Lycée Charlemagne, 1855-9; B.A. Lycée Saint-Louis, 1864; study at École normale supérieure, 1864-7; Ph.D., Sorbonne, 1873
- Professional Experience:
Teacher, Lycées Chambéry, 1867-8; Nevers, 1868-70; Montauban, 1871; Collège Stanislas (Paris) 1871-4; Lycée Charlemagne (Paris), 1874-7, Army service, 1870-1; Maître de conferences, Sorbonne, 1877-85; professor, 1885-1921; dean, Faculté des Lettres, 1898-1919; member, Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, 1886; knight, Legion d’Honneur, 1887; officer, 1897; commander, 1901; grand officer, 1913.
La poésie de Pindare et les lois du lyrisme grec (1881); Thucydide. Hostoire de la Guerre du Péloponnèse, Buch 1-2 (1886); Histoire de la littérature grecque, with Maurice Croiset, 5 vols. (1887-99; 3rd ed., 1910); L’éducation morale dans l’université (1901); Manuel d’histoire de la littérature grecque (1901; English trans., An Abridged History of Greek Literature, trans. G.F. Heffelbower, New York, 1904); Les democraties antiques (1909); The Study of Latin and Greek and the Democracy (1919); Platon. Oeuvres completes, with Louis Bodin, 2 vols. (1921-3).
Croiset was educated at the Lycée where his father was a teacher. He and his younger brother Maurice (1846-1935) showed interest and ability in philology early on and often worked on projects together. At the École normal supérieure he was a student of the philosopher Jules Lachelier (1832-1918), the classicist Gaston Boissier (1823-1908), and the Hellenist Jules Girard (1825-1902). His scholarly interest was in Greek literature, gaining his degrees with works on Xenophon and Aristophanes, then a book on Pindaric meter and an edition of Thucydides. With the philosopher Louis Bodin he published an edition of Plato and with his brother a history of Greek literature, both of which were widely popular. He had a particular interest in the roots of democracy (The Study of Latin and Greek and the Democracy was printed for the American Classical League) and his experience as dean led him to advocate educational reform, which brought him considerable resistance within the French system from anti-modernists who decried the influence of German scientific methods in French schoolrooms. An abridged version appeared in 1901 and was translated in America. Among his students were Gustave Glotz (1862-1935), Paul Mazon (1874-1955), and Auguste Diès (1875-1958).
EI 12, 20; Pierre Lassere, M. Alfred Croiset, historien de la démocratie athénienne (Paris: Nouvelle Librarie Nationale, 1909); F. Lot, CRAI 73-4(1929) 363-84; A. Puech, Association amicale des anciens élèves de l’École normale supérieure (1924) 89-99; P. Stock, “Students versus the University in Pre-World War Paris,” French Historical Studies 7 (1971) 93-110; Hans-Ulrich Berner & Valeria Lilie, Brill’s 126-7.
- Author: Ward Briggs