North American Scholar

WORKMAN, John Rowe

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1918-06-03
  • Born City: Lancaster
  • Born State/Country: PA
  • Parents: Charles Emery & Mary Dorothy Rowe W.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1985-09-28
  • Death City: Providence
  • Death State/Country: RI
  • Education:

    A.B. Princeton, 1940; M.A., 1942; Ph.D. (Page Fell.), 1944; M.A. ad eundem, Brown, 1957.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. class. Princeton, 1943; Lat. master St. Mark's Sch., 1945-7; fac. mem. Brown, 1947-85; prof, class., 1966-79; MacMillan prof. class., 1979-85; asst. dean coll., 1950-2; chair dept. class., 1959-66; Carnegie intern & asst. prof. Columbia Coll., 1952-3; Fulbright fell. (Edinburgh), 1953-4; mng. comm. ASCSA; adv. counc. AAR; APA teaching award, 1976; North American ed. Latomus.

  • Dissertation:

    "The Evolution and Meaning of ἀγαθός in the Philosophy of Plato" (Princeton, 1944).

  • Publications:

    Quintus Curtius Rufus. The History of Alexander, trans, by J. C. Rolfe, completed by Workman, LCL, 2 vols. (Cambridge & London, 1946); Arx Antiqua: A Selection From Early Roman Poets (Lancaster, PA, 1948); "Livy and the Rise of Popular Power," TAPA 78 (1947) 435-6; "Economic Causation in Sallust," TAPA 80 (1949) 433-4; A Term of College Latin (Providence, RI, 1952); New Horizons of Higher Education: Innovation and Experimentation at Brown University (Washington, DC, 1958).

  • Notes:

    To generation on generation of Brown students, John Rowe Workman was one of the university's best-known and most beloved professors. Affectionately referred to as "John Rowe," he was pre-eminently a teacher who left a deep mark on hundreds of students. Many felt that their Brown education would not be complete without a course from "John Rowe." From pre-meds to hockey players, dancers to archaeologists, they found in him an enthralling introduction to the great writers and periods of Greek and Roman antiquity. Even the dullest student would be aroused by his erudition and wit. Among advanced topics, he favored the pre-Socratics, the Greek Anthology, and Plautus, the last of which particularly appealed to his fondness for the antic caper and the rollicking diminishment of pretense. Students and colleagues will not forget such emblems of his office as the owl clock facing the visitors' chair, its eyes flicking constantly left and right as the seconds ticked off, nor the IBM slogan from Athens enjoining ΣΚΕΨΟΥ. Others will recall his exuberant performance of Handel organ concertos in the empty hall prior to opening it for final examinations, his various "imperial chariots," oversized American sedans for which he hired student chauffeurs on requisite occasions, and the rumor that under his chairmanship the cookies at a local Chinese restaurant all had fortunes which read "Major in Classics!" John Rowe Workman's elevation to Macmillan Professor of Classics was the well-deserved recognition of a unique personality whose untiring efforts as a classicist brought many rewards to colleagues, students, and the university he served so well and so long.

  • Sources:

    DAS 1982:575; WhWh 1986-7:3032.

  • Author: Dirk tomDieck Held