All Scholars

TURYN, Alexander

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  • Date of Birth: December 26, 1900
  • Born City: Warsaw
  • Born State/Country: Poland
  • Parents: Arnold & Ernestyna Glazer T.
  • Date of Death: August 26, 1981
  • Death City: Urbana
  • Death State/Country: IL
  • Married: Felicia Leontine Sachs, 1926.
  • Education:

    Study at Warsaw & Berlin; Ph.D. Warsaw, 1923; Ph.D. (hon.) Athens, 1965.

  • Dissertation:

    "Observationes metricae" (Warsaw, 1923).

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. class. Warsaw, 1925-9; Docent, 1929-35; a.o. prof, class, phil., 1935-46; lctr. U. Michigan, 1941; asso. prof. New Sch. Soc. Res., 1942-5; vis. prof, class. U. Illinois, 1945-7; prof. class., 1947-69; mem. Ctr. Adv. St. (Urbana, IL), 1962-9; res. collab. Vatican Lib., 1960-6; Golden Cross of Order of Phoenix (Greece), 1934; Guggenheim fell., 1959; Goodwin Award, 1960; Alfred Jurzykowski Found. Award, 1978.

  • Publications:

    Studia Sapphica (Leopoli, 1929); De Aelii Aristidis codice Varsoviensi atque de Andrea Taranowski et Theodosio Zygomala (Cracow, 1929); De codicibus Pindaricis (Cracow, 1932); "The Sapphic Ostracon," TAPA 73 (1942) 308-18; The Manuscript Tradition of the Tragedies of Aeschylus (New York, 1943; rprt. Hildesheim, 1967); Pindari Epinicia (New York, 1944); "The Manuscripts of Sophocles," Traditio 2 (1944) 1-41; Pindari Carmina cum Fragmentis (Cracow, 1948; Cambridge, 1952); "The Sophocles Recension of Manuel Moschopulus," TAPA 80 (1949) 94-173; Studies in the Manuscript Tradition of the Tragedies of Sophocles (Urbana, 1952); The Byzantine Manuscript Tradition of the Tragedies of Euripides (Urbana, 1957); Codices Graeci Vaticani saeculis XIII et XTV scripti annorumque notis instructi (Vatican City, 1964); Dated Greek Manuscripts of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries in the Libraries of Italy, 2 vols. (Urbana, 1972); "Demetrius Triclinius and the Planudean Anthology," Epeteris Hetair. Byz. Spoudon 39-40 (1972-3) 403-50; "Michael Lulludes, (or Luludes), A Scribe of the Palaeologan Era," Riv. di studi biz. e neoell. 10-11 (1973-4) 3-15; Dated Greek Manuscripts of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries in the Libraries of Great Britain (Washington, DC, 1980). Festschrift: Serta Turyniana. Studies in Greek Literature and Palaeography in Honor of Alexander Turyn, ed. J. L. Heller (Urbana & London, 1974) = ICS 6-7 (1981-2).

  • Notes:

    Turyn is among the greatest of an illustrious generation of European classical scholars who had begun successful careers at noted European universities after training with the greatest classical philologists of the previous, or indeed any, generation, only to be forced to flee for their lives in the face of Nazi aggression and antisemitism. Turyn himself escaped from Warsaw in November 1939 and reached the USA in 1941. A brief academic peregrination brought him to Illinois, where he remained until his death. Turyn's most influential work was a series of three studies that are the modern basis for the textual criticism of Greek tragedy. An intensive and profound re-examination of the nature and affiliations of the MSS of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, these three volumes represent one of the major scholarly achievements of this century. Turyn's earlier work had been a series of important articles and monographs on Greek lyric poetry leading to a major critical edition of Pindar, whose excellence won for Turyn an international reputation. In his last decades he continued and extended his intensive! study of medieval Greek MSS, producing a series of three monumental volumes in which expert knowledge of the MSS combined with expert control of the Byzantine literary, cultural, and scholarly background created an authentic masterwork of 20th-century classical scholarship. Turyn's life was his work and he was utterly dedicated to research. Only death put an end to his labors.

  • Sources:

    IntWW 1981-2:1309; M. Marcovich, Gnomon 54 (1982) 97-8; NYTimes (31 Aug. 1981) D-10; "Publications and Vita," Serta Turyniana, 1-4.

  • Author: John Vaio