North American Scholar

PERRY, Edward Delavan

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1854-12-20
  • Born City: Troy
  • Born State/Country: NY
  • Parents: Amos Stone & Sarah Hillhouse P.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1938-03-28
  • Death City: New York
  • Death State/Country: NY
  • Married: Alice Van Schaick, 1883.
  • Education:

    A.B. Columbia, 1875; LL.D., 1904; Ph.D. Tubingen, 1879.

  • Professional Experience:

    Tutor to instr. Gk. & Sanskr. Columbia, 1880-91; prof. Sanskr., 1891-5; Jay prof. Gk., 1895-1931; dean fac. philos., 1902-9; corr. sec. AOS, 1894-5; mng. comm. ASCSA, 1897-1938; trustee, 1918-28.

  • Dissertation:

    "Indra im Rig-Veda: Eine mythologische Untersuchung" (Tübingen, 1878); printed as "Indra in the Rig-Veda," JAOS 11 (1882) 117-208.

  • Publications:

    A Sanskrit Primer: Based on the Leitfaden für den Elementar-Cursus des Sanskrit of Georg Bühler (Boston, 1885; often reprinted); "Notes on the Vedic Deity Pusan," Studies Drisler, 240-4; The American University (Albany, 1900).

  • Notes:

    Perry studied at Columbia under Short, Drisler, Merriam, and Anthon. After receiving the Ph.D. at the famous center of classical studies in Germany, Tubingen, he spent his entire academic career at his alma mater and was one of the mainstays in the teaching of Greek and Sanskrit at Columbia University for over 50 years. After teaching Greek and Sanskrit for 15 years, he was succeeded by his pupil A. V. W. Jackson when he in turn succeeded his teacher Drisler as Jay Professor of Greek. A modest and humorous man, he preferred to devote his energies to organizations like the AOS, AIA, and ASCSA, which he served for 41 years, rather than to publications. He was a gifted and influential teacher, remembered by graduates for his courses on Plato, Thucydides, and the Melic poets.

  • Sources:

    W. S. Messer, C7 33 (1937-8) 561; Frank Gardner Moore, Columbia U. Quart. (June 1938) 104-10; WhAm 1:962.

  • Author: Meyer Reinhold