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Taylor, Lily Ross (1886–1969) - Roman History

american bryn mawr academy

Lily Ross Taylor was born in Auburn, Alabama, to William Dana Taylor, a railway engineer, and Mary (Ross) Taylor. The family moved often, and Lily attended a number of schools before receiving an A.B. from the University of Wisconsin in 1906. She entered Bryn Mawr College in 1906 and attended the American Academy in Rome in 1909–10. She received a Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr in 1912 with the thesis “The Cults of Ostia,” which was published as a book in 1912. She became a Latin instructor at Vassar in 1912, remaining until 1927. In 1917 she was the first woman fellow of the American Academy in Rome, but interrupted her studies during World War I to join the American Red Cross and serve in Italy and the Balkans. Her American Academy fellowship was renewed in 1919, and in 1927 she became professor of Latin and chair of the department at Bryn Mawr College.

In 1923 Lily Taylor wrote Local Cults in Etruria , and in 1931 she wrote The Divinity of the Roman Emperor , which covered the cult of the emperor. In 1942 Taylor became dean of the graduate school at Bryn Mawr, although she continued teaching and was one of the teachers recognized by Life magazine with an award in 1952. She was also associate editor of Classical Philology and principal social science analyst in the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, D.C., during World War II. She was president of the American Philological Association in 1942 and vice president of the American Institute of Archaeology from 1935 to 1937. She was the first woman to become Sather Professor of Classics at the University of California (1947) and delivered the Sather Lectures, which became Party Politics in the Age of Caesar (1949).

Lily Taylor retired in 1942 and became professor in charge of the Classical School of the American Academy in Rome until 1955. She returned to Bryn Mawr, where she was Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar during 1956–57. She lectured throughout the United States and was visiting professor at several universities for the next decade, including a year spent as a member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. In 1960 she published The Voting Districts of the Roman Republic: The Thirty-Five Urban and Rural Tribes . In 1964 Taylor became Jerome Lecturer at the American Academy in Rome and the University of Michigan. These lectures became Roman Voting Assemblies in 1966. She was elected to the American Philosophical Society and became a fellow of the American Arts and Sciences. She received the Achievement Award of the American Association of University Women in 1952 and the Citation for Distinguished Services by Bryn Mawr for its seventy-fifth anniversary in 1960. She earned the Award of Merit of the American Philological Association and received the Cultori di Roma gold medal in 1962. Lily Taylor was working on a book about the Roman Senate at the age of eighty-three when she was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Bryn Mawr on November 18, 1969.

Taylor, Regina (1960–) [next] [back] Taylor, Joseph (Hooton)

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