North American Scholar
MANATT, James Irving (until mid-life, Irving James)
A.B. Iowa (now Grinnell) Coll., 1869; A.M., 1872; Ph.D. Yale, 1873; Leipzig, 1877; LL.D. Iowa Coll., 1886; U. Nebraska, 1902.
- Professional Experience:
Prof. Gk., Denison U., 1874-6; Marietta Coll., 1877-84; chancellor U. Nebraska, 1884-9; U.S. consul Athens, 1889-93; prof. Gk. lit. & hist. Brown, 1892-1915; mng. comm. ASCSA, 1904-15.
"The Earlier and Later Edition of Aristophanes' Clouds" (Yale, 1873)
Xenophon: Hellenica: Books I-TV (Boston, 1888); Xenophon: Hellenica (Boston, 1888-92); "Must We Give Up the Pauline Areopagus?," Andover Review (Nov. 1892); The Mycenean Age: A Study of the Monuments and Culture of Pre-Homerlc Greece, with Chrestos Tsountas (Boston, 1897); Aegean Days (London, 1913; Boston, 1914).
J. Irving Manatt achieved distinction as a classical scholar and a university administrator. As chancellor of the recently chartered (1869) University of Nebraska, he endured four stormy years before leaving in 1889. During his brief tenure as chancellor Manatt initiated graduate programs at the University and attracted to Lincoln some of the most eminent scholars ever to teach there. He also succeeded in implementing a plan of high-school accreditation, which significantly upgraded secondary education in the state.Manatt was recognized by his contemporaries as a "brilliant scholar and superb teacher." He was instrumental in introducing the Mycenean Age to the English-speaking world. Although not a practicing archaeologist, he was thoroughly familiar with the archaeological work of the day and understood its implications for the early history of Greece. His intimate understanding of Greece and Greek culture is reflected in his works. He was also a gifted public speaker. "In his use of English Chancellor Manatt had few equals. His language was clear, chaste, strong, stripped of conscious adornment and thus adorned the most—a rare gift." Manatt was a frequent contributor to reviews and magazines. His prose shares the virtues of his rhetoric.
CJ 10 (1914-5) 370; Zechariah Chafee, Jr., DAB 12:229-30; Semi-Centennial Anniversary Book: The University of Nebraska 1869-1919 (Lincoln, 1919) 122-5; Robert N. Manley, Centennial History of the University of Nebraska: I. Frontier University (1869-1919) (Lincoln, 1969) 79-95; NatCAB 8:361; WhAm 1:771.
- Author: Valdis Leinieks