North American Scholar

SOPHOCLES, Evangelinos Apostolides

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1807-03-08
  • Born City: Tsangarada
  • Born State/Country: Thessaly
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1883-12-17
  • Death City: Cambridge
  • Death State/Country: MA
  • Education:

    Monastery of St. Catherine (Mt. Sinai); study at Monson Acad. (Monson, MA); study at Amherst, 1829; LL.D. Western Reserve Coll., 1862; Harvard, 1868.

  • Professional Experience:

    Gk. tchr. Mt. Pleasant Class. Inst, (later Amherst Acad.), 1830-4; instr. math. Hartford (CT) sch., 1834; instr. Gk. Yale, 1837-40; tutor to asst. prof. Gk. Harvard, 1842-60; prof. mod. & Byz. Gk., 1860-83.

  • Publications:

    A Greek Grammar for the Use of Learners (Hartford, 1835; often reprinted); Romaic Grammar (Hartford, 1842; rev. ed. 1860); A Catalogue of Greek Verbs for the Use of Colleges (Hartford, 1844); History of the Greek Alphabet and of the Pronunciation of Greek (Cambridge, 1848); A Glossary of Later and Byzantine Greek (Cambridge, 1860); Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods (from B.C. 146-A.D. 1100) (Boston, 1870; repr. New York, 1957 in 2 vols.). Papers: Papers 1837-70 in Harvard archives.

  • Notes:

    E. A. Sophocles was a tireless scholar and teacher. Born in northern Greece, he emigrated to the United States in 1827, using the name Sophocles, perhaps a nickname during his school days. Called to Harvard in 1842, he was a legend in Cambridge to the end of his life, and long after. A picturesque figure, he led a well-guarded inner life, with an austere and almost monastic existence at Harvard. Sophocles produced a series of pioneering studies without debt to European philology; and his own important works were largely unknown abroad. He was the author of influential school texts for the study of Greek. Through his Romaic Grammar he demolished the theory that modern Greek is derived from ancient Aeolic-Doric. Pioneering also was his work on the Greek alphabet and the pronunciation of Greek. His magnum opus, Greek Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods, has often been republished and is still useful.

  • Sources:

    Charles Burton Gulick, DAB 17:397-8; D. C. Hesserling, "Evangelinos Apostolides Sophocles," Mededeelingen der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen, Afdeeling Letterkunde, Ser. 4, 59 (1925), Part 7; NatCAB 5:239; NYTimes (18 Dec. 1883) 5; George Herbert Palmer, "Reminiscences of Professor Sophocles," Atlantic Monthly 67 (1891) 779-88; Sandys, 456; George C. Soulis, Euaggelinos Apostolides Sophokles (Athens, 1952); Albert S. Weston, BDAE, 1218-9; WhAmHS 567.

  • Author: Meyer Reinhold