The Corner


The great American classicist W. K. Pritchett passed away this Tuesday at 98 in Berkeley. WKP, as he was called, reshaped the study of ancient Greek topography, and spent much of his life finding ancient routes, battlefields, and harbors, establishing the nature of the Athenian calendar, defending the authority of the Greek historians from postmodern attacks, and writing a massive five-volume history of the Greek state at war-much of all this in his retirement after a long career of philological research and distinguished teaching.

For many years, he was among the giants in American classics in general, and among a postwar generation of scholars in particular at Berkeley, such as J.K.Anderson, William Anderson, Steven Miller, Ronald Stroud, Leslie Threatte, and several others, whose high standards, teaching, and research made UCB the top center of classics in the world-and sadly that generation was not replaced at Berkeley by a subsequent group of such a caliber. Professor Pritchett is the sort of scholar we will not see again in our generation — if ever.