Paul Shorey

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Paul Shorey

Paul Shorey (born August 3, 1857 in Davenport , Iowa , † April 24, 1934 in Chicago ) was an American classical philologist who was Professor of Greek at the University of Chicago from 1892 to 1927 . As a journalist, he advocated the emancipation of his subject in the United States and particularly opposed German classical studies.


Paul Shorey, the son of Judge Daniel Lewis Shorey, was born in Davenport, Iowa and grew up in Chicago from 1865 on. From 1874 he studied classical philology, history and philosophy at Harvard University . His teachers included William Watson Goodwin and Frank E. Anderson , whom Shory greatly admired. After completing his bachelor's degree in 1878, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1880. His main interest, however, was ancient literature, especially Plato's philosophy .

From 1881 Shorey deepened his studies abroad: He studied at the University of Leipzig (1881–1882), at the University of Bonn (1882), at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (1882–1883) and at the Ludwig-Maximilians- University of Munich , where he in 1884 with a written in Latin dissertation on Plato's theory of ideas Dr. phil. received his doctorate .

On his return to the United States, Shorey worked as Professor of Latin and Philosophy at Bryn Mawr College . In 1892 he moved to the newly founded University of Chicago , where he taught as Professor of Greek and since 1896 as head of the Classics Department .

During his tenure in Chicago, Shorey received national and international recognition. In 1901/1902 he was Annual Vice Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1909/1910 President of the American Philological Association , 1912 visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University and at Harvard.

At the same time, Shorey stood up firmly for the independence of science in the United States. He called for the expansion of antiquity research, especially Classical Philology at American universities, which at that time was still in its infancy. Even before his appointment as Roosevelt visiting professor at Berlin University (1913/1914), he had campaigned against German scientific practice. During the First World War , Shorey was an active proponent of American entry into the war.

In the twenties Shorey had advanced to become an influential exponent of classical philology. From 1908 he published the journal Classical Philology , in which he not only propagated his own position, which was directed against German research, but also gave other opinions to the table. Shorey took an active part in the dispute over school reform in the United States, defending the place of ancient languages ​​in high schools. Many universities invited him as a guest lecturer. At Berkeley University he was three times Sather Professor (1916, 1919 and 1928). Between 1905 and 1925 he received eleven honorary doctorates, one of them abroad ( University of Liège , 1924). Since 1911 he was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters . In 1927 Shorey retired, but continued to work as a journalist, took on guest lectureships and published the journal Classical Philology until his death .


Paul Shorey was one of the most influential and high-profile classical philologists in the USA during his lifetime. Through his numerous students and his personal commitment, he contributed to the expansion of his subject at American universities. The training of graduate students in classical studies at numerous universities only became possible during his time. In this way, the students were not forced to go abroad to perfect their studies. He designed the study regulations for the University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins University himself.

In research, Shorey took very independent positions with which he opposed the scientific mainstream. The main subject of his own research was the philosophy of Plato . Shorey took the view that Plato's philosophical system did not develop in the course of his life, but represented a unit. He met with criticism, especially abroad. One of his fiercest opponents was the influential Berlin professor Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff , who prevented Shorey in 1913/1914 from holding a seminar on Plato's Politeia as part of his Berlin visiting professorship.

Shorey transferred his views to other researchers and influenced their work. So he persuaded his colleague John A. Scott to side with the Unitarians on the Homeric Question . Scott gave a lecture called The Unity of Homer in 1921 . Shorey had written an essay in 1903 entitled The Unity of Plato's Thought .

Shorey himself considered his influence on science to be small. In his journal Classical Philology, he polemicized against numerous research opinions, including the new understanding of Greek metrics that Wilamowitz and his student Paul Maas developed. Even if Shorey remained a scientific outsider during his lifetime, his main work on Plato was received and reprinted several times even after his death.

The numerous students Shorey had during his forty years at the University of Chicago include Harold Cherniss and George Norlin , longtime president of the University of Colorado at Boulder .

Fonts (selection)

  • Horace. Odes and Epodes . Boston 1898. Second edition with Gordon Jennings Laing , Boston 1910
  • The Unity of Plato's Thought . Chicago 1903. Reprints New York 1968, New York 1980
  • The Creative Intelligence and Modern Life . Boulder, Colorado 1928
  • What Plato Said . Chicago 1933
  • Plato / The Republic . Two volumes, Cambridge / London 1930–1935
  • Platonism Ancient and Modern . Berkeley 1938
  • Leonardo Tarán (Ed.): Selected Papers . Two volumes, New York 1980


Web links

Commons : Paul Shorey  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Members: Paul Shorey. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed April 26, 2019 .
  2. Knopff in Briggs (1994) 582.