent the latter half of his academic career in administration, was first and foremost a gifted Latinist. He boasted a profound knowledge of the language and an instinctive feeling for it. He could take a Latin word or phrase or sentence and, by translating it in manifold ways, from a strictly literal rendering to earthy slang, lay bare unperceived depths of meaning. In poetry he had a keen ear for the connection of sound and meter with sense, whether the blatant comic turns of Plautus or the delicate nuances of Vergil. The beginners' textbook that he co-authored, Latin Fundamentals, was comprehensive, lucid, tightly organized, and, from the very first lesson, used material drawn solely from Roman writings; it was a most demanding book, but those who were put through it emerged fully equipped to read with understanding the most difficult Latin authors.
NYU Archives; WhWh 1948-9.
- Author: Lionel Casson