Francis Greenleaf Allinson (1856-1931), professor of classical philology, was born in Burlington, New Jersey, on December 16, 1856. His father, a close friend of John Greenleaf Whittier, gave him the name “Greenleaf,” inspiring Whittier to write his poem, “My Namesake.” Allinson earned bachelor of arts degrees at both Haverford College and Harvard, and then a Ph.D. degree at Johns Hopkins. He taught at Haverford, the University School in Baltimore, and Williams before becoming associate professor of Greek at Brown in 1895. He was named professor of classical philology in 1898. In 1905, some years after the death of his first wife, he married Dean Anne Crosby Emery of the Women’s College and together they wrote Greek Lands and Letters, which was published in 1909. He was Annual Professor at the American School at Athens in 1910-11, Sather Lecturer at the University of California in 1917, and president of the American Philological Association in 1922-23. The Allinsons’ home was a meeting place, where professors, students, writers, and business people were graciously entertained and educated by their host and hostess. His best known publications were his edition of Menander in the Loeb Classical Library and “Lucian” in the series, Our Debt to Greece and Rome. Professor Allinson retired from active teaching in 1928 and died June 23, 1931 at Hancock Point, Maine.
The Faculty Resolution on his death stated, “Professor Allinson combined the highest degree of erudition with the simplest modesty. Connoisseur of literature both ancient and modern, discriminating critic, stimulating teacher, he scorned pretentiousness, inaccuracy, and sham, but gave the quickest and warmest of generous recognition to merit. He taught his students to form definite opinions. Punctilious in the highest degree, he was the soul of courtesy, and when justice compelled him to be severe, the sparkle of his wit tempered his rebuke.” President Faunce said of him, “He was endowed with ‘an intellectual delicacy unsurpassed by any Greek scholar in America.’ ”