Vale Alan Sorley Henry FAHA: 1936 – 2022

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It is with deep sadness that the Academy acknowledges the passing of Professor Alan Sorley Henry FAHA, one of Australia’s distinguished ancient historians and an outstanding scholar of Ancient Greek philology and epigraphy. He was elected to the Academy in 1993.

Professor Henry was born in Ayr, Scotland, in 1936 and received a Master of Arts (First Class Honours) (1957) and a PhD (1964) from the University of St Andrews. His PhD thesis was titled “The Language of Attic Inscriptions, 323–146 BC (excluding ostraka & vases)”.  He also received a Diploma in Education from Queen’s College in Dundee in 1958.   

He relocated to Australia in 1963, where he took up a position as Lecturer in Classics at the University of New England, where he worked as Senior Lecturer and then Associate Professor. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Arts in 1972 before his relocation to Monash University in Melbourne to become Professor of Classics. During his tenure, he was Secretary of the (then) Australian Society for Classical Studies (1970 – 1972), a Member of the Classical Association of Victoria from 1986 and a Council Member of the Australian Archaeological Institute. From 1997, Professor Henry was Honorary Professor of Greek at the University of St Andrews. 

Professor Henry wrote and published important monographs, including The Prescripts of Athenian Decrees (1977) and Honours and Privileges in Athenian Decrees: The Principal Formulae of Athenian Honorary Decrees (1983). His articles appeared in noted scholarly journals, such as Chiron and The Journal of Hellenic Studies. With Gavin Betts he produced a beginners’ guide to Ancient Greek in the Teach Yourself series: Ancient Greek: A Complete Course. 

Alan Sorley Henry was a fine scholar and dedicated teacher who made a significant contribution to the field of Classical and Greek studies.

Professor Henry passed away in St Andrews, Scotland, on 1 December 2021.  We extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Martine, his children, the wider Henry family, friends, and to Professor Henry’s colleagues.  

Read an obituary for Alan Sorley Henry written by Roger Scott.

In memory of our Fellows

Our Fellows, current and those who have died, have contributed extensively to the rich Australian humanities community. When an Academy Fellow dies, we honour their impact by publishing an obituary by another Fellow who has had a long and close association with them.

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