North American Scholar

TRYPANIS, Constantine Athanasius

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1909-01-22
  • Born City: Chios
  • Born State/Country: Greece
  • Parents: Athanasius G. & Maria Zolota T.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1993-01-18
  • Death City: Athens
  • Death State/Country: Greece
  • Married: Aliki Macris, 6 April 1942.
  • Education:

    B.A. U. of Athens (Greece), 1934; D. Phil., 1937; postgrad. study at Berlin, 193-5; Munich, 1935-7; M.A. Oxford, 1946; D. Litt., 1970; D.H.L., MacMurray Coll. (Jacksonville, IL), 1974; Assumption Coll. (Worcester, MA), 1977.

  • Professional Experience:

    Lectr. classics, U. of Athens (Greece), 1939-47; service in Greek army, 1940-1; Bywater and Sotheby Professor of Byzantine and Modern Greek Language and Literature, Oxford U., 1947-68; prof. Byzantine & modern Greek lit. & lang., fellow, Exeter Coll., Oxford, 1947-68; Univ. Prof. Classics, U. of Chicago, 1968-  ; minister of culture & sciences, Greek Govt., 1974-7; Sec. Gen., Academy of Athens, 1981-5; President, 1985; Archon Hieromnemon of Oecumenical Patriarchate, 1964--; Loreas Prize, Acad. Athens, 1934; fell. Royal Soc. Lit. (Heinemann Prize 1959).

  • Publications:

    H Αλεξανδρινη ποιεση, I (Athens: Garyphalis, 1943). REVS.: CR 1946 26 Barber; “Περι τῆς ῥοπῆς τῶν Ἡσιοδείων ἐπῶν ἑπι τον ῦμνον εἱς Δήμητραν,” ΑΘΗΝΑ 48 (1938) 199-237 “A terminus ante quem for Dating the Pseudo-Hesiodic Ἀσπίς,” SO 19 (1939) 106-9; “The Character of Alexandrian Poetry,” G&R 16 (1947) 1-7; “Dante and a Byzantine Treatise on Virtues and Vices,” MAev 19 (1950) 43-9; Medieval and Modern Greek Poetry. An Anthology (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1951). REVS. DUJ XIII 1951-1952 111 | JHS LXXII 1952 159 Dawkins | Aevum XXVI 1952 285 | Speculum XXVII 1952 260-262 Cavarnos | CR N.S. II 1952 188-190 Jenkins | RFIC XXX 1952 257-259 Cantarella | REG LXV 1952 270 Guilland | MPh LVII 1952 8 Antoniadis | CPh XLVIII 1953 63-65 Proussis | CW XLVI 1953 167 & 171 Georgacas | RPh XXVII 1953 231 Chantraine | GIF VI 1953 80-81 Garzya | ByzZ XLVI 1953 116-119 Georgacas | CJ L 1955 375-376 Georgacas; “The Epigrams of Anacreon on Hermae,” CQ 45 (1951) 31-4; “Posidippus and Delphi,” CR n.s. 2 (1952) 67-8; “The Metres of Early Byzantine Religious Poetry,” Atti dello VIIIᵒ Congresso internazionale di Studi Bizantini, Palermo aprile 1951, I; II: Filologia, Letteratura, Linguistica, Storia, Numismatica; Agiografia, Archeologia, Arte, Diritto, Liturgia, Musica (Rome: Assoc. nazion. per gli Studi Biz., 1953) 233; “[Moschus] III.37,” CR n.s. 7 (1957) 107; Callimachus. Aetia, Iambi, Lyric Poems, Hecale, Minor Epic and Elegiac Poems, Fragments of Epigrams, Fragments of Uncertain Location (ed. & trans.) LCL (Cambridge: Harvard U. Press; London: Heinemann, 1958). REVS.: LEC XXVI 1958 422 Durocher | AAHG XII 1959 110 Muth | CR IX 1959 244-246 Lloyd-Jones | JHS LXXX 1960 209 Barber | AC XXVIII 1959 373-375 Lasserre | RBPh XXXVIII 1960 1187-1189 Bouquiaux-Simon | SicGymn XIV 1961 246-247 Cataudella; “Early Medieval Greek ἱνά,” Glotta 88 (1959-60) 312-13; “A New Collection of Epigrams from Chios,” Hermes 88 (1960) 69-74; Cantica. Cantica genuina, ed. with P. Maas (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963). REVS.: REG LXXVI 1963 505-508 Grosdidier de Matons | RPh XXXVIII 1964 319-322 Irigoin | CR XIV 1964 144 Runciman | CW LVII 1964 279 Musurillo | OCP XXX 1964 536 Ortiz de Urbina | ByzZ LVII 1964 437-443 Hunger | Erasmus XVII 1965 231-232 Meyendorff | AB LXXXIII 1965 223 Halkin | JThS XVI 1965 511-517 Zuntz | Hellenica XIX 1966 149-153 Mitsakis | ThLZ XCII 1967 279-285 Kambylis; “Brothers Fighting Together in the Iliad,” RhM 106 (1963) 289-97; “Byzantine Oral Poetry,” ByzZ 56 (1963) 1-3; Pompeian Dog (New York: Chilmark Press, 1964); Grooves in the Wind (New York: Chilmark Press, 1964); “An Anonymous Early Byzantine kontakion of the Virgin Mary,” ByzZ 58 (1965) 327-32; “The Metres of Romanos,” Byzantion 36 (1966) 560-623; Eric Arthur Barber, 1888-1965 (Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1967); The Elegies of a Glass Adonis (New York: Chilmark Press, 1967);  Fourteen Early Byzantine Cantica (ed.) Wiener Byz. Stud. 5 (Cologne; Vienna: Böhlau, 1968). REVS.: JŒByz XVIII 1969 269-270 Koder | REByz XXVII 1969 279 Darrouzès | OCP XXXVI 1970 162 Capizzi | JHS XC 1970 222-226 Grosdidier de Matons | Scriptorium XXV 1971 230-233 Bihain; “The Date of the Early Byzantine Kontakion on the Holy Fathers of Nicaea,” ByzZ 61 (1968) 19-26; Sancti Romani Melodi Cantica. Cantica dúbia, ed. With P. Maas (Berlin & New York: de Gruyter, 1970). REVS.: AC XL 1971 299-301 Amand de Mendieta | JHS XCI 1971 159-160 McCail | JThS XXII 1971 244-248 Wellesz | CR XXII 1972 269-270 Nicol | ByzZ LXV 1972 84-90 Grosdidier de Matons | Athena LXXI 1969-1970 453-456 Tomadakis | LEC XLI 1973 124 Leroy; K. Amantos, Prolegomena to the History of the Byzantine Empire, trans. from the 2nd Greek ed. by K. Johnstone K., pref. by Trypanis (Chicago: Argonaut Press & Amsterdam : Hakkert, 1969); “Ovid and Anyte,” CP 65 (1970) 52; “The Word ἀνούατον,” CP 65 (1970) 51; “Early Medieval Greek μετά and κατά,” Glotta 48 (1970) 215-16; The Penguin Book of Greek Verse (ed. & trans.) (London & New York: Penguin Books, 1971). REVS.: ACR II 1972 195 Athanassakis; “Anyte. Anth. Pal. 7.208,” CP 66 (1971) 112-13; “Οὑτός and αὐτός in Romanos,” ByzZ 64 (1971) 33-4; “Some Observations on <Βίωνος> Ἐπιτάφιος Ἀδώνιδος,” CP 67 (1972) 133-4; “Three New Early Byzantine Hymns,” ByzZ 65 (1972) 334-8; “The Word ἀμύνη,” Glotta 50 (1972) 35-6; The Glass Adonis (New York: Chilmark Press, 1972); Callimachus, Aetia, Iambi, Lyric Poems, Hecale, Minor Epic and Elegiac Poems, and Other Fragments; Musaeus, Hero and Leander / Hecale ed. & trans. Trypanis; Musaeus trans. C. Whitman; ed. & notes by T. Gelzer (Cambridge, MA: Harvard U. Press, 1975). REVS.: G&R XXIII 1976 84-85 Bulloch | AC XLV 1976 252-254 Nachtergael; CW LXXI 1977 142-144 Tarán ; Maia XXVIII 1976 152-160 Livrea ; AAHG XXXIII 1980 162-165 Herter; “A New Epigram of the 2nd Century B.C. from Rhodes,” PAA 51 (1976) 830-8; The Homeric Epics (Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 1977). REVS.: LCM III 1978 100-102 Alden | REG XCI 1978 221-222 Gutierrez | Euphrosyne IX 1977-1978 275-276 Lourenço de Carvalho; Greek Poetry, from Homer to Seferis (Chicago: U. of Chicago Press, 1981). REVS.: TLS LXXXI 1982 555 Sherrard | ZAnt XXXII 1982 122-126 Guzel | CR XXXIII 1983 41-44 Richardson | JHS CIII 1983 233-235 Padel | Hellenica XXXIV 1982-1983 234-240 Iakov; Modern Productions of Ancient Dramas (London: British Academy, 1981); “The Alexandrian Age. Alexandrian Literature with Special Reference to Alexandrian Poetry,” in Macedonia and Greece in Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Times, ed. B. Barr-Sharrar & E.N. Borza (Washington (D.C.): National Gallery of Art, 1982) 53-57; “Jewish-Hellenistic Literature in Greek with Special Reference to Poetry,” SCI 7 (1983-4) 151-60; “Observations on the Chorus of Ancient Drama from the Angle of a Modern Producer,” Dioniso 55 (1984-5) 175-82; The Three Theban Plays. King Oedipus, Oedipus at Colonus, Antigone (trans.) (Warminster: Aris and Phillips, 1986). REVS.: CR XXXVIII 1988 396 Ireland; “On the Unity of Antigone's Character in Sophocles' Antigone, II,” in Φίλια ἔπη εἰς Γεώργιον Ε. Μυλωνᾶν δια τα 60 ἔτη τοῦ ἀνασκαφικοῦ του ἔργου, II, Βιβλιοθ. τῆς ἐν Ἀθήναις ἀρχαιολ. Ἑταιρείας 103 (Athens, 1986-9) 126-7; “On Translating Greek Tragedy, IV,” in Studi di filologia classica in onore di Giusto Monaco, IV: Linguistica, mitologia, medio evo, umanesimo e Rinascimento, presenza clássica (Palermo: Univ. di Palermo Fac. di Lettere e Filosofia, 1991) 1823-6; “Greece: Classical Studies, I,” in La filologia greca e latina nel secolo xx. Atti del congresso internazionale, Roma, Consilio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 17-21 settembre 1984, I & II (Pisa: Giardini, 1989) 33-45; “Αλεξανδρινοί και Αλεξανδρινή ποίηση,” PAA 66,2 (1991) 253-66; “Το Αλεξανδρινό επίγραμμα,” PAA 66, 2 (1991) 305-27; La poesia bizantina: dalla fondazione di Constantinopoli alla fine della Turcocrazia, pref. By Franco Montanari, trans. Lucia M. Raffaelli (Milan: Guerini, 1990). REVS : CCC XII 1991 261-263 L. R. Cresci | Athenaeum LXIX 1991 696-698 L. R. Cresci | Orpheus XIII 1992 440-445 C. Bevegni | Aegyptus 71 1991 310-311 C. M. Mazzucchi.

     

  • Notes:

    Constantine Trypanis was a polyglot classicist, Byzantinist, translator, and poet. He was, in the words of Peter Levi, “by a long chalk the best medieval and modern Greek scholar of his generation.” His exceptional undergraduate career at Athens led to an eight-year tenure in its Classics Department, with an interruption for service in World War II. Following the war, he moved to Oxford as an assistant to the Bywater Professor John Mavrogordato (1882-1970), who left the professorship in 1947 to become president of the League for Democracy in Greece. Trypanis succeeded him and maintained his chair for over two decades. Trypanis began writing poetry at this time in his second language, English. His friendship with the Victorianist Ian Fletcher (1920-88) put him in touch with British literary figures, including T.S. Eliot who admired Trypanis’s thematic connections between ancient and modern Greek literature and culture. With Eliot’s recommendation, Faber published two books of Trypanis’s poetry, The Stones of Troy, which was a choice of the Poetry Book Society and, in the next year, The Cocks of Hades, which won the Royal Society of Literature’s Heinemann Award.

     

    Trypanis earned his reputation with magisterial works on the history of Greek poetry from the Byzantine and Medieval periods, including the Canticaof Romanos (with Paul Maas) and also created the first full and authoritative translation of then-obscure Callimachus for the Loeb Library. Trypanis had a number of stints as a visiting professor at American universities, where he was a learned and gracious colleague. 

     

    The activity of David Grene at the University of Chicago attracted Trypanis from Oxford, but he was prevented by the colonels who had seized power in Greece in 1967 and would not approve his visas. He arrived in Chicago in 1968 with an interest in seeing his translations of Greek plays produced. Here he also completed the second volume of the Cantica. In 1974 at the fall of the Colonels, Trypanis retuned to Greece and was named Minister of Culture, in charge of education and archaeology. In 1981 he was named secretary-general of the Academy of Athens.     

  • Sources:

    Peter Levi, The Independent (21 January 1993). 

  • Author: Ward Briggs