All Scholars

NEWMAN, John Kevin

  • Image
  • Date of Birth: August 17, 1928
  • Born City: Bradford, West Yorkshire
  • Born State/Country: England
  • Parents: Wili & Agnes Shee N.
  • Date of Death: July 26, 2020
  • Death City: Urbana
  • Death State/Country: IL
  • Married: Frances Stickney, 1970
  • Education:

    B.A. lit. hum., Exeter College, Oxford, 1950; B.A. Russian, 1952; M.A. Classics 1953; Ph.D., Bristol, 1967.

  • Dissertation:

    "Augustus and the New Poetry: A Definition of the Changes in Roman Poetry at the Beginning of the Empire and an Analysis of the Influences which Produced Them" (Bristol, 1967) published as Augustus and the New Poetry (Brussels: Latomus, 1967).

  • Professional Experience:

    Master, St. Francis Xavier College, Liverpool, 1952-4; Downside School, Somerset, England, 1955-69; prof. Classics, Illinois, 1969-2000; chair dept. 1981-5; silver medal, Consilium Latinitati Excolendae, 1960, 1963, 1966, 1998); ed. ICS, 1982-6.

  • Publications:

    “Ennius the Mystic: I: The Terms of the Debate,” G&R 10 (1963) 132-9; “Ennius the Mystic, II,” G&R 12 (1965) 42-9; “Ennius the Mystic, III,” G&R 14 (1967) 44-51; The Concept of vates in Augustan Poetry (Brussels: Latomus, 1967); “Pushkin's Bronze Horseman and the Epic Tradition,” Comparative Literature Studies 9 (1972) 173-95; “Callimachus and the Epic,” Serta Turyniana. Studies in Greek Literature and Palaeography in Honor of Alexander Turyn, ed. with J.L. Heller (Urbana: U. of Illinois Press, 1974) 342-60; Serta Turyniana. Studies in Greek Literature and Palaeography in Honor of Alexander Turyn, ed. with J.L. Heller (Urbana; U. of Illinois Press, 1974); “L'unité musicale dans les Odes de Pindare. La deuxiéme Néméenne,” with F.S. Newman, LEC 42 (1974) 3-12; “De Statio epico animadversions,” Latomus 34 (1975) 80-9; “Seneca, Medea 987,” RhM123 (1980) 192; “Pindar, Solon and Jealousy. Political Vocabulary in the Eleventh Pythian,” ICS 7 (1982) 189-95; “Chromius and Heracles. Comic Elements in Pindar's First Nemean,” Eos 70 (1982) 209-21; “Memini me fiere pavum.Ennius and the Quality of the Roman Aesthetic Imagination,” ICS 8 (1983) 173-93; “Euripides, I.T. 113-14,” RhM 126 (1983) 188; “Comic Elements in Catullus 51,” ICS 8 (1983) 33-6; Pindar's Art; Its Tradition and Aims, with F.S. Newman (Hildesheim: Weidmann, 1984; “The New Gallus and the Origins of Latin Love Elegy,” ICS 9 (1984) 19-29; “Pindar and Callimachus,” ICS 10 (1985) 69-189; “Esse videatur Rhythm in the Greek New Testament Gospels and Acts of the Apostles,” ICS 10 (1985) 53-66; The Classical Epic Tradition (Madison: U. of Wisconsin Press, 1986); “Protagoras, Gorgias and the Dialogic Principle,” ICS 11 (1986) 43-61; “Pindarica,” RhM 130 (1987) 89-93; “De sublimitate 30.1. An Overlooked Pointer to a Date?,” ICS 12 (1987) 143-55; “Later Latin Poetry: Some Principles of Interpretation,” ICS 14 (1989) 243-63; Roman Catullus and the Modification of the Alexandrian Sensibility (Hildesheim: Weidmann, 1990); A Manuscript of Horace-Bénédict de Saussure on the Origin of Coal: Oratio de lithantrace (1770): Science, Business, and Environmental Politics (Geneva: Archives des sciences, 1993); Horace-Bénédct de Saussure: Forerunner in glaciology: New Manuscript Evidence on the Earliest Explorations of the Glaciers of Chamonix and the Fundamental Contribution off Horace-Bénédict de Saussure to the Study of Glaciers between 1760 and 1792 with Albert V. Carozzi (Geneva: Passé présent, 1995); “Saturno rege: Themes of the Golden Age in Tibullus and Other Augustan Poets,” in Candida iudex: Beiträge zur augusteischen Dichtung: Festschrift für Walter Wimmel zum 75. Geburtstag, ed. Anna Elissa Radke (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1998) 225-46; Augustan Propertius: the Recapitulation of a Genre (Hildesheim: Olms, 1997) Saturnorege: Themes of the Golden Age in Tibullus and Other Augustan Poets,” in Candida iudex: Beiträge zur augusteischen Dichtung: Festschrift für Walter Wimmel zum 75. Geburtstag, ed. Anna Elissa Radke (Stuttgart: Steiner, 1998) 225-46; “Iambe/Iambos and the Rape of a Genre: a Horatian Sidelight,” ICS 23 (1998) 101-20; “Altae Romae,” ICS 26 (2001) 131-2; “Euripides' Medea: Structures of Estrangement,” ICS 26 (2001) 53-76; “Hercules in the Aeneid: the Dementia of Power,” in Hommages à Carl Deroux. 1,: Poésie, ed. Pol Defosse (Bussells: Latomus, 2002) 398-411; “Pindar through the Looking Glass: towards an Interpretation of the Seventh Nemean,” Eos 89 (2002) 233-53; Lectures on Physical Geography given in 1775 by Horace-Benedict de Saussure at the Academy of Geneva=Cours de géographie physique donné en 1775 par Horace-Bénédict de Saussure à l’Academie de Genève (Geneva: Editions Zoe, 2003); “Ovid's Epic, Picasso's Art,” Latomus 62 (2003) 362-72; “Semitic Aspects of the Greco-Roman Pastoral,” with Frances Stickney Newman, in Studia palaeophilologica: Professoris G. M. Browne in honorem oblata (Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing L.L.C., 2004) 53-69; “Sallust: a Note,” ibid., 79-92; Troy's Children: Lost Generations in Virgil's Aeneid, with Frances Newman (Hildesheim: Olms, 2005); “The Third Book: Defining a Poetic Self,” in Brill’s Companion to Propertius(Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2006) 319-52; “The Golden Fleece: Imperial Dream,” in Brill's Companion to Apollonius Rhodius, ed. T.D. Papanghelis & Antonios Rengakos (Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2008) 413-44; Horace as Outsider(Hildesheim & Zurich: Olms, 2011); “Lucan and John Chrysostom: a Parallel of Imagination,” ICS 38 (2013) 245-354; “Catullus and Love Poetry,” Paideia 73,1 (2018) 221-44; Catullus as Love Poet, with Paolo Fedel & Hans-Christian Günther (Nordhausen: Bautz, 2018).

  • Notes:

    An early victim of asthma, Kevin (as he was called by friends) Newman spent much of his childhood reading rather than playing outdoors. He took compulsory Latin in grammar school, and after hearing his master describe the basic structures of Greek, was permitted to take Greek in place of history. As a Senior Scholar at Exeter College, Oxford, he developed a natural proficiency at Latin verse composition, rendering not only dactylic hexameter but elegiac and lyric measures with equal facility. One of the four awards for composition from the Consilium Latinitati Excolendae was given to him at the Vatican by Pope (now Saint) Paul VI. Following his four-year course for Literae Humaniores, he spent two years studying Russian and Old Slavonic, which would figure in his later work on the underdeveloped study of classical influence on Russian literature. Newman taught sixth-form Greek and Latin for fourteen years at the Downside School in Somerset, with an emphasis on composition. He began to publish in scholarly journals while still teaching at Downside and proudly published his Latin compositions in several volumes. He received his doctorate when he was nearly 40 and published his dissertation as Augustus and the New Poetry as a monograph under the same title, and his second, The Concept of the vates in Augustan Poetry, essentially an expansion of the fourth chapter to the first. With extensive knowledge of the poetry and a broad reading of the scholarship, he championed the influence of Hellenistic poetry on Virgil at a time when that subject was just beginning to be fully appreciated. The study focuses on Virgil, often to the exclusion of other influences and applies the Virgilian conception to Horace, Propertius, and Tibullus. The concept disappears in Ovid.  With these works generally well received, Newman was ready for new challenges and opportunities to further his research. Within two years he was installed in Urbana-Champaign as professor of classics and within a year of his appointment he had married Frances Stickney.  He was ready for new challenges and opportunities to further his research. Within two years he was installed in Urbana-Champaign as professor of classics and within a year of his appointment he had married Frances Stickney, with whom he would collaborate on a study of Pindar.  

    Over the course of his 31-year career at Illinois, his great professional love remained that of his dissertation: Virgil, the Alexandrian poets who influenced him and the poets of his era And he continued to be called on by the Vatican for Latin contributions to its journal Latinitas. His Pindaric studies focused on the komos-aspect of his encomiastic poetry. In all his work he brought extensive learning not only of language, context and subsequent influence. The summary book of his career was The Classical Epic Tradition, which traced theories about the epic from Aristotle and Callimachus through Virgil, Chaucer, Milton, Eisenstein, Tolstoy, and Thomas Mann K.V. Gransden, reviewing the book in Classical Review, called it “a rich, learned, informative, and continually rewarding book” and said that its author, “displays a polymathy unequalled in any anglo-saxon classicist since Bowra.” (CR 37 91987) 47-50.

  • Sources:

    K.V. Grandson, CR 37 (1987) 47-50; "By the Book," University of Illinois Library, Office of Advancement (16 February 2021) https://www.library.illinois.edu/friends/gifts-at-work/by-the-book/

  • Author: Ward Briggs