Professor Emeritus of Classics


Charles Fornara has a B.A. from Columbia (1956), M.A. from the University of Chicago (1958), Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles (1961). After a stint at the Ohio State University (1961-3), he had the good fortune to come to Brown as an Assistant Professor, and is currently David Benedict Professor of Greek. He became a Fellow of the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University in spring, 1983, and in 1988 he won a Samuel Guggenheim Fellowship.

In 1971 his dissertation on The Athenian Board of Ten Generals was published by Historia as an Einzelschrift , and in the same year there appeared his Herodotus, An Interpretative Essay (Oxford). A little later came his Archaic Times to the Peloponessian War (2nd ed. Cambridge 1983), mostly translations of historical inscriptions, with brief explanatory notes. In 1983 there appeared his book on The Nature of History in Greece and Rome (Berkeley) and in the same year, Athens from Cleisthenes to Pericles (Berkeley), in collaboration with Loren Samons. In 1994, in continuation of Felix Jacoby's great work on the Fragments of the Greek Historians, he published Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker IIIc, Geschichte von Städten und Völkern (Horographie und Ethnographie), Fascicle I, Commentary on Nos. 608a-608 (Leiden). This fasicule contained his commentary on the remaining fragments of the Egyptian ethnographies of Hellanicus of Lesbos and Aristagoras, an Ionian whose ethnikon is unknown.

He has written some thirty papers in learned journals or as chapters in books mostly involving Greek historiography, Greek history, various epigraphical questions, though also a few studies on the Latin historian Ammianus Marcellinus, who flourished in the last half of the fourth century A.D. In the past few years, his attention has focused on Greek poetic literature, principally Sophocles and Pindar, though he continues at the same time his research in the above-mentioned subjects.

Though his two airedales, Eloise and Alexander, would be perplexed to hear him say it, he lives alone, in the country in southern Rhode Island. For diversion he reads a good deal, mostly 18th and 19th century English literature, and when not reading, he listens to classical music, again mostly 18th or 19th century, or works outside on one landscaping task or another. When his son, Charlie, visits him, as he often does, they play a lot of chess.

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