Edith Hamilton

Edith Hamilton ( born August 12, 1867 in Dresden, † May 31 1963 in Washington, DC) was a German - American teacher and writer. It is considered a significant mediator of the ancient heritage in the United States of the 20th century.


Just two months after giving birth her ​​mother, who had visited relatives in Germany, returned with her to America. Edith Hamilton grew up as the eldest of five children in a very intent on education family, and at the age of seven, she learned at the insistence of her father Latin, Greek shortly thereafter. At this time she had already begun also to learn German and French. At 16, she attended along with her ​​three sisters known for study at the University Preparatory School for Girls Miss Porter 's School in Farmington (Connecticut), felt intellectually but not very challenged, as all classes were electives.

1894 she completed after two years of study of classical archeology, Bryn Mawr College near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts from. She received as a top student in her class a European Fellowship Scholarship, which enabled her to spend a year studying abroad. 1895-1896 she went with her ​​sister, the later Hygiene doctor Alice Hamilton, to Germany. At the University of Leipzig and the University of Munich, she became the first female students.

Upon her return to the United States in 1896 was Edith Hamilton Director of Bryn Mawr Preparatory School in Baltimore, Maryland. She led the school with enthusiasm to achieve great success.

In 1922, she retired and began her writing career, which established her fame. In 1930 she published The Greek Way with her ​​most important work, in which she gave an overview of the birth of the West by the achievements of classical Greece. In 1942 with her ​​Mythology 's most popular book, which will be launched today and is still used in American schools as a textbook.

1957, she was awarded an honorary citizen of the city of Athens. She has received many awards and was also elected this year in the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

In 1967 her official biography " Edith Hamilton: An Intimate Portrait", written by her friend and former student Doris Fielding Reid, with almost 40 years in their home in Maine (during summer months) and in Reid's apartment in New York City had lived together.

Edith Hamilton is said to have a major influence on writers, intellectuals and politicians. For example, did his brother Robert F. Kennedy Hamilton's The Greek Way recommended after the assassination of her husband John F. Kennedy to reading Jacqueline Kennedy; this work is said to have deeply impressed and influenced him. She used no later than 1943, when they began the winter in Washington, DC to spend a lively exchange with other well-known writers, such as the writer Karen Blixen (pseudonym Isak Dinesen and Karen Blixen ), the historian Arnold J. Toynbee, and the poets Robert Frost and Ezra Pound.

Writings (selection )

  • The Greek Way, 1930
  • The Roman Way, 1932
  • The Prophets of Israel, 1936
  • Three Greek Plays, 1937
  • Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, 1942
  • The Golden Age of Greek Literature, 1943
  • Witness to the truth. Christian and his interpreters, 1948
  • Spokesmen for God. The great teachers of the Old Testament, 1949
  • The Echo of Greece, 1957
  • Ever -present Past, 1964