Steven Lowenstam, Professor of Classics at the University of Oregon, died in 2003, after a year-long battle with brain cancer. Educated at the University of Chicago and Harvard University, Steven contributed significant scholarship to the field of Homeric studies. He is the author of The Death of Patroklos: A Study in Typology (1981), The Scepter and the Spear: Studies on Forms of Repetition in the Homeric Poems (1993), As Witnessed by Images: The Trojan War Tradition in Greek and Etruscan Art (2008), and numerous journal articles. His later work challenged the traditional dating of Homer as well as established ideas about the relationship between epic narratives and visual representations of the Odyssean and Iliadic stories. His evaluation of mythic images on archaic Greek vases yielded the important conclusion that other oral traditions were competing with the versions preserved in the Homeric poems and that artists drew and interpreted material from a variety of sources. Steven’s interests also extended to the dialogues of Plato and his book Yearning for the Infinite: Desire and Possession in Three Platonic Dialogues was published posthumously in 2007.
Steven was deeply engaged in scholarship to the end of his life. He served as head of the University of Oregon Classics Department and as president of the Eugene chapter of the American Institute of Archaeology and as president of the Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest. He traveled extensively for his research and taught on educational exchange programs in several cities. For his work on images of the Trojan war in Greek and Etruscan art he received an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship for 2001-2002 and a Loeb Classical Library Fellowship for 2003-2004. For twenty-nine years a revered teacher at the University of Oregon, he was known for combining rigorous expectations of, and compassion for, his students. During his extensive travels he accumulated this vast collection of slides that is now accessible on-line as part of the UO library of digital resources.