B.A. Trinity Coll. (Hartford, CT), 1961; M.A. Princeton, 1963; Ph.D., 1967; Johns Williams White fell. ASCSA, 1963-4.
Instr. to prof, class. Williams, 1965-90; asst. prof. Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome, 1975; prof.-in-charge, fall 1976; mng. comm., 1976-81; chair, 1982-7.
"The Serapic-Concept in the Hellenistic World" (Princeton, 1967); printed Serapis under the Early Ptolemies, EPRO 25 (Leiden, 1972)
An Introduction to Sappho's Greek (Williamstown, 1975); "The Functions of Roman Temples," ANRW 2,16 (Berlin & New York, 1978) 554-608; Sources for Biblical Study, with David G. Rice (Missoula, MT, 1979); Sources for the Study of Greek Religion, with David G. Rice (Missoula, MT, 1979); The Social World of the First Christians, with David E. Balch (London, 1986); The New Testament in Its Social Environment, with David E. Balch (Philadelphia, 1986); "Pagans, Jews, and Christians in Urban Society during the Early Principate," ANRW 2,24 (volume still forthcoming); The Ancient Roman City (Baltimore & London, 1988).
Much of John E. Stambaugh's early work focused on oriental cults and their influence on Greek religion and Greek religious practices, but his interests and talents ranged widely. Responding to the needs of the Williams Winter Study Period, he composed An Introduction to Sappho's Greek, which made it possible for a student to learn just enough Greek to read all the complete poems and major fragments in the original in one month. The manner in which he combined text, grammar, and literary criticism was especially adroit. In the next decade he increasingly applied himself to the study of early Christianity and the city of Rome. In the 1970s Stambaugh became increasingly involved in the affairs of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. His last major work, The Ancient Roman City, stemmed from the interests he developed in the city of Rome during this period. This study demonstrates not only a detailed knowledge of Rome but also sociological sophistication about the interaction of social groups within the city. Stambaugh was especially fascinated by the ways in which individuals and institutions interacted on the civic as well as religious planes, and his work records this in a knowing and sympathetic manner.He taught with great skill and demonstrated a real concern for the needs of his students. His courses ranged from the ancient Near East, Greek and Roman history and literature, and Greek art and archaeology to the elementary language courses which he particularly enjoyed and with which he was very successful. Stambaugh directed more than his share of honors theses and independent studies. The efforts he exerted on behalf of his students and advisees were prodigious and much appreciated. He combined a sharp wit with unfailing generosity and always directed his energies toward attaining the most positive results. He was a fine scholar, and an excellent teacher, but most of all an individual of remarkable integrity and uncommon decency.
Charles Fuqua, APA Newsletter (Aug. 1990) 10.