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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces an article in
American Journal of Archaeology
Vol. 27, No. 4 (Oct.‑Dec. 1923), pp381‑382.

The text is in the public domain.

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[image ALT: A photograph of a kindly-looking middle-aged man, clean shaven and wearing an Edwardian collar. He is American archaeologist Arthur Lincoln Frothingham.]
Arthur Lincoln Frothingham

Among archaeologists in the United States none was more widely known or more learned than Arthur Lincoln Frothingham, who died of heart disease at Princeton, New Jersey, July 28, 1923. Born in Boston, June 21, 1859, he was taken to Rome while still a child, and his education was almost entirely foreign. From 1868 to 1873 he was in the Academy of the Christian Brothers and from 1875 to 1881 in the Catholic Seminary of St. Apollinaris and the Royal University in Rome. Here it was that he acquired the mastery of Semitic languages to which he owed his unique position among American archaeologists. In 1883 he attained to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Leipzig. He was Fellow in Semitic Languages and Lecturer on Archaeology at Johns Hopkins University, 1882‑1886; Professor of Archaeology and the History of Art, 1887‑1898, and Professor of Ancient History and Archaeology, 1898‑1906, at Princeton University. In 1885 he founded the American Journal of Archaeology, of which he was editor and  p382 proprietor until, in 1896, it was taken over by the Archaeological Institute of America. In the year 1895‑1896 he was Associate Director of the American School of Classical Studies in Rome. In 1896 he received the honorary degree of Master of Arts from Princeton University. He was a member of the German Archaeological Institute, the Scoiété des Antiquaires de France, the Société française d'Archéologie, and the American Oriental Society. In 1912 he was the United States delegate to the International Congress of Art and Archaeology at Rome.

Frothingham's chief books are: A History of Sculpture (with Allan Marquand), Mediaeval Art Inventories of the Vatican, Monuments of Christian Rome, Roman Cities of Italy and Dalmatia, and A History of Architecture, Vols. III and IV (a sequel to Vols. I and II by Russell Sturgis). He was also the author of numerous articles on subjects connected with art and archaeology in the American Journal of Archaeology and in other periodicals, English, French, and Italian, as well as in the New International Encyclopaedia. Perhaps his most noted article is that (Monuments PiotXII) in which he proclaimed the discovery, or rather the identification, of the architect's model of the Church of Saint Maclou at Rouen.

For many years a member of the Archaeological Institute of America, of which he was Secretary in 1884, Frothingham was always deeply interested in its progress and always ready to be of service. He was earnest in whatever he undertook, whether it was archaeological investigation or patriotic work in the war or in combating radicalism or other movements he regarded as dangerous. He had withal a marked sense of humor and was a delightful companion. Those who had the good fortune to enjoy his hospitality in his summer home at Norfolk, Connecticut, will remember him as a cordial and genial host. His death leaves a gap which can hardly be filled.

H. N. F.

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Page updated: 26 May 07