North American Scholar

STEELE, Robert Benson

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1866-04-19
  • Born City: Lodi
  • Born State/Country: WI
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1944-12-12
  • Death City: Nashville
  • Death State/Country: TN
  • Married: Elizabeth Jane Reed, 6 Sept. 1894.
  • Education:

    A.B. U. Wisconsin, 1883; A.M., 1888; Ph.D. Johns Hopkins, 1890.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. Lat. Antioch Coll., 1886-8; St. Olaf Coll. (Northfield, MN), 1890-1; 111. Wesleyan U., 1891-1901; Vanderbilt, 1901-40; pres. CAMWS, 1920-1.

  • Dissertation:

    "Chiasmus in Sallust, Caesar, Tacitus and Justinus" (Johns Hopkins, 1890); printed (Northfield, MN, 1891).

  • Publications:

    "Archaisms Noted by Servius in the Commentary to Vergil," AJP 15 (1894) 164-93; "The Formula non modo . . . sed etiam and its Equivalents," Illinois Wesleyan Mag. 1 (1896) 3-21; "Notes to the Dialogus de Oratoribus based on Gudeman's Edition," AJP 17 (1896) 45-70; "The Authorship of the Dialogus de Oratoribus" AJP 17 (1896) 289-318; "Affirmative Final Clauses in Latin Historians," AJP 19 (1898) 255-84; "Servius and the Scholia of Daniel," AJP 20 (1899) 272-91, 361-87; "The Greek in Cicero's Epistles," AJP 21 (1900) 387-410; "Anaphora and Chiasmus in Livy," TAPA 32 (1901) 154-85; "The Ablative Absolute in Livy," AJP 23 (1902) 295-312, 413-27; "Some Forms of Complemental Statements in Livy," TAPA 33 (1902) 55-80; "Chiasmus in the Epistles of Cicero, Seneca, Pliny and Fronto," Studies Gildersleeve, 339-52; "The Nominative of the Perfect Participle of Deponent Verbs in Livy," AJP 24 (1903) 441-6; "The Ablative Absolute in the Epistles of Cicero, Seneca, Pliny and Fronto," AJP 25 (1904) 315-27; "The Historical Attitude of Livy," ibid., 15-44; "Causal Clauses in Livy," AJP 27 (1906) 46-58; "The Gerund and Gerundive in Livy," ibid., 280-305; "Temporal Clauses in Cicero's Epistles," AJP 28 (1907) 434-49; Conditional Statements in Livy (Leipzig, 1910); Ut, ne, quin, and quominus in Livy (Leipzig, 1911); "The Future Periphrastic in Latin," CP 8 (1913) 457-76; "The Passive Periphrastic in Latin," TAPA 44 (1913) 5-17; "The Participle in Livy," AJP 35 (1914) 163-78; "Quintus Curtius Rufus.'M/P 36 (1915) 402-23; "Plutarch's 'Alexander' and Arrian's 'Anabasis,' " CP 11 (1916) 419-25; "Pompeius Trogus and Justinus," AJP 38 (1917) 19-41; "The Similes in Latin Epic Poetry," TAPA 49 (1918) 83-100; "Some Features of the Later Histories of Alexander," CP 13 (1918) 301-9; "Curtius and Arrian," AJP 40 (1919) 37-63, 153-74; Temporal Clauses in Livy (Baltimore, 1921); "The Ablative of the Efficient," CP 16 (1921) 354-61; "Clitarchus," AJP 42 (1921) 40-57; "Some Roman Elements in the Tragedies of Seneca," AJP 43 (1922) 1-31; "The Method of Silius Italicus," CP 17 (1922) 319-33; "Lucan's Pharsalia," AJP 45 (1924) 301-28; "The Authorship of the Moretum," TAPA 61 (1930) 195-216; "The Authorship of the Ciris," AJP 51 (1930) 148-84; "The Astronomica of Manilius," AJP 53 (1932) 320-43; The Nux Maecenas and Consilio ad Liviam (Nashville, 1933).

  • Notes:

    Steele, widely known as "Tootsie," had been a favorite student of Gildersleeve at Johns Hopkins when he was called to Vanderbilt as an instructor to assist Chancellor James Hampton Kirkland in offering Greek and Latin classes. In the late 1920s he became head of the department. At the 1929 national meeting of Eta Sigma Phi in Nashville, Steele delivered the keynote lecture on "Catullus's Sparrows." Steele retired in 1940. At his death he left his entire estate to Vanderbilt University to establish the Mary Eleanor Steele Scholarships (named for his daughter, who died in childhood) to be awarded "to young women entering the freshman class and preferably to those studying Latin." Those scholarships are still awarded on the recommendation of the Vanderbilt Department of Classical Studies.

  • Sources:

    E. Tavener, CJ 40 (1944-5) 381-2; Vanderbilt archives; WhAm 5:689; WhWh 1906-7: 1697.

  • Author: Susan Ford Wiltshire