James Wilson Poultney, author and philologist, was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, September 21, 1907. He entered The Johns Hopkins University in 1925 and received the M.A. degree in 1932 and the Ph.D. in Greek, 1934. He began teaching Greek at the University in 1932 and remained on the faculty until 1937. Dr. Poultney taught in the Classics Department at Carthage College in Illinois until 1942 when he left to enter the Army Air Force. After service in World War II, he taught at the University of Pennsylvania until 1947. Dr. Poultney then returned to Hopkins as professor of Classics, a position he held until his retirement in 1973 when he was appointed Professor Emeritus.
Dr. Poultney was a member of several scholarly associations including the Archaeological Institute of America, the Linguistic Society of America, and the American Philological Association. While a member of the Philological Association, he published many articles and reviews in the organization's journal, and he served as secretary of the society for a period during the late 1950s.
Dr. Poultney was also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. In the 1962 edition, he was responsible for 28 articles including one for each letter of the alphabet. He also reviewed classical translations for the Sunpapers (Baltimore, MD) and published two book on philological topics. The Syntax of the Genitive Case in Aristophanes was published in 1936; The Bronze Tables of Iguvium in 1959.