Lily Ross Taylor
Born(1886-08-12)August 12, 1886
DiedJuly 29, 1969(1969-07-29) (aged 82)
Occupation(s)Classical scholar and ancient historian
Years active1906-1969
Known forThe Voting Districts of the Roman Republic: The Thirty-five Urban and Rural Tribes (1960)

Lily Ross Taylor (born August 12, 1886, in Auburn, Alabama[1] - died November 18, 1969, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania) was an American academic and author, who in 1917 became the first female Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.[2][3]


Born in Auburn, Alabama, Lily Ross Taylor developed an interest in Roman studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, earning an A.B. in 1906. She went to Bryn Mawr College as a graduate student that year, and received her Ph.D. in Latin in 1912. Her dissertation advisor was Tenney Frank. From 1912 until 1927, she taught at Vassar, and, in 1917, she became the fourth female Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.[4]

In 1927, Taylor became a professor of Latin and the chairman of that department at Bryn Mawr. She rose to become dean of the graduate school there in 1942. That same year, she served as president of the American Philological Association, and in 1947 as first female scientist she was named Sather Professor in the University of California. From 1943 to 1944, during World War II, she was the principal social science analyst in the Office of Strategic Services. In 1945, she was elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society.[5] She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1951.[6]

Retiring from Bryn Mawr in 1952, she remained active as professor-in-charge of the Classical School of the American Academy in Rome,[7] and as a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. That year, she received the Achievement Award from the American Association of University Women.

She trained numerous graduate students while at Bryn Mawr, notably Irene Rosenzweig (1931), Berthe Marti (1934), Agnes Kirsopp Lake Michels (1934), and Beryl Rawson (1961).[2]

She was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, on November 18, 1969.[8]





  1. ^ "United States Social Security Death Index". FamilySearch. Retrieved July 29, 2014. Lily Taylor, Nov 1969; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  2. ^ a b "Ross Taylor". Archived from the original on 2014-08-11. Retrieved 2014-06-19.
  3. ^ Jennifer Scanlon; Shaaron Cosner (1 January 1996). American Women Historians, 1700s-1990s: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 220–. ISBN 978-0-313-29664-2.
  4. ^ "From the town of Ciciliano in Lazio, a notable tribute to Lily Ross Taylor FAAR’18"
  5. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  6. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter T" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  7. ^ "Named by School in Rome To Head Classical Studies" New York Times April 7, 1952
  8. ^ "Dr. Lily R. Taylor of Bryn Mawr, 83" New York Times November 20, 1969
  9. ^ Lily Ross Taylor (2013). The Voting Districts of the Roman Republic: The Thirty-five Urban and Rural Tribes. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 978-0-472-11869-4.