North American Scholar

MUSURILLO, S.J., Rev. Herbert Anthony

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  • Date of Birth: 1917-06-13
  • Born City: New York
  • Born State/Country: NY
  • Parents: Henry, a lawyer, & Rose Capece M.
  • Date of Death: 1974-05-27
  • Death City: Bronxville
  • Death State/Country: NY
  • Education:

    B.A. Georgetown, 1939; Lie. Phil. Woodstock (MD), 1940; M.A. Catholic U., 1941; Lie. Theol. Woodstock, 1947; D. Phil. Oxford (Campion Hall), 1951; Ph.D. Fordham, 1954.

  • Dissertation:

    "The Acts of the Pagan Martyrs" (Oxford, 1951); printed: (Oxford, 1954); "The Problem of Ascetical Fasting in the Greek Patristic Writers" (Fordham, 1954); printed: Traditio 12 (1956) 1-64.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. to prof, class. Fordham, 1951-74; dir. APA, 1971-4.

  • Publications:

    St. Methodius: The Symposium (Westminster, MD & London, 1958), Fr. trans., Mithode d'Olympe: Le Banquet (Paris, 1963); "Dream Symbolism in Petronius Frag. 30," CP 53 (1958) 108-9; Symbol and Myth in Ancient Poetry (New York, 1961); Acta Alexandrinorum (Leipzig, 1961); From Glory to Glory: Texts from Gregory ofNyssa, with Jean Cardinal Danielou (New York, 1961); Symbolism and the Christian Imagination (Baltimore & Dublin, 1962); Gregorii Nysseni: De Vita Moysis (Leiden, 1964); Jean Chrysostome: La Virginiti (Paris, 1966); From Shadow to Reality: The Fathers of the Primitive Church (New York, 1966); The Light and Darkness: Studies in the Dramatic Poetry of Sophocles (Leiden, 1967); The Acts of the Christian Martyrs (Oxford, 1972); over 40 articles.

  • Notes:

    The word that best describes Herbert Musurillo's talent is versatility. A recognized papyrologist, he also made his mark in Greek and Latin patristics, Greek tragedy, and Latin poetry. He was also much in demand as a salvager of foundering dissertations not only in Latin and Greek but also in education, English, Spanish, French, Italian, philosophy, and theology. Despite his industry, his office door was always open to the student in trouble. To the dismay of his more staid colleagues, his office seemed at times to be a haven for the delinquent when it was not a clinic for the disturbed. He never let the exacting demands of critical philology obscure the values of a generous humanism, enshrined in "Humani nihil a me alienum puto."

  • Sources:

    Bernhard Kytzler, Gnomon 47 (1975) 523-4; James H. Reid, PAPA 104 (1975) 90-2; NYTimes (29 May 1974) 44.

  • Author: James H. Reid, S.J.