North American Scholar

SUSKIN, Albert Irving

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1910-06-11
  • Born City: New Bern
  • Born State/Country: NC.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1965-08-07
  • Death City: Chapel Hill
  • Death State/Country: NC
  • Married: Lavinia Smith, 1953.
  • Education:

    A.B. U. North Carolina, 1931; A.M., 1932; Ph.D., 1937.

  • Professional Experience:

    Asst. prof, class. Judson Coll. (Marion, AL), 1935-6; instr. to prof, class. U. North Carolina, 1936-65; chair dept., 1960-5; asst. to dean coll. arts & sci., 1946-53; secy. div. hum., 1956-9.

  • Dissertation:

    "The Arrangement of Material in Livy" (North Carolina, 1937).

  • Publications:

    "Fasti Consulares," with G. A. Harrer, AJA 43 (1939) 278-84; "German and Italian Publications in Classics, 1940-1945," with B. L. Ullman & W. Allen, Jr., CW 40 (1946) 15-6, 40, 48, 56, 63-4; "Fasti Consulares," AJA 53 (1949) 362-4; Index Verborum Iuvenalis, with Lucile Kelling (Chapel Hill, 1951); Plautus, "The Braggart Soldier" & Terence, "Adelphi" in Roman Literature in Translation, ed. G. Howe & G. A. Harrer, rev. Suskin (New York, 1959); Latin For Americans Third Book, with B. L. Ullman (New York, 1965).

  • Notes:

    Under Albert Suskin's quiet, unpretentious leadership, the Classics Department at the University of North Carolina grew to the point that over 800 students were taking courses in the Greek and Latin languages at the time of his death, the number of faculty doubled, and established scholars along with promising younger scholars were added.Though he never thought of himself as a scholar, his index to Juvenal is a staple of every classics library and his revision of Howe and Harrer's Latin Literature in Translation enjoyed an enduring popularity. Suskin was primarily what we all want to be—an excellent teacher. He was at his best reading Vergil or Catullus with a group of undergraduate majors. He aimed to stir their imagination, to increase their judgment, and to widen their vision. His probing questions about the meaning of a word or the significance of a passage always showed a man seeking fresh understanding for himself, not a pedagogue trying to trap the unprepared. But perhaps it was his poignant observations, his unorthodox opinions, and his sympathetic wit that made his classes so exciting. Students were instinctively and magnetically drawn to him. Many owe to his inspiration and encouragement their decision to pursue Latin and Greek as a course of study.His beautiful home was always open to friends and former students. His great joy in growing flowers was surpassed only by his delight in giving them to people. Rarely did a visitor leave his home without a gift, often of flowers.

  • Sources:

    Edward E. Best, Jr., CJ 61 (1965-6) 94-5 (from which this is drawn, with permission); DAS 64:244.

  • Author: Edward E. Best, Jr.