Author:Philip Van Ness Myers

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Philip Van Ness Myers
Professor of History and Political Economy, University of Cincinatti.
Philip Van Ness Myers

Philip Van Ness Myers wrote several popular textbooks in history. He gained knowledge of historical locations from trips he went on. On one expedition, he had to burry his brother in the wilds of the Amazon Valley. He received abuse and denunciation because his books accepted the Theory of Evolution, yet he went to church.

  • 1846. He was born in Tribes Hill, N. Y. He spent one year in public school and then went to Gilmore Academy at Ballston Spa, N. Y.
  • 1871. He graduated from Williams College.
  • 1872. He got his Master’s degree there.
  • 1873 to 1874. He studied law at Yale University and took one graduate course in economics.
  • 1875. He joined the scientific mission in South America in which he and his brother wrote, “Life and Nature Under the Tropics.”
  • 1876 to 1877. He married and traveled in Europe and Asia with his wife and wrote, “Remains of Lost Empires.”
  • 1879 to 1890. His law studies helped him become president of Farmer’s College at College Hill where U.S. President Benjamin Harrison went to college.
  • 1890. He became a professor of history and economics at the University of Cincinnati and also finished his law degree from Yale.
  • 1891. He received honorary degrees from Belmont College and Miami University.
  • 1895 to 1897. He was the dean of the academic faculty at Cincinnati.
  • 1900. He retired from being a professor of history and political economy at the University of Cincinnati.
  • 1913. He received honorary degrees for his writing from the University of Cincinnati.
  • 1918 to 1937. After World War I he became an occasional lecturer for the University of Cincinnati, and died at the age of 91. Flags were flown at half-staff at the University of Cincinnati in his honor.

The writings of Professor Myers include:

  • “Ancient History,” which appeared in 1882.
  • “Mediaeval and Modern History,” 1889.
  • “General History” was completed in 1889. The controversial book established his fame as an authority.
  • “Eastern Nations and Greece,” in 1890.
  • “History of Rome,” in the same year.
  • “History of Greece,” in 1897
  • “Rome: Its Rise and Fall,” in 1900.
  • The Middle Ages
  • The Modern Age
  • “History as Past Ethics“

His history books were written when the University of Cincinnati was still a small institution. Because the books had an enormous circulation, they gave the college publicity. His histories were so well written “they were read for the sheer beauty of language” and “for their importance as historical documents“.


  • The American Historical Review, vol. 43, no. 3 (April, 1938), p. 751
  • The Enquirer (Sept. 21, 1937) , pages 1 and 3. Cincinnati, Ohio.


Some or all works by this author are in the public domain in the United States because they were published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1937, so works by this author are also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 years or less. Works by this author may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.