Eduard Fraenkel was born in 1888 in Berlin and died by his own hand in Oxford in 1970. He was one of the outstanding classical scholars of the twentieth century, known for both the depth and the breadth of his scholarship. That his best-known book, a vast edition of Aeschylus’s Agamemnon, was produced during Fraenkel’s tenure of a Latin chair at Oxford indicates both the range of his scholarship and the difficulty of pinning him down. Fraenkel was many things: a German, a Jew, a classical scholar; a spoiled only son; a devoted husband who killed himself when he heard of the death of his wife, who had herself fallen out of love with him long before; an impossibly demanding father to his five children; a brilliant teacher whose mind-expanding learning brought revelations to his pupils, including young women with whose clothing he fumbled as they conversed; a difficult author whose constant corrections and revisions were the despair of his publisher; a lover of Italy who was at his most relaxed and happy when in that country. This article explores these various facets of his life and career.


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pp. 113-172
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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Archived 2021
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