North American Scholar

HETTICH, Ernest Leopold

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1897-07-13
  • Born City: Brooklyn
  • Born State/Country: NY
  • Parents: Leopold, a watchmaker & Annie Francis Limbrick H.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1973-03-20
  • Death City: Port Jervis
  • Death State/Country: NY
  • Married: Rose Rosenblum, 6 June 1936.
  • Education:

    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.

  • Dissertation:

    “A Study in Ancient Nationalism: The Testimony of Euripides” (Columbia, 1933); printed (Williamsport, PA, 1933).

  • Publications:

    Latin Fundamentals, with A. G. C. Maitland (New York, 1930); Excavations at Nessana, II Literary Papyri, with Lionel Casson (Princeton, 1950).

  • Notes:

    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.

  • Sources:

    NYU Archives; WhWh 1948-9.

  • Author: Lionel Casson