North American Scholar

RAND, Edward Kennard

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  • Date of Birth: 1871-12-20
  • Born City: South Boston
  • Born State/Country: MA
  • Parents: Edward Augustus, a minister, & Mary Frances Abbott R.
  • Date of Death: 1945-10-28
  • Death City: Cambridge
  • Death State/Country: MA
  • Married: Belle Brent Palmer, 20 June 1901.
  • Education:

    A.B. Harvard, 1894; study at Harvard Div. Sch., 1894-5; U. Chicago, 1895-7; Episcopal Theol. Sch. 1897-8; Ph.D. Munich, 1900.

  • Dissertation:

    "Der dem Boethius zugeschriebene Traktat de fide catholica" (Munich, 1901); printed (Leipzig, 1901); Jahrbücher f. Class. Phil. Suppl. 26 (1901) 407-61 (dissertation = 407-38).

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. to prof. Lat. Harvard, 1901-31; Pope prof. Lat., 1931-42; pres. APA, 1922-3; founding mem. & first pres. Mediaeval Acad. Am., 1925; ed. Speculum, 1926-9; Sather prof., 1919-20; pres. CANE, 1934-5.

  • Publications:

    Johannes Scottus (Munich, 1906); Dantis Aligherii operum Latinorum concordantiae, ed. with E. H. Wilkins & A. C. White (Oxford, 1912); Boethius The Theological Tractates, trans, with H. F. Stewart, LCL (New York & London, 1918); "A Romantic Biography of Virgil," CP 18 (1923) 303-9; Ovid and his Influence (Boston, 1925); Founders of the Middle Ages, Lowell Inst. Lectures (Cambridge, 1928; repr. New York, 1957); Studies in the Script of Tours, 2 vols. (Cambridge, 1929-34); In Quest of Virgil's Birthplace (Cambridge, 1930); A Walk to Horace's Farm (Boston & New York, 1930); The Magical Art of Virgil (Boston, 1931; repr. Hamden, CT, 1966); The Earliest Book of Tours with L. W. Jones (Cambridge, 1934); Les ésprits souverains: dans la littérature romaine (Paris, 1936); "Horace and the Spirit of Comedy" Rice Inst. Pamphlet 24 (Apr. 1937) 39-117; The Ancient Classics and the New Humanism (New York, 1938); The Building of Eternal Rome (Boston, 1943); Cicero in the Courtroom of St. Thomas Aquinas (Milwaukee, 1946); Servianorum in Vergilii carmina commentariorum editionis Harvardianae Volumen II, ed. with J. J. H. Savage et al. (Lancaster, PA, 1946). Festschrift: Classical and Mediaeval Studies in Honor of Edward Kennard Rand, ed. Leslie Webber Jones (Cambridge, 1938; repr. Freeport, NY, 1968). Papers: Papers 1890-1945 in Harvard Archives.

  • Notes:

    E. K. Rand was one of the earliest American classicists to concern himself with the survival of Roman civilization through the Middle Ages and was the first president of the Mediaeval Academy of America (1925). He was the only son (there were four daughters) of parents who sprang from a long line of New England natives, stretching back to the 17th-century founders of Portsmouth, NH. When Rand was ready to go to college, he simply knocked on the door of President C.W. Eliot (1834-1926) and said to the bemused academic, "I would like to go to Harvard; do you have any money?" His ministerial father and grandfather expected him to train for the clergy, but his course on Classical Culture and the Middle Ages from Arthur Richard Marsh set the course of his future research. At Chicago in the summer of 1898, he was introduced to palaeography by the New Testament text critic Caspar René Gregory (1846-1917), who showed Rand direct connections between the Latin poets he loved and the Christian world that had preserved so many pagan authors. The great Medievalists of his day were Wilhelm Wattenbach (1819-97) at Berlin and Léopold Delisle in Paris, but the great classical palaeographer was Ludwig Traube at Munich, under whom Rand wrote his dissertation.

    Rand's teaching career of 41 years was spent at his alma mater. His scholarly interests ranged from patristics (the theological works of Boethius) to palaeography (the script of Tours) to literature (classical Latin poetry, especially Virgil and Ovid) to the general problem of civilization (Roman and medieval). His most significant and popular work, still in print after more than 55 years, is doubtless his Founders of the Middle Ages, which grew out of a set of lectures he delivered at the Lowell Institute in 1928 on the transformation of Roman civilization by the fathers and their creation of a distinctively Christian civilization in the West. Unlike his father, who passed from the Congregational ministry to that of the Episcopal Church, Rand did not enter the clergy, although he certainly considered doing so in his twenties. He remained, however, a practicing Episcopalian his entire life.

    In the Fall of 1915, Rand offered a seminar on his beloved Virgil. At one point it became necessary to consult Thilo and Hagen's edition of Servius, which so confused the manuscripts of Servius and Donatus that, in a period when his Harvard colleagues were taking on large projects and investigating scholia and testimonies (Joshua Whatmough, the Scholia to Isidore in 1926, Charles Burton Gulick, the 7-volume Loeb of Athenaeus in 1927, and William Chase Greene the scholia to Plato in 1938), Rand took on the enormously difficult project of editing all of Servius with the specific aim of distinguishing between Servius and Servius Auctus with a full apparatus. Rand devoted the remainder of the 1915 class to Servius and began to devote not only his own scholarly attention to Servius but also to train his students in paleography in general and Servius specifically. With the passage of time these students became known as the Servii conservi. In the ensuing years Rand directed Servius-related dissertations by J.H.H. Savage (1924), Russell Geer (1926), Frederic M. Wheelock (1933), Richard Bruère (1936), Arthur Stocker (1939), and in 1940, a bumper crop of J.P. Elder, Bernard M. Peebles, and Albert Travis. 

    By the 1930s Rand had accumulated a mass of Servian material, all of it kept in a case in Widener D, the paleography room, where his team of Stocker, Elder, Peebles, and Travis would do their work. Others began to scatter across the country: the eldest of the Servians, Savage, wrote eight articles on Servius between 1924 and 1934. George Byron Waldrop began work on Donatus after receiving his A.M. in 1913, but served in World War I and became a teacher in Pittsburgh, but managed to produce a monograph-length contribution to HSCP on Donatus in 1927; Geer had been at Brown, but decamped to Tulane in 1937; Wheelock was at Brooklyn College perfecting a means of teaching Latin based on ancient authors; Bruère was at Chicago working on Lucan; Stocker moved to Bates College in 1941 and then to Charlottesville, Travis was back in his hometown of Los Angeles, and Peebles went to Fordham and then St. John's in Annapolis.

    Rand was nevertheless able to use the work and sharp eyes of these men, widely dispersed as they were (only Elder remained at Harvard at the beginning of World War II) and produce volume 2 before his death in 1945 crediting Savage, H.T. Smith, Waldrop, Elder, Peebles, and Stocker as co-editors.  

    In 1935 Rand had written to Harvard's president, James B. Conant (1893-1978), "As for publication, we should cease to regard it as a major criterion of scholarship....If a scholar never publishes at all, that is not necessarily against him." Of the conservi, Savage continued to write on Augustan poets and medieval subjects, Elder published 12 articles on the Augustans, Peebles translated Sulpicius Severus, while Smith, Stocker, and Waldrop published nothing classical apart from their contributions to the 1965 volume.   

    In addition, the volume received a devastating review by Eduard Fraenkel totaling 24 JRS pages of bracing criticism. Fraenkel wrote, "It is in the preliminary monographs of Professor Savage and similar papers of his companions that I am inclined to see the Harvard team's most valuable contribution to the study of Servius. The strong side of Rand's pupils is obviously their familiarity with the history of Latin manuscripts and with many aspects of the complicated transmission of texta and glosses in the Middle Ages." Fraenkel painstakingly examined Parisinus 1750 P, which fills in areas missing from the Cassellanus C and found numerous misreadings by Rand's team: "The editors seem to have been under a sad delusion as to the magnitude of the task undertaken by them and the severe demands involved in it. Their editorial technique is rudimentary, they have no special gift for the intervention of a sometimes difficult text and for text criticism, and there is in their work very little to show that they have understood what kind of information the reader is entitled to expect in a modern edition of any Greek or Latin scholia of some importance."

    With the conservi dispersed across the country and largely not engaged in research, least of all on Servius, it was not until the 1960s that Stocker and Travis assembled volume 3 (Aen. 3-5), with the help of Smith and Waldrop. Bruère, who had not had a hand in vol. 2, was called on for the testimony, which were now much fuller and more accurate. In its listing of the volume, the Blackwell's Classics Catalogue added a rare comment, "It is hoped that 19 years will not elapse before the appearance of the next volume of the series." In 2018 Charles Murgia's edition of Servius on Aeneid 9-12 was completed by Robert Kaster.  

  • Sources:

    Charles H. Beeson et al., Speculum 21 (1946) 378-81; "Laudatio Funebris," CJ 41 (1945-6) 266-9; H. D. Jocelyn, "Three Letters from W. M. Lindsay to E. K. Rand," Sileno 18 (1992) 87-100; A. S. Pease & W. C. Greene, PAPA 76 (1945) xxvi-xxvii; Bernard M. Peebles, DAB Suppl. 3:617; idem, Scriptorium 1 (1946-7) 166-8; Arthur F. Stocker, "Edward Kennard Rand," American Scholar 52 (1982-3) 89-97; WS 63 (1948) 148-55.

  • Author: Joseph Berrigan