North American Scholar

LAIRD, Arthur Gordon

  • Image
  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1868-12-17
  • Born City: Charlottetown
  • Born State/Country: PEL
  • Parents: David & Mary Louisa Owen L.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1951-02-19
  • Death City: Madison
  • Death State/Country: WI
  • Married: Harriet Remington.
  • Education:

    A.B. Dalhousie, 1889; study at Cornell, 1889-91; Leipzig, 1897-8; Ph.D. (nan.), Cornell, 1891.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. to prof. Gk., Lat., & Sansk. U. Wisconsin, 1894-1938; chair dept. class., 1924-38; asso. ed. CJ 1905-7; mng. ed., 1907-9.

  • Publications:

    Studies in Herodotus (Madison, 1904); "Herodotus viii.2.1," CR 18 (1904) 97-99; "The Oracle in Herodotus v.79," CJ 1 (1905-6) 20; "Xenophon, Anabasis i.7.5," ibid., 224; "ὠς ἔκαστοι in Thucydides," AJP 27 (1906) 33-45; "The Progress of Classical Philology," CJ 2 (1906-7) 74; "The Homeric Phrase εἴ ποτ’ ἔην γε, Il. iii.180," ibid., 303-4; "Laconian ὄρκος in Thucydides v.77," CP 2 (1907) 337-8; Herodotus Books VII and VIII, ed. with Charles Forster Smith (New York, 1908); "ΚΛΟΤΟΠΕΥΕΙΝ [Il. xix.149]," CP 4 (1909) 317-9; "Xenophon and Herodotus," CJ 6 (1911-2) 347; "Xenophon, Oeconomicus, 20,16 [et 17]," CR 26 (1912) 213-4; "Note on Plato's Republic 587 C.-E.," CP 11 (1916) 465-8; Plato's Geometrical Number and the Comment of Proclus (Madison, 1918); "Note on Plato's Republic T.562A," CP 13 (1918) 89-90; "The Source of Herodotus' Knowledge of Artabazus," Classical Studies in Honor of Charles Forster Smith (Madison, 1919); "The Persian Army and Tribute Lists in Herodotus," CP 16 (1921) 305-26; "When is Generic μή Particular?," AJP 43 (1922) 124-45; "On Causal ὅταν, CQ 16 (1922) 37-43; "Thucydides vii.28.3 & ii.65.12," CP 25 (1930) 184-7; "ἀπο-, ἐπι-σιμόω," Language 9 (1933) 237-43; "Herodotus on the Pelasgians in Attica," AJP 54 (1933) 97-119; "Nisaea and Minoa," CP 29 (1934) 91-100.

  • Notes:

    Teacher and textual critic, Arthur Gordon Laird was one of those energetic but obscure scholars of whom President Edward A. Birge of the University of Wisconsin said, "it is because of his kind of intensity that the scholarly world will endure." Despite his long career—he was the first to teach Greek at Stanford, and then taught at Wisconsin for 44 years—there is little documentation of his work. He was well known to all the faculty, but it seems that his activity was dominated by the nameless everyday tasks that made the spread of knowledge possible. And while there is no evidence of Laird's leadership style, through the difficult times of the Depression the department was able to maintain its proportion of the overall enrollments. He was one of the founders of CJ and one of its early editors. As a scholar he was best known for his book on the usage of Herodotus. Over the course of his life he wrote a number of short books and articles, all discussing textual and translation problems in the works of Greek authors. His work directly touched more than a half-century of classical scholars.

  • Sources:

    U. Wisconsin Archives.

    Image: Orrin Leslie Elliott, Stanford University: The First Twenty-Five Years (1938) [detail from 1891/2 photo of original faculty]

  • Author: Ronald J. Weber