Anastasius C. Bandy
Professor Emeritus of Classics
1921 - 2012
Professor Bandy set out to be a Greek Orthodox priest. At Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological School in Pomfret, CT, 1940-45, he earned a certificate in theology and Greek, a dual achievement that was to mark his career. Returning to his native Philadelphia, he was ordained a presbyter in 1945, and six years later earned a B.A. in philosophy at what is now La Salle University. In 1954 he took an M.A. in Greek from the University of Pennsylvania, where he continued toward a Ph.D.
His surviving wife, Anastasia, noted that along with his academic pursuits, Anastasius, Tas to his friends, became a parish priest at Philadelphia’s Antiochian Church of St. George in 1951. That service ended in 1958 when the classicist/priest won a Fulbright scholarship to the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Tas started up the academic ladder at UCR as Acting Instructor in Classics in 1959. Two years later, after Penn granted him a doctorate in both Greek and Latin, he became an assistant professor at Riverside, where Anastasia earned a B.A and M.A. in French. The monograph for which he was best known in the field of Classical studies is The Greek Inscriptions of Crete (Athens: 1970-74), preceded by an article on “The Early Christian Inscriptions of Crete,” in Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, vol. 32, 1963. Subsequent publications can be found in the same journal, in Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, The Classical Review, and The Classical World. As a result of his scholarship, professor Bandy belonged to the national French honor society, Pi Delta Phi and its German counterpart, Delta Phi Alpha.
In 1966-67, Tas received a UC Humanities Institute Award plus an American Philosophical Society research grant to support his work on sabbatical leave. Returning, he served as Acting Chair of Classics for a year, actual chair, 1968-1971, left campus again in 1971-72 as a Dumbarton Oaks Visiting Fellow, to come back as full professor in 1972. Retiring in 1981, he finished his magnum opus on Joannes Laurentius Lydus, a mid-sixth-century administrator under Emperor Justinian. The Magistracies of the Roman State, Philadelphia, 1983, published by the American Philosophical Society, contains an introduction, critical text, translation, commentary, with English and Greek indices. His Byzantine focus helps explain why, when asked a question about Homer by an author of this memorial, Tas replied with a chuckle, “That’s not my field.”
Following the publication of John Lydus or John the Lydian, the author’s other name, Tas combined his priestly and academic sides by ordination as a protopresbyter in 1984 and, from that year through 1990, was a classics lecturer at Villanova University. Following his death from pneumonia, his funeral took place in the same church he started serving over half a century ago, now named St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Yet his autobiographical notes record that professor/Father Anastasius C. Bandy spent most of his academic career at the University of California, Riverside.
Submitted by Professor Thomas Scanlon, Professor of Comparative Literatures and Foreign Languages; Derickson Brinkerhoff, Professor Emeritus, Art History; and Douglas Parrott, Professor Emeritus, Religious Studies.