Sterling Dow

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Sterling Dow (born November 19, 1903 in Portland (Maine) , † January 9, 1995 in Boston ) was an American classical archaeologist and epigraphist who taught at Harvard University from 1936 to 1970 .


Sterling Dow earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1925 and then went to Cambridge University College for a year on a Fiske Foundation scholarship , where he studied ancient history. Upon his return to Harvard, he joined ancient historian William Scott Ferguson , who promoted Dow's career. After completing his master's degree (1928), Dow stayed in Athens from 1931 to 1935 as a Guggenheim Fellow and a scholarship holder at Harvard University, where he made his first experiences in archaeological field work and documented numerous inscriptions. Among other things, he invented his own contact technique . During these years the American excavations took place in the Agora of Athens . In Athens Dow collected material for his doctoral thesis, with which he obtained a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1936. received his doctorate .

After his doctorate, Dow taught and researched until his retirement (1970) at Harvard University, first as an instructor, then from 1949 as the John E. Hudson Professor of Archeology . His research focus was Greek epigraphy. Dow published five monographs and more than 150 essays and reviews.

After his retirement, Dow taught as a Distinguished Professor at Boston College, and from 1978 as a Blegen Distinguished Professor at Vassar College . He received three honorary doctorates. After his death, a Sterling Dow Fellowship was established at the Center for Epigraphical and Paleographical Studies at Ohio State University .


  • Alan L. Boegehold et al. (Ed.): Studies presented to Sterling Dow on his Eightieth Birthday (= Greek, Roman and Byzantine Monographs. Volume 10). Duke University, Durham (North Carolina) 1984 (with a short biography on pp. IX – XI and list of publications up to 1983 on pp. XIX – XXXVI).
  • William M. Calder III : Sterling Dow † . in: Gnomon . 68: 572-574 (1996)

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