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Smith Palmer Bovie ’40

Published in Sept. 8, 1999, issue

In our 50th Year Book, Palmer Bovie, who died May 13, 1999, noted, "I always wanted a . . . teaching career, and I managed to have one come my way, so I have no complaints." A professor of classics and translator of Roman and Greek literature, Bov entered Princeton from Lawrenceville and was in the first group enrolled in the Special Program in the Humanities, graduating with honors. Furthermore, he was Phi Beta Kappa, a Princetonian board member, in the band, and a member of Dial Lodge.

Following WWII service as an Army officer, Bov earned graduate degrees at Columbia and taught English there and at Barnard for 12 years. He then returned to classics, teaching at Indiana U. with summer tours at the American Academy in Rome. In the 1980s he was professor of classics and department chairman at Rutgers U. and Douglass College.

Bov's interests as a humanist were lively and far-ranging. He translated the works of Virgil, Horace, Cicero, and others. He was coeditor and translator of the Complete Roman Drama Series and the Greek Drama Series. With French scholar Lal Minton, our classmate Bob's wife, he translated into English Napoleon's Commentaries on the Campaigns of Caesar. Surviving Bov are his wife, Maria, two daughters, a son, and five granddaughters. They have our deepest sympathy.

The Class of 1940

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Mary Ann Martino Says:

2015-07-20 09:19:12

I just read and really enjoyed a poem by Palmer Bovie and, not being a person who generally enjoys reading poetry, I was curious to read a bit more about him. Thank you for this article, which tells me, and also allows me to comment that "Medicine" is a lovely poem and I look forward to reading more by Mr. Bovie.
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