North American Scholar

HOLLAND, Louise Elizabeth Whetenhall Adams

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1893-07-03
  • Born City: Brooklyn
  • Born State/Country: NY
  • Parents: Charles F., a lawyer, & Henrietta Rozier A.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1990-06-21
  • Death City: Philadelphia
  • Death State/Country: PA
  • Married: Leicester Bodine Holland, 27 Dec. 1923.
  • Education:

    A.B. Barnard, 1914; A.M. Columbia, 1915; Ph.D. Bryn Mawr, 1920; Litt. D. Smith, 1965; Columbia, 1979.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. to asst. prof. Lat. Smith, 1918-24; fell. AAR, 1922-3; asst. prof. Vassar, 1925-7; vis. prof. Lat. Bryn Mawr, 1928-55; vis. prof. Lat. Haverford, 1946; prof. Lat. Miami U. (OH), 1951-2; vis. prof. Lat. Smith, 1956-9, 1960-64; Vanderbilt lctr., 1960; Guggenheim fell., 1948-9; Donnelly fell. Bryn Mawr, 1964-5; Goodwin Award, 1964; distinguished alumna award, Barnard, 1978.

  • Dissertation:

    “A Study in the Commerce of Latium from the Early Iron Age through the Sixth Century” (Bryn Mawr, 1920); printed, Smith Coll. Class. Stud. 11 (1921).

  • Publications:

    The Faliscans in Prehistoric Times (Rome, 1925); “Qui Terminum Exarasset,” AJA 37 (1933) 549-53; “Place-Names and Heroes in the Aeneid,” AJP 56 (1935) 202-15; “The Shrine of the Lares Compitales,” TAPA 68 (1937) 428-41; “Aeneas-Augustus of Prima Porta,” TAPA 78 (1947) 276-84; “Forerunners and Rivals of the Primitive Roman Bridge,” TAPA 80 (1949) 281-319; “Down the River on a Raft,” with L. B. Holland, Archaeology 3 (1950) 87-94; “Janus and the Fasti,” with L. R. Taylor, CP 47 (1952) 137-42; “Septimontium or Saeptimonium?,” TAPA 84 (1953) 16-34; “The Purpose of the Warrior Image from Capestrano,” AJA 60 (1956) 243-7; Janus and the Bridge (Rome, 1961); “The Attributes of Portunus and the Verona Scholion on Aeneid V, 24,” Hommages à Albert Grenier, ed. M. Renard, Collection Latomus 58 (Brussels-Berchem, 1962) 2:817-43; Lucretius and the Transpadanes (Princeton, 1979).

  • Notes:

    A vivid and sparkling personality, with an inherent love of literature, and especially of poetry, from childhood on, Louise Adams Holland became known as a gifted teacher and scholar who won the respect and affection of friends, students, and colleagues alike. Majoring in classics at Barnard College, she went on to postgraduate study at Columbia University for an M.A. and at Bryn Mawr College for a Ph.D. A special European fellowship brought her in 1915-6 to the American Academy in Rome, where work on her dissertation was the beginning of what she jestingly called “a fatal fascination with the problems of the Early Iron Age.” She returned to the academy on another fellowship in 1922-3 and began work on The Faliscans in Prehistoric Times, which was praised as a model description of a small ancient Etruscan town. Through these studies in Etruria and Rome, she laid the foundation for an enduring interest in the many and varied aspects of primitive Rome.On the voyage to Italy in 1922 she met her future husband, Leicester Bodine Holland, an architect with a great interest in ancient Greek and Roman buildings and antiquities. She had amusing anecdotes to tell of their long exploratory walks together in southern Etruria, to the puzzlement of the local inhabitants. Their most venturesome expedition together took place in the summer of 1949 when they navigated an inflatable rubber raft down the Tiber from Orte past the island bridge in Rome as a way of learning from their own observation how that river with its strong current and winding stream bed could have been used in ancient times for commerce and communications.Her major work, Janus and the Bridge, was published in 1961, after nearly 30 years of preparation. Her brilliant new interpretation identifies Janus as originally an inaugurated water crossing, and finds convincing support in the topography, and especially in the hydrography, of the primitive city, as well as in its development and in Roman religion. The work evokes vividly, with knowledge and imagination, the primitive Rome of separate villages on separate hills, rough gullies as boundaries, and streams of flowing water, where Janus provided crossings unimpeded by taking of the auspices. Her interpretation makes sense of the paradox that the Temple of Janus was closed in peace and open in war.Her various articles, each offering new, perceptive, and often challenging interpretations, are witnesses to the breadth and depth of her interests and learning. Her final work, Lucretius and the Transpadanes, carried through with increasing infirmity and failing eyesight, is a splendid example of her feeling for and understanding of Latin poetry. It is well known that Latin was spoken with different accents in different parts of Italy. Taking the use of elision and other criteria in the known Transpadane poets Catullus and Virgil, she finds from similar use in Lucretius that he too was a Transpadane, and notes also his fondness, like theirs, for imagery of mountains, lakes, and plains. It is an attractive view, though not fully provable. But the book has special value also for her many insights into the poetry of all three poets

  • Sources:

    T. R. S. Broughton, APA Newsletter (December 1990) 13-4; WhAmW 1966:543.

  • Author: T. R. S. Broughton