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At a Glance
Papers of Classics professor, Alan Cameron who taught at Columbia University between 1977 and his retirement in 2008. At the time of his death (July 31, 2017) he was the Charles Anthon Professor Emeritus of Latin and Literature at Columbia University. Materials in this collection include extensive correspondence files (including many with distinguished classicists), scholarly lectures, lectures given on cruise ships, course lectures, research files, unfinished and unpublished work, manuscripts for a book about Constantinople, CVs, memoirs and memorial materials.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Conditions Governing Access
Material is unprocessed. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Alan Cameron Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
The addition of his papers to our collections complements RBML's existing holdings of other Columbia classicists: Charles Anthon manuscripts, 1830-1864; Harry Thurston Peck papers, 1878-1933; Nelson Glenn McCrea papers, 1893-1944; Gilbert Highet papers, 1929-1978; Moses Hadas papers, 1930-1966.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Alan Douglas Edward Cameron (13 March 1938 – 31 July 2017), Charles Anthon Professor Emeritus of the Latin Language and Literature at Columbia, was a British classicist and academic. He was one of the leading scholars of the literature and history of the later Roman world and at the same time a wide-ranging classical philologist whose work encompassed above all the Greek and Latin poetic tradition from Hellenistic to Byzantine times but also aspects of late antique art.
Cameron was educated at St. Paul's School in London, and at New College, Oxford, where he was awarded a first class degree in Literae Humaniores in 1961. Without ever needing to complete a Phd, a point of considerable amusement and pride, Alan took up teaching positions in Glasgow and London before joining the Columbia faculty in 1977; he remained in the department until his retirement in 2008.
He had an unrivaled expertise in the history and literature of Hellenistic Greece and Late Antiquity and an infallible command of Greek and Latin philology that included both the canonical and more recondite areas of the corpus. Combining his impeccable knowledge with innovative approaches, an engaging style, and a zest for challenging and upending long-established views, Alan produced scholarship that ranged as broadly as its learning was deep. His publication record runs to many pages (over 200 articles plus more than a dozen books), and his discussions remain 'must read' items for those in any number of different areas, religion, social and political history, mythology, and the history of classical scholarship among them. Among his most ground-breaking books are Circus Factions: Blues and Greens at Rome and Byzantium (1976), Callimachus and his Critics (winner of the APA Goodwin Prize in 1997), Greek Mythography in the Roman World (2004) and The Last Pagans of Rome (2011).
In addition to his tireless scholarly activity, his participation in conferences and willingness to deliver lectures in many parts of the world, and the recognition he received in the form of many honors (among them he was made a fellow of the British Academy in 1975 and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1978), Alan was an immensely popular and much revered teacher at all levels. Generations of Columbia graduate students, as well as some of Alan's colleagues, remember with particular fondness and gratitude the classes in Greek and Latin Verse Composition that he used to hold at his New York home.