Department of ClassicsUniversity of Cincinnati
Department of Classics


Getzel M Cohen (1942-2015)

Getzel Cohen, professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Cincinnati, passed away on Friday, February 13, 2015, after a severe illness. He will be sorely missed.

Getzel joined the department of Classics in 1970 (associate in 1976, professor in 1982). He taught ancient and especially Greek history to more than a generation of students. He specialized in the Hellenistic settlements after the conquest of the East by Alexander the Great, the subject of his 1970 Princeton dissertation (with John Fine as supervisor; Getzel earlier received an MA from NYU and a BA from UPenn). He published his major work on the Hellenistic Settlements in three volumes between 1995 and 2013 - a lifetime achievement.

Getzel served as head of department from 1981 until 1987. At that time he rescued the publication of the Keos excavations and also prepared the way for the return of the department to Troy, after a lapse of fifty years. He also worked with the Trustees of the Semple Fund to set up an "enhancement fund" that would allow them to establish additional positions in the department, and today three faculty members are on such endowments. In 2001 he created the Tytus Visiting Scholars program, which he directed from its inception. About 175 Tytus scholars from around the world have experienced his hospitality in Cincinnati.

In December 1983 Getzel hosted the AIA/APA annual meeting in Cincinnati. He was a trustee of the AIA in the 1990s and served on the external review committee of the Institute for Advanced Studies for many years. He was also the founding director of the Institute of Mediterranean Studies, through which he issued educational videos and raised funds for archaeological projects.

His genuine interest in other people and his generous enthusiasm will long be remembered by his colleagues, his students, the trustees of the Semple fund, the Tytus fellows, and everyone he came into contact with.

Contributions may be made to the Leukemia Program Development Fund at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. A check payable to OSU Foundation may be mailed to PO 183112, Columbus, OH 43218-3112, please denote fund #310260 in the memo line.