North American Scholar
KRAEMER, Casper John, Jr
A.B. NYU, 1917; A.M., 1918; Ph.D., 1922.
- Professional Experience:
Instr. Eng., 1918-9; Lat., 1919-22; asst. prof, anc. hist. Cornell, 1922-3; instr. to prof, class. NYU, 1923-58; chair dept., 1930-48; ed. CW, 1936-8; exchange prof. UCLA, 1940; asso. ed., Archaeology, 1948-51; ed. Prentice-Hall Classical Series.
"Materia Romanorum Satirica" (NYU, 1922).
Greek Papyri in the Library of Cornell University, with W. L. Westermann (New York, 1926); "The Nomarch Nicanor: P. NYU Inv. II 89," TAPA 58 (1927) 155-69; "The Influence of the Classics on English Literature," CJ 22 (1926-7) 485-97; "In Defense of Chaerea in the Eunuch of Terence," CJ 23 (1927-8) 662-7; "Light from Arabia on Classical Things," CW22 (1928-9) 113-9; "A Greek Element in Egyptian Dancing," AJA 35 (1931) 125-38; "Pliny and the Early Christian Service: Fresh Light from an Old Source," CP 29 (1934) 293-300; Complete Works of Horace (ed.) (New York, 1936); "A Referee's Hearing on Ownership," with N. Lewis, TAPA 68 (1937) 357-87; "The Colt Papyri from Palestine," Actes du 5e Congr. de Papyr. (Brussels, 1937) 238-44; "A Divorce Agreement from Southern Palestine," with N. Lewis, TAPA 69 (1938) 117-33; "An Early Fourth Century Hoard from Egypt," with T. Miles, ANSMusN 5 (1952) 65-88; The Historical Pattern, The Age of Diocletian: A Symposium, December 14-16, 1951 (ed.) (New York, 1953); "The Archaeological Film," Archaeology 11 (1958) 262-6; Excavations at Nessana III: Non-Literary Papyri (Princeton, 1958).
Casper Kraemer was a gifted teacher of ancient history, a papyrologist of repute, and a pioneer in the use of television to bring the achievements of scholarship to the attention of the general public. In the early 1920s he began the study of papyrology under William Westermann at Columbia University and it became his chief scholarly interest. He collaborated with Westermann in publishing the collection of papyri at Cornell University, wrote several articles on various documents, and crowned his work in the field with the editing, accompanied by a comprehensive analytic introduction, of a unique archive that had come to light during an excavation in the northern Negeb.Although an able and dedicated scholar, Kraemer was first and foremost a teacher. His preferred subject was ancient history, and his classes were marked by vigor, an engaging personal style, supremely conscientious preparation (he adopted a different textbook each year as a way of enforcing an ever-fresh presentation), and—what was most unusual in his day—a sociological approach.In 1954 Kraemer convinced CBS to let him put on a pioneering program he had created, a 13-week series on archaeology called "Here is the Past." It was so successful that in 1956 he returned with a follow-up, "Yesterday's Worlds," which ran for half a year. In 1958 he was asked to give a course in ancient history as part of NYU's television teaching project, "Sunrise Semester"; halfway through the term, while on the way to the studio, he suffered the cerebral hemorrhage that ended his life
NYTimes (7 Nov. 1958) 27; WhAm 3:489.
- Author: Lionel Casson