North American Scholar

ROLFE, John Carew

  • Image
  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1859-10-15
  • Born City: Lawrence
  • Born State/Country: MA
  • Parents: William James, a Shakespearian scholar, & Eliza Jane Carew R.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1943-03-26
  • Death City: Alexandria
  • Death State/Country: VA
  • Married: Alice Griswold Bailey, 29 Aug. 1900.
  • Education:

    A.B. Harvard, 1881; A.M., 1884; Ph.D. Cornell, 1885; study at ASCSA, 1888-9; Litt.D. U. Pennsylvania, 1925.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. Lat. Cornell, 1882-5; instr. Gk. & Lat. Harvard, 1889-90; asst. prof, to prof. Lat. U. Michigan, 1890-1902; prof. Lat. Lang. & Lit., U. Pennsylvania, 1902-32; spec. lctr. Lat., 1932-7; ann. prof. ASCSR, 1907-8; prof.-in-chge., 1923-4; pres. APA, 1910-11; pres. CAAS, 1911-2; Commendatore della corona d'ltalia, 1930; mem. APhS.

  • Dissertation:

    "The Tragedy of Rhesus" (Cornell, 1885); printed (1893) 61-97.

  • Publications:

    Thomas Babington Macaulay, The Lays of Ancient Rome, ed. with W. C. Rolfe (New York, 1888); "Discoveries at Anthedon by the American School," AJA 6 (1890) 96-107; "Discoveries at Plataia in 1889 by the American School," with F. B. Tarbell, ibid., 108-11; "Discoveries at Thisbe by the American School," with F. B. Tarbell, ibid., 112-3; "An Inscribed Kotylos from Boeotia," HSCP 2 (1891) 89-101; "Die Ellipse von Ars," ALLG 10 (1897) 229-46; "A, ab, abs," ALLG 10 (1897) 465-505; "The Formation of Substantives from Latin Geographical Adjectives by Ellipsis," TAPA 31 (1900) 5-26; "The Preposition ab in Horace," HSCP 12 (1901) 249-60; "Some References to Seasickness in Greek and Roman Writers," AJP 25 (1904) 192-200; "Some Temporal Expressions in Suetonius," CP 8 (1913) 1-13; Suetonius (trans.), LCL, 2 vols. (New York & London, 1914); "Notes on Suetonius," TAPA 45 (1914) 35-47; "The So-Called Callium Provincia," AJP 36 (1915) 323-31; "Claudian," TAPA 50 (1919) 135-49; "Prorsus," TAPA 51 (1920) 30-9; Sallust (trans.), LCL (New York & London, 1921; rev. 1931); Cicero and His Influence (Boston, 1923) ; Gellius. Attic Nights (trans.), LCL, 3 vols. (New York & London, 1927); "Marks of Quantity in the Monumentum Antiochenum," AJP 48 (1927) 1-9; Cornelius Nepos (trans.), LCL (New York & London, 1929); "On Suetonius Nero 33,1," AJP 54 (1933) 362-7; Ammianus Marcellinus (trans.), LCL, vol. 1 (Cambridge & London, 1935), vol. 2 (1940), vol. 3 (1939); "On Ammianus Marcellinus XXIII, 3, 9," AJP 57 (1936) 137-9; "Some Notes on Ammianus Marcellinus," TAPA 70 (1939) 342-51; Quintus Curtius. History of Alexander, trans., completed by John Rowe Workman, LCL, 2 vols. (Cambridge & London, 1946); for full bibliography, see Studies Rolfe, 345-52.Festschrift: Classical Studies in Honor of John C. Rolfe, ed. George Depue Hadzsits (Philadelphia, 1931).

  • Notes:

    Rolfe was a figure of stupendous energy who was responsible for 12 Loeb volumes, translating Ammianus Marcellinus, Aulus Gellius, Quintus Curtius, Nepos, Sallust, and Suetonius. In general Rolfe was content to maintain very conservative texts, particularly in the case of Ammianus, nor did he attempt to match the stylistic attributes of his authors, either the vividness and eloquence of Sallust, or the combination of Ciceronian, Tacitean and modern idiomatic styles of Ammianus. But he provided accurate, readable, and reliable translations, frequently adding useful notes and an excellent index, especially in his Aulus Gellius. Cicero and His Influence gave a balanced portrait of Cicero's career and writings, as required by the "Our Debt to Greece and Rome" Series, though it slights his political philosophy and strains a bit in finding his influence in American life. He was engaged in the associations of the profession, serving as president of the APA. At Penn he directed numerous dissertations. He was helpful to students and friendly to colleagues and was devoted to the outdoor life.

  • Sources:

    CJ 39 (1943-4) 254; NatCAB 32:13; WhAm 2:456.

  • Author: Ward W. Briggs, Jr.