• Date of Birth: June 25, 1943
  • Born City: Bryn Mawr
  • Born State/Country: PA
  • Parents: John Mortimer & Ruth Pierson Ott H.
  • Date of Death: October 8, 2008
  • Death City: Philadelphia
  • Death State/Country: PA
  • Education:

    A.B., Lafayette College, 1965; Cornell U. fell., 1965-6; M.A. Bryn Mawr, 1968; Ph.D., 1970.    

  • Dissertation:

    “The Aegritudo Perdicae, Edited with Translation and Commentary” (Bryn Mawr, 1970).    

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. Lat., Lafayette Coll., 1970; Asst. prof. to asso. prof. classics, Villanova, 1970-91; prof. 1991-2008; chair, dept. class. stud. 1993-9; dir. Class. stud. 1999-2008; vis. asso. prof. classics, U. California Santa Barbara, 1978-80; mem. Ed. bd. CP, 1976-2001.    

  • Publications:

    “Notes de lecture,” Latomus 28 (1969) 208 & 696; “Notes on the Laus Pisonis,” Latomus 29 (1970) 478-82; “Two Passages in the Aegritudo Perdicae,” Philologus 114 (1970) 294-5; “An Emendation in the Aegritudo Perdicae,” CP 66 (1971) 114; “Note de lecture. Petronius 129,8,” Latomus 30 (1971) 1162 ; “Note de lecture. Cicero, Orator 78,” Latomus 30 (1971) 1162-3; “Notes de lecture. Aegritudo Perdicae, 7,” Latomus 30 (1971) 1163; “Notes de lecture. Aegritudo Perdicae, 249 sq.,” Latomus 30 (1971) 1164; “Notes sur l'Epitoma Metensis,” AC 41 (1972) 242-4; “An Emendation in the Epitoma Metensis,” CP 67 (1972) 287-8; “Maecenas and the Laus Pisonis,” AC 41 (1972) 606-7; “Aegritudo Perdicae 231,” Latomus 33 (1974) 167-8; “Cinq explications de texte,” AC 43 (1974) 355-7; “Notes on Latin Prose Texts,” CP 71 (1976) 86-9; “Apollonius resartus. A Study in Conjectural Criticism,” CP 75 (1980) 23-37; “A Crux in Apollonius of Tyre,” Mnemosyne 35 (1982) 348-9; “On Editing Apollonius of Tyre,” CP 78 (1983) 331-43; “More on the Text of Apollonius of Tyre,” RhM 127 (1984) 351-61; “More Emendations in the Epitoma Metensis,” CP 80 (1985) 335-7; “Apollonius citharoedus,” HSCP 41 (1987) 283-7; “From the Classical to the Post Classical,” CP 83 (1988) 328-41; “Apolloniana,” HSCP 92 (1989) 405-12; “Aegritudo Perdicae Revisited,” CP 85 (1990) 132-47; “Critical Observations on ‘Apollonius of Tyre’”Athenaeum 96 (2008) 103-16; “Testing the Text: Notes on the Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri,” AC 78 (2009) 219-32.    

  • Notes:

    John Mortimer Hunt, Jr. was one of the most loyal and beloved members of the Classical community of Philadelphia. He was first exposed to Latin at Conestoga High School in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Inspired by his teachers there, John went on to study Classics at Lafayette College in Easton.

    He served for thirty-eight years at Villanova, interrupted by a visiting professorship at the University of California in Santa Barbara, chairing the Classics department from 1993 to 1998 and from 1999 to his passing, serving as the Director of Villanova's graduate program in Classical Studies.

    All who knew John would inevitably acquire an enhanced appreciation of his scholarly specialty, textual criticism, at which he had no equal. He published over sixty articles in prestigious journals. John's command of English, displayed in his terse and meticulously crafted diction, was only outdone by his unparalleled command of Latin. His graduate classes in Latin Prose Composition, Horace, and Catullus were signature courses from which each student could recall specific moments of Hunt's brilliance. His international reputation as a true textual critic continued to grow. For twenty-five years he served diligently on the editorial board of Classical Philology. The constant focus of his textual criticism was the Historia Apollonii Regis Tyrii. This fifth- or sixth-century CE novella derived, as Hunt and others had suggested, from a third-century CE Greek original, but its authorship remains anonymous. Hunt used the problematic Latin text to introduce his graduate students to the process, challenges, and value of textual criticism. While eloquently unfolding the adventures of the king and queen and their noted daughter as described in the novella, Hunt would glide with unparalleled ease through the cruxes created by the three surviving recensions of the text. While pointing out numerous ways in which this text influenced the medieval period on into the Renaissance, Hunt would present his ideas on how Shakespeare's Pericles was informed by this story. Most of Hunt's articles dealt with his suggestions on the manifold textual differences among the three recensions. Hunt also wrote in response to suggestions made in the texts published by Kortekaas in 1984 and in Schmeling's Teubner edition of 1988.

    Gareth Schmeling adds: 

    John and I exchanged some seventy-five letters and emails on the text of the Historia Apollonii Regis Tyri. These started in 1984 and continued into 2008. I did not keep records of the telephone calls.He knew more Greek and Latin than is decent, and he brought this vast knowledge to bear on many texts. Thankfully for me, he worked on the Historia and applied to it a clarity and a sense of grasp and purpose. We were both slaves to the text and discussed preparation of a joint second edition. Fate determined otherwise. A review of my notes to the text after John had begun writing to me shows the effects of his steady hand, an open mind, a graceful style. My text is dedicated to him. As a lost friend he is much lamented, as a lost scholar irreplaceable.

    Gentle, humble, eloquent, soft-spoken, sincere, thoughtful, kind, and always there for others, John was an ardent supporter of Latin and Greek studies at all levels. The Philadelphia Classical Society, the Independent School Teachers Association, the American Philological Association (when locally convened), and the Philadelphia Meetings of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States, would often find him in attendance, supporting the presentations, panels, or papers presented by his former students, colleagues, and friends. Every Villanova Classical Languages graduate student, nervous at the onset of comprehensive examinations, can remember the comforting words and calming presence of Professor John Hunt.

  • Sources:


    Henry V. Bender, CW 102,4 (2009) 496-7; WhAm (2004) 2457; DAS 8:3 (1982) 245.    

  • Author: Henry V. Bender (and Gareth Schmeling)