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The Imagines Philologorum

Gudeman was a prolific scholar, but his life’s works (as he called them) were the Syllabus on the History of Classical Philology (1892; first German edition, Grundriss der Geschichte der klassischen Philologie, 1907) and the Imagines Philologorum (Portraits of Philologists, 1911). He continued to revise and add to both these works for the rest of his life.

The first edition of the Imagines was published by B.G. Teubner and had 160 portraits of scholars from the Middle Ages until 1909 (Gudeman only included dead scholars). At the time of his death, Gudeman had amassed over 560 portraits. He also compiled a bibliography and necrology for each scholar.

In the 1930s, all the materials were ready for a second edition of both works, but Gudeman was unable to find a publisher in Germany (B.G. Teubner and Walter de Gruyter both passed, ostensibly because of cost). The Austrian Academy of Sciences considered subventing the Grundriss, but his request was turned down without explanation on 18 November 1937.

Gudeman made a hasty translation of the German text of both works in an attempt to secure an American subvention and publisher. He had no luck with the American Philological Association, the American Council of Learned Societies, or his alma mater, Columbia.

Gudeman continued to add to his portrait collection: the latest entries are from 1940 (Christian Jensen, d. 18 Sept. 1940), 1941 (Walter Otto, d. 1 Nov. 1941), and 1942 (Otto Kern, d. 31 Jan. 1942). Gudeman himself died on 9 Sept. 1942.

In his will, which came with his papers to Columbia after the war, Gudeman transferred copyright of the second edition and all his other works to Columbia with the expectation that it would publish his works. Gudeman even had a title and dedicatory page printed with Columbia’s imprint and the president of Columbia, Nicholas Murray Butler, as the dedicatee. Gudeman's dateline in the preface is New York, 194_.

But Gudeman’s expectation that Columbia would publish it proved false, and his papers were deposited in the archives in 1952.