North American Scholar

PACK, Roger Ambrose

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  • Date of Birth: 1907-09-12
  • Born City: Ann Arbor
  • Born State/Country: MI
  • Parents: Ambrose Clarkson & Rioba Pulcipher P.
  • Date of Death: 1993-12-20
  • Death City: Ann Arbor
  • Death State/Country: MI
  • Education:

    A.B., U. of Michigan, 1929; M.A., 1930; Ph.D. 1934. 

  • Dissertation:

    "Studies in Libanius and Antiochene Society" (Michigan, 1934).

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. Classics, U of Missouri, 1935-6; instr. classics, Ohio State, 1937-8; instr. Latin, U. of Michigan, 1938-46; asst. prof., 1946-57; asso. prof., classical studies, 1957-65;  spec. aunt, CIC, 1943-5; prof. Greek & Latin, 1965-75; Guggenheim Fell., 1958-9; . 

  • Publications:

    “ ‘The Medical History' and Mental Health of Libanius,” TAPA 64 (1933) liii; “Φυσιογνωμικα in Libanius' Antiochicus,” AJP 56 (1935) 347-50; “On the Plot of Menander's Dyscolus,” CP 30 (1935) 151-60; “Physiognomical Entrance-Examinations,” CJ 31 (1935) 42-3; “Camporum formido,” CW 29 (1936) 86-7; “A Passage in Alexander of Aphrodisias Relating to the Theory of Tragedy,” AJP 58 (1937) 418-36; “Philology Ridiculed,” CJ 33 (1937) 40-1; “Errors as Subjects of Comic Mirth,” CP 33 (1938) 405-10; “Fate, Chance and Tragic Error,” AJP 60 (1939) 350-6; “On Guilt and Error in Senecan Tragedy,” TAPA 71 (1940) 360-71; “Artemidorus and the Physiognomists,” TAPA 72 (1941) 321-34; “Adventures of a Dilettante in a Provincial Family,” CJ 35 (1939) 67-80; “Comment and Conjecture on Seneca,” with H.W. Kamp, J.L. Heller, & W.H. Alexander, CW 36 (1943) 150-4; “The ‘Volatilization’ of Peregrinus Proteus,” AJP 67 (1946) 334-45; “Two Sophists and Two Emperors,” CP 42 (1947) 17-20; “Notes on the Caesars of Julian,” TAPA 77 (1946) 151-7; “Note on a Progymnasma of Libanius,” AJP 69 (1948) 299-304; “Folklore and Superstitions in the Writings of Synesius,” CW 43 (1949) 51-6; “An Interpretation of Libanius, Epistle 915,” CW 45 (1951) 38-40; “Curiales in the Correspondence of Libanius,” TAPA 82 (1951) 176-92; The Greek and Latin Literary Texts from Graeco-Roman Egypt (Ann Arbor: U. of Michigan Press, 1952; 2nd ed. rev. & enlarged, 1965). REVS: BCH LXXVI 1952 665 | CW XLVI 1952 57 Gilliam | RFIC XXX 1952 278 Rostagni | REL XXX 1952 484-485 Marichal | Gnomon XXV 1953 276 Maas | BAGB 1953,1 118-120 Dain | Mnemosyne 4ᵃ Ser. VI 1953 230 van Groningen | REG LXVI 1953 440 Bataille | Latomus XII 1953 513-514 Lenger | CJ XLIX 1953-1954 335 Walton | RPh XXVIII 1954 86 Chantraine | CR N.S. IV 1954 122-123 Bell | GIF VII 1954 79-90 Gallavotti | JHS LXXIV 1954 205 Rees | CPh L 1955 228-230 Pearson | DLZ LXXVIII 1957 787-790 Preisendanz | CE XL 1965 483-485 Bingen | Aegyptus XLIV 1964 333 | StudPap V 1966 83-85 Galiano | BAGB 1966 143-145 Wartelle | Vichiana III 1966 96-97 Citti | BBF XI 1966 61-62 Ernst | Isis LVII 1966 281 Durling | CR XVI 1966 191-192 Rees | AJPh LXXXVIII 1967 352-355 Naoumides | JEA LIII 1967 188 Thomas | Latomus XXVI 1967 905-906 Lenaerts; “A Romantic Narrative in Eunapius,” TAPA 83 (1952) 198-204; “Ammianus Marcellinus and the Curia of Antioch,” CP 48 (1953) 80-5; “The Roman Digressions of Ammianus Marcellinus,” TAPA 84 (1953) 181-9; “Julian, Libanius, and Others: A Reply,” CP48 (1953) 173-4; “St. Peter in Ammianus?,” HThR 47 (1954) 319-21; “An Onocephalic Mask,” HThR 48 (1955) 93-6; “Artemidorus and His Waking World,” TAPA 86 (1955) 280-90; “Catullus, Carm. V: Abacus or Finger-Counting?,” AJP 77 (1956) 47-51; “The Sibyl in a Lamp,” TAPA 87 (1956) 190-1; “Textual Notes on Artemidorus Daldianus,” TAPA 88 (1957) 189-96; “Lexical and Textual Notes on Artemidorus,” TAPA 90 (1959) 180-4; “The Criminal Dossier of Encolpius,” CP 55 (1960) 31-32; “Further Notes of Artemidorus,” TAPA 91 (1960) 146-51; “More Conjectures on Artemidorus,” TAPA 92 (1961) 418-21; Onirocriticon libri V (Stuttgart: Teubner, 1963) REVS. P & I VI 1964 136 Garzya | Gnomon XXXVII 1965 669-679 del Corno | RecSR LIV 1966 569 des Places; “Paschalis Romanus and the Text of Artemidorus,” TAPA 96 (1965) 291-5; “A Concordance to Literary Papyri,” BASP 3 (1966) 95-118; “On Artemidorus and His Arabic Translator,” TAPA 98 (1967) 313-26; “Pseudo-Aristotelian Chiromancy,” AHMA 44 (1969) 189-241; “Artemidoriana from the Escurial,” TAPA 100 (1969) 331-6; “Pseudo-Aristoteles, Chiromantia,” AHMA 47 (1972) 289-320; “On the Greek Chiromantic Fragment,” TAPA 103 (1972) 367-80; “Auctoris incerti De physiognomonia libellus,” AHMA 49 (1974) 113-38; “Trimalchio's Game (Petronius 33),” CP 69 (1974) 214-15; “Artemidoriana Graeco-Arabica,” TAPA 106 (1976) 307-12; “Pseudo-Aristotelis Epistola ad Alexandrum de regimine sanitatis a quodam Nicolao versificata,” AHMA 53 (1978) 307-25; “Aristotle's Chiromantic Principle and Its Influence,” TAPA 108 (1978) 121-30; “A Note on Artemidorus,”  WJA n.s. 5 (1979) 262; “Artemidoriana qualiacumque,” BASP 16 (1979) 121-24; “Scribal Errors in an Autograph Manuscript,” AJP 101 (1980) 459-61.

  • Notes:

    Two scholarly monuments will keep Roger Pack's memory vivid among Classicists and all who study the ancient mediterranean. His Greek and Latin Literary Texts from Graeco-Roman Egypt was first published in 1952 and, because many additional texts were constantly being published, a second edition followed in 1965. The work quickly became a standard reference tool worldwide, for Pack meticulously catalogued the fragments of Greek and Latin authors whose works were circulating among the reading public during the millennium between Alexander the Great's conquest of Egypt and the Arab invasion. The many copies of Homer's Iliad, the fragments from the writers whose works were otherwise lost to us, such as Bacchylides, Menander, and Herodas, and the works for whom no author is known—every item bears a "Pack number." Pack continued to catalogue literary texts with a view toward a third edition in collaboration with Paul Mertens and his colleagues at the University of Liege. The second monument is Pack's edition of the Greek text of Artemiodorus's Onirocritica  (Artemiodori Daldiani Onirocriticon Libri V) that appeared in 1963, replacing Hercher's 1864 edition. Although Pack acknowledged in his preface, composed in meticulous Latin, that a good deal of what Artemiodorus wrote about interpreting dreams was "worthless, tasteless, and even frightening," he was nonetheless an author "who could not only teach us about the science of dream-interpretations..., but he also revealed to us how common men of that time lived, what their hopes and fears were, and what they believed." At the time Pack was working through manuscripts of Artemiodorus, the attention of Classicists and historians of Greece and Rome was still largely directed toward the great literature of the Canon and the great events, managed by statesmen and generals. More imaginative use of marginal authors, including Artemiodorus and is books of dreams, was yet to come. Nonetheless Pack was already enunciating what is now acknowledged—that writers, such as Artemiodorus, testified to the mentality of the "man in the street" of two millennia ago.

    Pack also contributed regularly to scholarly periodicals in Classics, both in the US and abroad, and an article written after his retirement probed the subsequent history of  a comment by Aristotle about predicting longevity from features in the hand. Pack demonstrated that later discussions of the Aristotle passage moved away from Aristotle's emphasis on the articulation of the joints as predictors of long life, to the "length of lines" apparent in the flesh—a principle that dominated later chiromancy. Surely the joints in Pack's own lean hands were well-articulated and predictors of his long and productive career as a scholar and teacher at Ann Arbor.

  • Sources:

    Ann Ellis Hanson, "Memorial," LSA Minutes, U. of Michigan. http://um2017.org/faculty-history/faculty/roger-ambrose-pack/memorial; WhAm 39 (2976-7) 2401. 

  • Author: Ann Ellis Hanson