North American Scholar

LEVINE, Philip

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1922-09-08
  • Born City: Lawrence
  • Born State/Country: MA
  • Parents: Samuel and Jennie Derdak L.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 2018-11-25
  • Death City: Los Angeles
  • Death State/Country: CA
  • Married: Dinnie Moseson, 19 June 1955
  • Education:

    A.B. Harvard, 1946; M.A., 1948; Ph.D., 1952; Sheldon fell., (Italy); DHL (hon.) U. Judaism (now the American Jewish University), 1986.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. to asst. prof. Harvard, 1952-9; Guggenheim scholar, 1957; asso. prof. classical langs., U. Texas at Austin, 1959-61; asso prof to prof. classics, UCLA, 1961-91; Dean, Div. of Humanities, 1965-83; Fulbright res. Grant; John & Penelope Biggs Resident in Classics at Washington University (St. Louis), 1993; adv. Ed., University of California Publications in Classical Antiquity, 1963-72; asso. ed., UCSCA,1967-75; sr. co-ed., 1975-8; mem. ed. board, Classical Antiquity, 1986-93; dir. APA, 1968-70; memb. rev. comm., sr. fellowship program, NEH, 1966-70; bd. govs., University of Judaism, 1968-90; coun. visitors, 1990-4; Bromberg Award for Humanities info. officer Council of University of California Emeriti Assn., 1991-8; Cavaliere dell’Ordine al Merito della Republica Italiana; Emeritus of the Year, UCLA, 1998. 

  • Dissertation:

    “On the Question of Mediaeval Writing in Vercelli” (Harvard, 1952).

  • Publications:

    “On the Question of Mediaeval Writing in Vercelli,” HSCP 61 (1953) 175-8; “Historical Evidence for Calligraphic Activity in Vercelli from St. Eusebius to Atto,” Speculum 30 (1955) 561-81; “The Original Design and the Publication of the De natura deorum,” HSCP 62 (1957) 7-36; “Lo ‘scriptorium’ Vercellese da S. Eusebio ad Attone (Vercelli: Ist. Di Belle Arti di Vercelli, 1958); “Two Early Latin Versions of St. Gregory of Nyssa's Περι κατασκευςνθρώπου,” HSCP 63 (1958) 473-92; “Cicero and the Literary Dialogue,” CJ 53 (1958) 146-51;Augustine The City of God against the Pagans, IV: Books XII-XV  (trans.), LCL 414 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard U. Press & London: Heinemann, 1966). REVS:  Revue d’Études Augustiniennes et Patristiques, XIII (1967) 323 Brix | RHE LXII (1967) 662 Dauphin | REL XLV (1967) 523 Rondeau | G&R XIV (1967) 102 Sewter | Latomus, XXVI (1967) 551-552 Verdière | LAC XXXVIII (1969) 283 Marrou | Mnemosyne, XXII (1969) 321-322 Thierry | RPh XLII (1968) 181 Ernout | Phoenix, XXII (1968) 185 Keyes | CR XX (1970) 102-103 Greenslade; “Catullus c. 1. A Prayerful Dedication,” CASCA 2 (1969) 209-16; “Catullus c. 68. A New Perspective,” CSCA 9 (1976) 61-88; “Catullus c. 68. A New Perspective,” CSCA 9 (1976) 61-88; “Catullus lxvii. The Dark Side of Love and Marriage,” CAnt 4 (1985) 62-71; “Catullus c. 100. A Potent Wish for a Friend in Need,” Maia 29 (1987) 33-9. 

  • Notes:

    Philip Levine grew up during the Depression in poverty, the son of deeply religious Russian immigrants. He applied only to Harvard because it was the closest institution to his home. He entered in 1940, intending to study mathematics but interrupted his work to serve in the Army military intelligence division, part of which duty was spent as an interrogator. After three years of service, he returned to Harvard where greatly under the influence of his favorite teacher, Werner Jaeger, Levine became a classics major. Originally a member of the class of 1944, he graduated with his class two years later, Phi Beta Kappa. After stints at Harvard and Texas, he moved to Los Angeles in 1961, bought a house in Beverly Hills and became a fixture in the UCLA Classics Department.

    His is chiefly remembered as a scholar for contributing vol. 4 to the Loeb Augustine, but he delighted in the poets of the Roman Republic and was well versed in Medieval palaeography, the subject of his dissertation. His eighteen years in the dean’s office necessarily curtailed his scholarly output, but he presided over a period of extraordinary growth in the output and reputation of UCLA humanities and its Classics Department in particular. When he concluded his administrative work he returned to the classroom, teaching his favorites, particularly Catullus, Horace, and Latin prose composition. According to his UCLA colleagues, while still an instructor at Harvard, Levine began to keep the names and academic backgrounds of all of his students on 3x5 cards, which he would keep on file. From time to time former students who became scholars would visit or lecture at UCLA and Levine would happily dig out their card to remind them of their days in his class. 

  • Sources:

    WhAm (2009) 2934; https://classicalstudies.org/scs-news/memoriam-philip-levine;https://classics.ucla.edu/alumni/in-memoriam/

  • Author: Ward Briggs