Home  »  Volume XVIII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART III  »  § 22. Joseph Henry Allen; William Francis Allen; James Bradstreet Greenough

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
VOLUME XVIII. Later National Literature, Part III.

XXV. Scholars

§ 22. Joseph Henry Allen; William Francis Allen; James Bradstreet Greenough

The brothers Joseph Henry Allen (1820–98) and William Francis Allen (1830–89) together edited Virgil (1880), and with James Bradstreet Greenough (1833–1901) produced the well-known “Allen and Greenough” Latin texts, which included Cæsar, Sallust, Ovid, and Cicero. J. H. Allen with Greenough wrote the Allen and Greenough Latin Grammar, published 1872, and an Elementary Latin Composition, published 1876. W. F. Allen contributed the historical and archæological material to the Allen and Greenough series, and later edited Tacitus. Greenough in 1865 was appointed to a Latin tutorship at Harvard, and was professor of Latin from 1883 until the year of his death. He taught himself Sanskrit, became interested from the first in comparative grammar and general linguistics, an interest stimulated by Goodwin’s Greek Moods and Tenses (1860), and applied these methods to the Latin verb in his Analysis of the Latin Subjunctive (1870). The principles here laid down and followed seem to show that Greenough was strongly influenced not only by the German originators of the comparative linguistic method, and by Goodwin, but by W. D. Whitney as well, whose Language and the Study of Language had appeared at the very time (1867) when Greenough was undertaking his researches. Greenough introduced the teaching of Sanskrit and comparative philology at Harvard, and gave courses in them from 1872 until the appointment of C. R. Lanman as professor of Sanskrit in 1880. In 1872, likewise, he published with Joseph Henry Allen a Latin Grammar for Schools and Colleges, founded on Comparative Grammar, in which he applied the methods and amplified the results of the Analysis. This, though in name only a schoolbook, contains in its successive editions the results of Greenough’s research, and has been widely influential upon the subsequent study of Latin syntax. The issues of his investigation in other fields quietly appear in the same way in the volumes of the Allen and Greenough series. Words and their Ways in English Speech (1901), which Greenough and G. L. Kittredge prepared together, presents in racy and readable form the substance of much solid scholarship. Greenough was active in the development of the Harvard Graduate School; established in 1889 the Harvard Studies in Classical Philology; introduced reading at sight into American classical teaching; promoted the collegiate instruction of women; wrote excellent Latin verse and prose; and, like Lane and Child and Goodwin, delighted in learned fun.