OBITUARY: Anton Paap, Former Dean of Arts dies

22 July 2002
Monday Paper regrets to report the death of Professor Anton Paap, former Head of the Department of Classics and former Dean of the Faculty of Arts, who died last month. Paap joined the University in 1959 and retired in 1982. His colleague in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures Professor John Atkinson, penned this tribute to him.

"Anton came to South Africa from Holland, and was on the staff of the University of the Orange Free State, before joining UCT. He had a BLitt from Oxford, and his LittD from Utrecht for a thesis on Fragments of Herodotus on papyri. His next major work was Nomina sacra in the Greek papyri of the first five centuries AD (Leiden, 1959). He followed this with The Xenophon papyri (Leiden, 1970). Following his retirement in 1982, he concentrated on textual problems in Strabo's Geography, as he was invited to be part of a team working on a major new edition of the text. Painstaking, meticulous scholarship was the hallmark of his published work.

"Anton had the distinction of having held the Deanship of the Faculty of Arts for a record total of 11 years. As the Deanship was elective and tenable for a year at a time (though there was general agreement that three years was the ideal), it was a great tribute to Anton's fair-mindedness, affability and dependability that staff of that large faculty gave the Deanship to the same person (and thereby to the same department) again and again over such a long period.

"Off campus he was a leading figure in the Owl Club, and had a term as its President, the chief requirement for that post being a sense of humour.

"He would therefore appreciate the honourable mention which he receives as Prof of Classics in J.M. Coetzee's latest book: for he is now immortalised in Youth."

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