Walter Miller (philologist)

Walter Miller (philologist)

Walter Miller (May 4, 1864July 28, 1949) was a linguist, Classics scholar and archaeologist responsible for the first American excavation in Greece and a founder of the Stanford University Classics department. [cite journal |last=Gwatkin, Jr. |first=W.E. |title= Walter Miller: 1864-1949 |journal=The Classical Journal |date=1950 |month=March |publisher=The Classical Association of the Middle West and South, Inc. |pages=pp.285-287 |volume=Vol. 45 |issue=No. 6 |issn=0009-8353 |location=Ashland, VA |url=]

Born in Ashland county, Ohio. After receiving an M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1884, he moved to the University of Leipzig for doctoral studies from 1884-5. After joining the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece, Professor Frederic de Forest Allen charged Miller with the first American excavation in Greece, seeking the stage of the Theater of Thorikos. 25-30 workmen were paid 1 drachma per day and total project budget was $300 in 1886. While Miller did not consider it a success, later scholars found it significant in solving problems connected to the Greek stage. [cite book |first=Louis E. |last=Lord |title=A History of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 1882-1942 |location=Cambridge, Massachusetts |date=1947 |pages=pp.42-43 |publisher=Harvard University Press]

At the conclusion of the academic year, Miller set off on a walking tour he hoped would take him all the way to Istanbul, visiting archaeological sites along the way. He did not get beyond the further slope of one of the mountain ranges which encircle Athens. On only his second day out, he was robbed, beaten unconscious, and left for dead by two local villagers. The bloodied Miller managed to return to Athens to lodge a complaint with the local authorities. The authorities thereupon commissioned Miller as a Captain in the Greek army, and sent him out with a posse to apprehend the criminals. A few days later the brigands were in jail. To his credit, Miller altered his testimony at their trial so the two would not be sentenced to death. They were, however, sentenced to ten years in a prison on the island of Aegina.

Miller returned to the United States as an instructor of Greek at the University of Michigan during the 1886-7 school year and of Latin and Sanskrit in the 1887-8 year, beginning a fifty-year career as a college professor - without ever returning to finish his doctoral degree. Walter Miller married Jennie Emerson, niece of Ralph Waldo Emerson on September 13, 1888 in Racine, Wisconsin. Jennie Emerson Miller (August 7, 1860 - March 1, 1946) had studied Latin, Greek, Sanskrit, French, German and science and was an invaluable assistant to her husband. By 1889 Walter Miller was an Acting Assistant Professor at Michigan but the family returned to Lepizig for the next two years and daughters Edith and Marjorie were born in Germany. He worked as the Senior Royal Archaeological Seminary at the University of Leipzig from 1890-91.

The family settled in Columbia, Missouri when he accepted a position as an Associate Professor of Greek at the University of Missouri in 1891-92.

In 1892 when he was appointed professor of Latin and later classical philology) at Stanford University, Professor Miller, his wife Jennie and his two daughters built a house at 2275 Amherst Street in Palo Alto, California. He was one of the original professors present at the opening of the University and gave the seventh annual commencement address at Stanford entitled "The Old and the New" in 1898. The family lived in this house until he left Stanford in 1902 for Tulane University.

As Professor of Greek, and later philology, he began his administrative experience, becoming Dean of the graduate school and later Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. At the same time his editorial endeavors began, with the "Southern Educational Review" and later the "Classical Journal".

Dr. Miller typically traveled alone over summer term vacations, while Jennie preferred to stay at home and raise the two daughters. In the summer of 1910, the women were visiting the Tallulah River in North Georgia as they did each summer to escape New Orleans heat. Despite being a strong swimmer, Marjorie suddenly stepped into deeper water and drowned in the current. Her body was recovered several days later and Jennie notified Dr. Miller by letter.

In 1911 he returned to the University of Missouri as professor of Latin and in 1929 became professor of classical languages and archeology, receiving an honorary doctorate in 1916. From 1914 to 1930 he was the Dean of the Graduate School University of Missouri and in his commencement address in 1919 called for the creation of a Memorial Student Union building to honor the fallen of World War I. In 1944 his translation work on Homer's Ilad was hailed as a "triumph of ingenuity." [Citation
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The Walter Miller Library [] in the Department of Classical Studies and the Walter Miller Fellowship endure to this day.


Books and Monographs
* The Theater of Thoricus (papers of the American School of Classical Studies, Athens, Vol. IV., 1888). [;idno=ACD4670.0004.001]
* Latin Prose Composition for College Use, Part I (1890), Part II (1891).
* Key to Latin Prose Composition, 1894.
* Pausanias and His Guidebook, 1894.
* History of the Akropolis of Athens, 1894.
* With Jennie Emerson Miller, Georg Wilhelm Steller's "De Bestiis Marinis" (The Beasts of the Sea) (Report of fur Seal Commission); Government Printing Office, Washington, 1899.
* The Old and New, Commencement address, Stanford University, 1898.
* De officiis, Marcus Tullius Cicero. 1913.
* Cyropaedia, 1914.
* "Dulce et Decorum est pro Patria Mori," Commencement address, University of Missouri, 1919.
* Daedalus and Thespis, The Contribution of the Ancient Dramatic Poets to our Knowledge of the Arts and Crafts of Greece. Volume I: Architecture and Topography: The Macmillan Co., New York, 1929.
* With William Benjamin Smith, The Iliad of Homer: A Line for Line Translation in Dactylic Hexameters, 1944.

* Excavations Upon the Akropolis at Athens, 1886
* Johannes Overbeck (American Journal of Archaeology), 1894

* Pronunciation of Greek and Latin Proper Names, 1894

* Scientific Names of Latin and Greek Derivation, 1897
* The Roman Religion, 1898


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