North American Scholar

LAWLER, Lillian Beatrice

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1898-06-30
  • Born City: Pittsburgh
  • Born State/Country: PA
  • Parents: Thomas J. & Ellen Nuttridge L.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1990-12-13
  • Death City: Coralville
  • Death State/Country: IA
  • Education:

    A.B. U. Pittsburgh, 1919; M.A. U. Iowa, 1921; Ph.D., 1925; Rome Prize, fell. AAR, 1925-6; ASCSA, 1955. 

  • Professional Experience:

    Res. asst. & instr. class. U. Iowa, 1921-5; instr. to asst. prof. U. Kansas, 1926-9; instr. to prof. Gk., Lat.,, & archaeology Hunter Coll., 1929-59; vis. prof, class. U. Iowa, 1961-7; traveling lctr. AIA, 1928-35; asso. ed. Auxilium Latinum, 1931-68; ed.-in-chief CO, 1936-57; pres. CAAS, 1947-9.

  • Dissertation:

    "The Potential Remediability of Errors in English Spelling through the Study of High School Latin" (Iowa, 1925); printed, C/21 (1925-6) 132-48.

  • Publications:

    In the Kitchen of the King (New York, 1924); Latin Playlets for High Schools (Iowa City, 1925); Easy Latin Plays (New York, 1929); The Maenads (Rome, 1927); The Latin Club (Nashville, 1929, 1957); "Lucida Veste," TAPA 69 (1938) 423-38; "The Dance of the Owl and Its Significance in the History of Greek Religion and the Drama," TAPA 70 (1939) 482-502; "The Dance of the πινακίδες," TAPA 71 (1940) 230-8; Adventures in Language (New York & Chicago, 1941); “Ἰχθύες Χορευραί," CP 36 (1941) 142-55; Latin. First Year, with R. Magoffin (New York & Chicago, 1942); "Four Dancers In the Birds of Aristophanes," TAPA 73 (1942) 58-63; "Ὄρχησις Ἰωνική," TAPA 74 (1943) 60-71; "The Dance of the Ancient Mariners," TAPA 75 (1944) 20-33; " 'The Lily' in the Dance," AJP 65 (1944) 75-80; "Διπλῆ, διποδία, διποδισμός in the Greek Dance," TAPA 76 (1945) 59-73; "The 'Thracian Pig Dance'," with Alice E. Kober, CP 40 (1945) 98-107; "ὄρχησις φοβερά,” AJP 67 (1946) 67-70; "The Geranos Dance—a New Interpretation," TAPA 77 (1946) 112-30; "Pindar and Some Animal Dances," CP 41 (1946) 155-8; "A Lion among the Ladies," TAPA 78 (1947) 88-98; "Two Notes on the Greek Dance," AJP 69 (1948) 87-91; "Orchesis Kallinikos," TAPA 79 (1948) 254-67; "Airein Maschalên and Associated Orchestic Schemata," TAPA 80 (1949) 230-7; "Ladles, Tubs, and the Greek Dance," AJP 71 (1950) 70-2; " 'Limewood' Cinesias and the Dithyrambic Dance," TAPA 81 (1950) 78-88; "Kretikôs in the Greek Dance," TAPA 82 (1951) 62-70; “Περιεκόκκασα—Aristophanes, Knights, 697," AJP 72 (1951) 300-7; "The Dance in Ancient Crete," Studies Robinson 1:23-50; "Phora, Schêma, Deixis in the Greek Dance," TAPA 85 (1954) 148-58; "Cosmic Dance and Dithyramb," Studies Ullman (1960), 12-6; Terpsichore: The Story of the Dance in Ancient Greece (New York, 1962); The Dance in Ancient Greece (Middletown, CT, 1964); The Dance of the Ancient Greek Theater (Iowa City, 1964).

  • Notes:

    Lillian Lawler came from the Midwest to New York, where she served in the Hunter Classics Department with Adelaide Hahn and Jacob Hammer and developed her professional interest from the teaching of high-school Latin to the comprehensive history of the ancient dance. As diminutive and reserved as Hahn was imposing and gregarious, she impressed her students with a very high degree of training and discipline, a sensitivity to their needs and disappointments, and a devotion to her area of scholarly interest. A small but wiry woman with prematurely gray hair and indifferent to styles of dress, she had been trained in tap dancing as a child and naturally gravitated to the study of dance in antiquity. Her long series of meticulously researched articles and lectures culminated in her general histories of the art, concentrating primarily on the literary remains, but showing a certain lack of control and even mistrust of the archaeological evidence. A true scholar who enjoyed the solitude of research, she retired to the Iowa of her graduate training to gather up the results of her life's work and though she died alone in a nursing home, she enjoyed a full measure of dignity and admiration accorded by those who knew her.

  • Sources:

    ConAu FR 13-16; Marie Giurecio; Iowa City Press-Citizen (14 Dec. 1990); Lantern Park Care Center; U. Iowa archives; WhAmW 1958:741.

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.