North American Scholar

RAPP, Albert

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  • Date of Birth: 1904-09-09
  • Born City: New York
  • Born State/Country: NY
  • Parents: Albert a German immigrant & Katherine R.
  • Date of Death: 1983-01-11
  • Death City: Knoxville
  • Death State/Country: TN
  • Married: Helen F. Austin
  • Education:

    A.B. Colgate, 1928; M.A. Oberlin, 1930; Ph.D. U. Illinois, 1933.

  • Dissertation:

    "Studies in Greek Verbal Humor" (Illinois, 1934).

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. DeVaux Sch. (Niagara Falls, NY), 1928-9; asst. class. U. Illinois, 1930-5; instr. U. Nebraska, 1935-8; instr. to prof. class. langs. & arch., U. Tennessee, 1939-69.

  • Publications:

    Origins of Wit and Humor (New York, 1951); "The Lady and the Wit," CO 39 (1961-2) 7-11; articles listed in DAS for which no source can be found: "The Ancient Greeks and Joe Miller" (1958), "The Facetiae of Poggio the Florentine" (1962).

  • Notes:

    Albert Rapp, regarded by William Abbott Oldfather as one of the most brilliant Greek students he had ever taught, established the program in classical archaeology in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He was many-faceted and had many interests. Early research in the poetry of Aristophanes led to a general study of wit and humor. His book on that subject received national recognition. Working with his colleague Arthur Moser, he produced the manual for a course in Latin etymology which was matched by Moser's manual for Greek etymology. These courses were immediately regarded as invaluable by Tennessee students, and the etymology program continues to be a staple of the Department of Classics. Rapp was a very popular teacher, but poor health compelled him to retire in June 1969.

  • Sources:

    DAS 1964: 201; archives, St. John's Cathedral, Knoxville.

  • Author: Harry C. Rutledge