North American Scholar

KEANEY, John Joseph

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1932-05-08
  • Parents: Bartley & Bridget Greene K.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 2003-04-22
  • Death City: Princeton
  • Death State/Country: NJ
  • Married: Edwina Marie Tonelli, 7 September 1957.
  • Education:

    A.B. Boston College, 1953; A.M. Harvard, 1955; Ph.D., 1959. 

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. to prof. class. Princeton, 1959-2003.

  • Dissertation:

    “The Structure, Dating, and Publication of Aristotle’s Athenaion politeia” (Harvard, 1959), summary at HSCP 65 (1961) 362-65.

  • Publications:

    “The Structure of Aristotle's Athenaion Politeia,” HSPC LXVII (1963) 115-46; “Two Notes on the Tradition of Aristotle's Writings,” AJP LXXXIV (1963) 52-63; Demosthenes' On the Crown. A Critical Case Study of a Masterpiece of Ancient Oratory, ed. J.J. Murphy; with new transl. by Keaney, A Random House Study in Speech SSP; VII (New York: Random House, 1967; repr. Davis, Calif. : Hermagoras Press, 1983) REVS: CW 61 (1968) 405-6 Connor; “Sophocles Fragment 608 Pearson,” AJP 88 (1967) 82-83; “New Fragments of Greek Authors in Codex Marc. Gr. 444,” TAPA 98 (1967) 205-19; “Corrupt Book Numbers in the Lexicon of Harpocration,” CP 63 (1968) 281-83; “The Early Tradition of Theophrastus' Historia Plantarum,” Hermes 96 (1968) 293-98; “Heliodorus F 1 and Philochorus F 41,” Historia 17 (1968) 507-9; “Theophrastus on the End of Ostracism,” with W. R. Connor,  AJP 90 (1969) 313-19; “Ring Composition in Aristotle's Athenaion Politeia,” AJP 90 (1969) 406-23; “The Alleged Alphabetization of Aristotle's Politeiai,” CP 64 (1969) 213-18; “Moschopoulos and Harpocration,” TAPA 100 (1969) 201-7; “The Text of Androtion F 6 and the Origin of Ostracism,” Historia 11 (1970) 1-11; “The Date of Aristotle's Athenaion Politeia,” Historia 19 (1970) 326-36; “Two Emendations in Harpocration,” CR 20 (1970) 139-40; “Notes on Phrynichus' Ἐκλογή,” Glotta 48 (1970) 184-5; “Moschopulea,” ByzZ 64 (1971) 303-21; “Notes on Moschopoulos and Aristophanes-Scholia,” Mnemosyne 25 (1972) 123-28; “A Late Byzantine Account of Ostracism,” AJP 93 (1972) 87-91; “Alphabetization in Harpocration's Lexicon,” GRBS 14 (1973) 415-23; “Theophrastus on Greek Judicial Procedure,” TAPA 104 (1974) 179-94; “Theophrastus' De eligendis magistratibus. Vat. Gr. 2306, fragment B,” with A. Szegedy-Maszak TAPA 106 (1976) 227-40;  “Moschopoulos and the Scholia to the Batrachomyomachia,” CP 74 (1979) 60-63; “Androtion F 6 Again,” Historia 25 (1976) 480-82; “A Source/Model of Aristotle's Portrait of Theramenes,” CJ 75 (1979) 40-41; “Two Textual Notes on Aristotle, I: Ath. pol. 58.3 ; II : F538 Rose (Plutarch, Lycurgus 28.7),” LCM 4 (1979) 17; “A New MS of the Vaticanus Paradoxographus,” CP 74 (1979) 156-57; “Aristotle, Ἀθηναίων πολιτεία 20,5. Genitivus partitivus or comparationis,” ZAnt 29 (1979) 73-74; “Hignett's H A C and the Authorship of the Athenaion Politeia,” LCM 5 (1980) 51-56; “P. Oxy. 1802 and Aristotle F 499 Rose,” ZPE 37 (1980) 198; “Hecataeus as Source of Aristotle F 549 Rose,” LCM 5 (1980) 87-88; “Plato's Apology 32c8-d3,” CQ 30 (1980) 296-98;“ἀλιτήμων. Iliad 24.157 (= 186),” Glotta 59 (1981) 67-69; “Hymn Ven. 140 and the Use of ἄποινα,” AJP 102 (1981) 261-64; “Aristotle's Politics 2.12.1274a22-b28,” AJAH 6 (1981) 97-100; “John Lascaris and Harpocration,” GRBS 23 (1982) 93-95;  “A Narrative Pattern in Aristotle's Athenaion Politeia,” in Studies Presented to Sterling Dow on his Eightieth Birthday, ed. Kent J. Rigsby GRBS Suppl. X (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1984) 161-3; The Composition of Aristotle's Athenaion Politeia: Observation and Explanation (New York: Oxford University Press; Oxford, 1992) REVS: BMCR 3 (1992) 361-5 Lang | Phronesis 38 (1993) 225 R. Sharples | AncPhil 15,1 (1995) 263-8 Charles T. Hagen | EClás 36, no. 105 (1994) 172-3 Juan Antonio López Férez | Gnomon 1995 67 (5): 400-404 Mortimer H. Chambers | LEC 64,2 (1996) 184 Hélène Perdicoyianni | Harpocration, Lexeis of the Ten Orators (ed.) (Amsterdam: Hakkert, 1991) REVS: QS 19 (1993) 225-44 R. Otranto | BMCR 5 (1994) 260-1 W. Slater | JHS 114 (1994) 197 S. Usher | Eikasmos 5 (1994) 487-9 R. Tosi; Homer's Ancient Readers: The Hermeneutics of Greek Epic's Earliest Exegetes, ed. with Robert Lamberton (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992) REVS: BMCR 4 (1993) 54-57 M. W. Blundell | REG 106 (1993) 262 P. Brunet | CW 87 (1993-4) 507 S. Scully | AC 63 (1994) 334-5 M. Mund-Dopchie; “Theophrastus on Ostracism and the Character of his sarka,” in Aristote et Athènes = Aristoteles and Athens: [actes de la table ronde "Centenaire de l'Athenaion polite"], Fribourg (Suisse), 23-25 mai 1991, ed. Marcel Piérart (Fribourg: Séminaire d'Histoire ancienne de l'Université de Fribourg; Paris: de Boccard, 1993) 261-278; “Androtion F 6 and Methodology,” Klio 77 (1995) 126-31; “The Earliest Byzantine Witnesses to Harpocration (pl),” RHT 25 (1995) 255-57; [Plutarch] Essay on the Life and Poetry of Homer, ed. with Robert Lamberton, American Classical Studies 40 (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1996) REVS: AC (1997) 66: 416 Daniel Donnet | BMCR 8, 1 (1997) 38-9 James P. Holoka | CW 92,2 (1998-9) 168-9 Bradford Gregory Hays | REG 111, 2 (1998) 778 Philippe Brunet | IJCT5 (1998-9) 602-603 Jackson P. Hershbell; “A New Fragment of Sophocles and its Schedographic Context,” AJP 122 (2001) 173-7.

  • Notes:

    Educated at Boston College and Harvard University, John was a mainstay of Princeton's Classics Department since arriving as an Instructor in 1959. His first decade at Princeton marked a time when the department began to focus upon faculty research and graduate training, while seeking to retain its traditional role in providing under­graduates with advanced training in Greek and Latin. By 1975, the year John was promoted to the rank of Professor, the transition was largely complete and Princeton Classics had achieved something like its cur­rent form.The department's new outlook in the 1960s was exem­plified by John's important series of articles on several key problems in Greek prose literature, problems that would remain at the center of his academic work: the literary structure and composition of Aristotle's The Constitution of Athens; the fragmentary writings of Greek philosophers and historians, especially those of Aristotle's great student Theophrastus; and late classi­cal and Byzantine scholarship on the Attic orators. The first and last of these interests later resulted in two outstanding books. The Composition of Aristotle's 'Athenaion Politeia': Observation and Explanation vigorously defended Aristotle's authorship of the work and demonstrated the work's generic originality. In the same year (1992) John published his definitive edition of Harpocration's Lexeis of the Ten Orators, the first criti­cal edition of this work to be based on an accurate un­derstanding of the affiliations among the surviving manu­scripts. More recently (1996) he collaborated with Robert Lamberton in editing ps.-Plutarch's Essay on the Life and Poetry of Homer, which was published in the APA's monograph series, American Classical Studies. In the early 1970s John served as the editor of the Trans­actions of the American Philological Association, and began the first of several stints as Department Repre­sentative, supervising the undergraduate program in Clas­sics.

    John always recognized the importance of retain­ing close attention to undergraduate education, especially during a period in which advanced study of Greek and Latin was becoming increasingly rare at the prepara­tory school level. He played a central role in ensuring that the department continued to attract undergraduate majors, and in devising a curriculum that allowed stu­dents without advance preparation to move quickly through introductory Greek and Latin to the level at which reading an ancient author ceases to be a chore. His genu­ine pleasure in teaching Greek and Latin, and his dedi­cation to maintaining high standards of undergraduate education in Classics, have been profoundly appreciated by four decades of students: when alumni contacted the Classics department, John was the faculty member they most often ask after.

    John held an external fellowship at the Center for Hel­lenic Studies in 1962, but when spending time away from Princeton his preferred locale for many years was Rome, where he avidly pursued research on manuscripts in the Vatican Library. Not coincidentally, among John's last­ing contributions to Princeton was the development of the department's Prentice Library: his linguistic facility and concern for tradition was manifest in a series of delightfully multi-lingual memos to his colleagues, de­ploring infractions of Library rules in a way both stern and amusing.

    John's combination of deep erudition, textual insight, pedagogical commitment, and collegiality embodied one model for the profession. Through his long service to Classics, he helped the field to maintain its contact tradi­tion and still keep abreast of change in challenging times.

  • Sources:

    APA Newsletter (April 2003) 6-7.

  • Author: Josiah Ober / Robert A. Kaster