Glanville Downey was a professor of history and classical studies in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington from 1964 to 1973. He was hired as a professor of history, with tenure, and obtained the additional title of professor of classics in 1964. He was appointed to the Graduate School faculty in 1965, appointed to the rank of distinguished professor of history and of classical studies in 1973, and retired before being appointed distinguished professor emeritus of history and of classical studies in 1978. Downey received both an A.B. (1931) and Ph.D. (1934) from Princeton. He was curator of the Epigraphical Museum and a research fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study, both located at Princeton, from 1935 to 1940. He was then a librarian at Yale's School of Fine Arts for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Army (1942-1945). During the war, he served with the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Program (Monuments Men) in Sicily, inspecting cultural monuments, libraries, and archives. After the war, he was a librarian at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library at Harvard (1945-1946). From 1946 to 1964, he served on the faculty at Harvard and was promoted from assistant professor to professor of Byzantine literature.
Downey received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Classics in 1956. He was a visiting lecturer at Kenyon College (1956), Princeton (1957-1958), and the Virginia Theological Seminary (1962). He was also a visiting professor at the Princeton Theological Seminary (1957-1959) and at the University of the South (1960-1961, 1964). His last two publications were The Late Roman Empire (New York, 1969; repr. Huntington, NY, 1977) and "Aristotle as an Expert on Urban Problems," Talanta 3 (1971) 56-73.
Downey passed away on December 18, 1991 in Sacramento, California.