North American Scholar

MORGAN, Morris Hicky

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1859-02-08
  • Born City: Providence
  • Born State/Country: RI
  • Parents: Morris Barker & Isabelle Manton M.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1910-03-16
  • Death City: Newport
  • Death State/Country: RI
  • Married: Eleonora Semmes Gibson, 3 June 1896.
  • Education:

    A.B. Harvard, 1881; A.M., Ph.D., 1887; LL.D. Hobart Coll., 1896.

  • Professional Experience:

    Tutor St. Mark's Sch., 1881-4; instr. Lat. & Gk. Harvard, 1887-96; prof. Lat., 1896-7; prof, class, phil., 1899-1910; chair class, dept., 1898-1906; univ. marshall, 1908-10; ed. HSCP, 1893-4, 1896, 1898-1901, 1906; fell. A A AS, 1902; pres. CANE, 1909-10; ed. with Edward Parmelee Morris, Morris and Morgan Latin Series in 9 vols.

  • Dissertation:

    "De ignis eliciendi modis apud antiquos commentatio" (Harvard, 1887); printed, HSCP 1 (1890) 13-64.

  • Publications:

    "A Consideration of the Method Employed in Lighting the Vestal Fire," TAPA 19 (1888) xxii; "Notes on Persius," CR 3 (1889) 10-11; "Some Constructions in Andocides," HSCP 2 (1891) 57-69; An Illustrated Dictionary to Xenophon's Anabasis, with J. W. White (Boston, 1892); "Σκηνάω, Σκηνέω, Σκηνόω: A Contribution to Lexicography," AJP 13 (1892) 71-84, 382; Xenophon. The Art of Horsemanship (trans.) (Boston, 1893); A Bibliography of Persius (Cambridge, 1893; 2d ed., 1909); The First Four Books of Xenophon's Anabasis, ed. W. W. Goodwin & J. W. White, rev. Morgan (Boston & New York, 1894); The Phormio of Terence (Cambridge, 1894); "Notes on Lysias," HSCP 5 (1894) 49-56; Eight Orations of Lysias (Boston & London, 1895); "Notes on Persius," HSCP 7 (1896) 191-203; "Memoir of George M. Lane," HSCP 9 (1898) 1-12; "Hidden Verses in Livy," ibid., 61-6; George M. Lane, Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges (ed.) (New York, 1898; rev. ed. 1903); A School Latin Grammar (New York, 1899); "Miscellanea," HSCP 12 (1901) 231-48; "Greek and Roman Rain-Gods and Rain-Charms," TAPA 32 (1901) 83-109; "Remarks on the Water Supply of Ancient Rome," TAPA 33 (1902) 30-7; Cornell Taciti de vita et moribus lulii Agricolae liber, De origine situ moribus ac populis Germanorum liber, De oratoribus dialogus (Boston, 1904); "Notes on Vitruvius," HSCP 17 (1906) 1-14; "Critical and Explanatory Notes on Vitruvius," HSCP 21 (1910) 1-22; Addresses and Essays (New York, 1910); "The First Harvard Doctors of Medicine," Publ. Col. Soc. Mass. 12 (1911) 312-21; "Some Aspects of the Ancient Roman City," Harvard Essays on Classical Subjects (Boston, 1912) 141-72; Vitruvius. The Ten Books on Architecture (trans.) (Cambridge, 1914; New York, 1960).

  • Notes:

    Morgan was briefly tutor at St. Mark's School while a graduate student; but otherwise he was a student, then teacher, at Harvard from 1887 until his premature death aged 51 in 1910. Always loyal to his college, he never accepted another teaching post. His teachers had German doctorates but he was among those first outstanding scholars taught wholly by Americans and working wholly in an American library.His publications reveal the man. There are the required school textbooks and grammatical studies. He often extolls Ritschl. Except for Persius, Morgan restricted himself to Greek and especially Latin prose. He is a pioneer in several respects. From his dissertation through his work on the Roman water-supply (Addresses, 75-84) to the unfinished Vitruvius, he was concerned with Realien and turned to modern architects, hydraulic engineers, and water commissioners to elucidate ancient texts. His famous skit on "The Real Persius" (ibid., 62-74) demonstrated 50 years before it became fashionable the dangers of treating poems as autobiography. He saw the importance of modern Wissenschaftsgeschichte and urged lectures on the lives of his Harvard predecessors (ibid., 9). He anticipated the study of what is now called Rezeption and even women's studies with his proposal to study "the mothers of eminent Greeks or Romans" (ibid., 20). Like Wilamowitz, he turned from the idealism of the Winckelmann tradition to "look upon the ancients as men like ourselves" (ibid., 58).He did not live to complete his great Vitruvius edition which would have been an American parallel to Frazer's Pausanias. His commentary to the preface (ibid., 233-72) and his essay on Vitruvius' language (ibid., 159-213) reveal what we have lost. The translation with illustrations remains authoritative for English readers, comparable to Fensterbusch's German version. He died too soon to create a school.

  • Sources:

    Boston Transcript (16 Mar. 1910); H. W. Smyth, DAB 15:186-7; B. L. Gildersleeve, AJP 31 (1910) 243-4; C. H. M[oore], C/5 (1909-10) 338-9; H. W. P[rescott], CP 5 (1910) 357; WhAm 1:866.

  • Author: William M. Calder III