By Matt Christ, Chair
Ted Ramage was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and earned his B.A. and M.A. from the University of British Columbia and his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati. Ted spent his entire career as a faculty member in Indiana University’s Department of Classical Studies. Starting as Instructor in 1957, he became Assistant Professor in 1960, Associate Professor in 1964, and Professor in 1968. Ted was chair of the Department from 1971 to 1975. From 1963 to 1966, he served as Co-Director of the Indiana University-University of Chicago Excavations at Kenchreai, Greece.
Ted served the Bloomington campus in many capacities through the course of his career. He was Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1962) and served on the Bloomington Faculty Council (1979-81). Ted was a member of numerous committees, including Faculty Affairs, Library, College Nominating Committee, and the President’s Council for the Humanities. He founded the Indiana University Summer High School Latin Conference and directed it (1961-71). Beyond the campus, he chaired the Educational Testing Service’s Committee for the revision and preparation of the College Board Latin Achievement Examination (1978-82).
Ted was a very productive and wide-ranging scholar. His books include Urbanitas: Ancient Sophistication and Refinement (Oklahoma University Press, 1973); Roman Satirists and Their Satire (with D.L. Sigsbee and S.C. Fredericks, Noyes Press, 1974); a translation of Ulriche Knoche’s Roman Satire (Indiana University Press, 1975); Atlantis: Fact or Fiction? (editor and contributor with J.R. Fears, S.C. Fredericks, J.V. Luce, D.B. Vitaliano, and H.E. Wright, Jr., Indiana University Press, 1978), which was translated into German under the title Atlantis: Mythos, Rätsel, Wirklichkeit (Athenaeum, 1979); Classical Texts and Their Traditions (ed. with D.F. Bright, Scholars Press, 1984); and The Nature and Purpose of Augustus’ “Res Gestae” (Historia Einzelschriften 54). Ted remained an active scholar even after his retirement in 1993, publishing nine substantial articles on a range of topics.
As a teacher, Ted shared his love of the classics with thousands of undergraduate students, and directed the dissertations of Andrew Adams, Mark Clark, Charles O. Lloyd, Arthur W. Robinson, and Ann Vasaly. Ann, who is currently chair of Classical Studies at Boston University, writes of Ted: “Ted Ramage, who directed my dissertation in 1983, was a thoughtful and conscientious teacher, a fine scholar, and a decent and admirable man. His presence for many years in the Classics Department at Indiana University contributed greatly to its scholarly reputation, as well as to the excellence of its graduate program. Writing a dissertation is almost always a cathartic experience and there were as many ups as downs in that process for me. I could always rely on Ted, however, as a steady, calm, and unfailingly cheerful presence. Since I was writing my dissertation in Rome, before the days of email, each completed chapter had to be sent and Ted’s comments returned over the course of many weeks via the notoriously unreliable and slow Italian mail. I remember how eagerly I awaited each packet from Indiana, when my draft would come back full of his many incisive remarks, with countless valuable suggestions for improvement, punctuated by supportive and encouraging remarks. His deep knowledge of and sensitivity to Ciceronian rhetoric and Latin literature prevented me from taking many a wrong turn or dead end, and his fine editorial skills guided my transformation from a writer of student term papers to the author of an extensive work of scholarship. As I look back on a career of some thirty years of teaching, administration, and scholarship, I am struck by the importance to me of Ted’s dedication and generosity as teacher and mentor during the crucial years that launched me on that journey, for which I will always be grateful.
These words eloquently convey Ted’s commitment to his students and passion for his work, and attest to his legacy. The faculty and students of the Department of Classical Studies at Indiana University remember Ted fondly and appreciate all that he contributed to the Department in his many years of service.
Ted and his wife, Shirley Sue Ramage, were married in 1956 and remained married for fifty-seven years until her death in 2013. Their survivors include their two children, Bruce and Vicky.