A.B. Yale, 1926; Ph.D., 1931; study at Bonn, 1927-8; Jesse R. Carter fell. AAR, 1928-30.
Instr. class. Yale, 1930-2; excavator & epigraphist Agora Excavations, Athens, 1932-6; asst. prof, hist. Barnard, 1936-42; mng. comm. ASCSA, 1941-5; prof, class. Johns Hopkins, 1946-57; Francis White prof. Greek, 1957-70; sr. fell. Center for Hellenic Studies, 1962-71; ed. AJP, 1946-70; Guggenheim fell., 1946, 1955-6; Fulbright grantee, Italy, 1963-4; res. fell. NEH, 1973-4; pres. APA, 1974-5; chair monograph comm. AIA, 1957-68.
"The Augustan Pomerium" (Yale, 1931); printed Mem. AAR 10 (1932) 45-182.
Greek Inscriptions of the Temple ofHibis in El Khargeh Oasis (New York, 1930); "The Athenian Decree concerning Miletus in 450/49 B.C.," TAPA 66 (1935) 177-98; "The Marathon Epigrams," AJP 56 (1935) 193-201; The Temple of Hibis in El Khdrgeh Oasis Part II: Greek Inscriptions, with H. G. Evelyn White (New York, 1938); "An Inscription Concerning the Epicurean School at Athens," TAPA 69 (1938) 494-9; "On the Ephesian Debtor Law of 85 B.C.," AJP 60 (1939) 468-70; "Paeanistae," TAPA 71 (1940) 302-14; "Julia Domna as Athena Polias," HSCP A.S. (1940) 521-30; The Sacred Gerousia (Athens, 1941); The Athenian Expounders of the Sacred and Ancestral Law (Baltimore, 1950); The Ruling Power: A Study of the Roman Empire in the Second Century after Christ through the Roman Oration of Aelius Aristides (Philadelphia, 1953); Demokratia, the Gods, and the Free World (Baltimore, 1960); "Civic Constitutions for Macedonian Communities," CP 58 (1963) 164-5; "Livia as Artemis Boulaia at Athens," CP 60 (1965) 179-80; The Civilizing Power: A Study of the Panathenaic Discourse of Aelius Aristides against the Background of Literature and Cultural Conflict (Philadelphia, 1968); Marcus Aurelius: Aspects of Civic and Cultural Policy in the East (Princeton, 1970); Greek Constitutions of Early Roman Emperors from Inscriptions and Papyri, Mem. APhS 178 (Philadelphia, 1989). Kleine Schriften (Selected): The Civic Tradition and Roman Athens (Baltimore & London, 1983).
James Henry Oliver studied under George Lincoln Hendrickson and Michael I. Rostovtzeff at Yale. At Johns Hopkins he gave graduate courses in ancient history and in Greek and Latin texts, both literary and epigraphical, and he trained his students with acuteness and thoroughness in the critical use of texts. Many of the students he trained toward the doctorate have achieved considerable eminence in their own right. The special center of his interest and the subject of many, though by no means all, of his abundant publications was Roman government in the provinces, and he was among the world's leading authorities on the subject. He continued to write after his retirement. In the spring of 1979 three of his former students presented him with TEKMHPION, a volume of studies in his honor. At the time of his death he left a not inconsiderable amount of unpublished material, on which Mrs. Oliver and Professor Diskin Clay worked with a view toward its publication. The Civic Tradition is a selection of 13 articles written after 1977.
Kevin Clinton, Daniel J. Geagan, & Louis J. Swift, "Introduction," AJP 100 (1979); DAS 78:361; A. d'Ors, SDHIAl (1981) 625-6; James W. Poultney, AJP 102 (1981) 242; WhAm 7:436.
AUTHORJames W. Poultney