In Memoriam

IAN MCDONALD (1943-2023) Ian McDonald was born in Edmonton in 1943. He graduated from the University of Alberta with a BA in Classical Studies, before receiving a PhD from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He joined the Classical Studies Department of the University of Toronto at Scarborough as an Associate Professor in 1968. During his time at UTSC, Professor McDonald contributed significantly to academic life. He held many notable administrative positions, including serving as Associate Dean and Director of Governance from 1997 to 2004. His nine years of distinguished service on the University’s Governing Council ended in 2006, after which he served for two years as University Ombudsperson.

HUGH MASON (1943-2023) Hugh John Mason was born in 1943. After receiving his BA (First Class) in Classics at McGill in 1965, he took his Masters (1965) and PhD (1968) in Classical Philology from Harvard University. He worked at the University of Toronto for 43 years. He was a devoted teacher of Greek literature and culture in the Department of Classics, where he was hired as an Assistant Professor in 1968 and promoted to Associate Professor in 1972; he also served as both Undergraduate Coordinator (1995-1999, 2008-2011) and Graduate Coordinator (2003-2004). In addition to his contributions to the Department, Professor Mason was Registrar of New College from 1977 to 1992 and Acting Principal of the College from 1982 to 1983. In the Classics Department, he is remembered as a kind and generous teacher, supervisor, and colleague. Professor Mason’s scholarship was wide-ranging. His earliest work was a lexicon and analysis of Greek institutional vocabulary, the topic of a book (Greek Terms for Roman Institutions: A Lexicon and Analysis. Toronto: Hakkert, 1974) and several articles. Much of his career was devoted to the study of the Ancient Novel, especially Apuleius and Longus, and to the history and culture of Lesbos. But he also had interests in modern Greek literature and in eighteenth-century music and culture; the latter interest lives on in the Department’s post-lecture “bottega del caffè,” so named by Professor Mason after Goldoni’s comedy. He was a dedicated member of the Classical Association of Canada, serving as Secretary from 1974 to 1975, and presented more than a dozen papers at the annual meetings of the association, most recently at the 2022 meeting at Western University. He also served as Associate Editor of Phoenix from 1995 to 2006 and published numerous articles and reviews in the journal.

ROGER BECK (1937-2023) Born in England, Roger Beck received his BA from Oxford University. He obtained his PhD in Classical Philology from the University of Illinois in 1971. As Professor Emeritus in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Beck held several administrative positions, including Acting Principal (1991-2), Associate Dean (1985-91), Vice-Principal Academic (1986-91), Chair of Erindale College Council, and Chair of the Academic Board of the Governing Council of the University. Beck was a world authority on ancient religion, particularly the cult of Mithras, publishing prolifically on the topic. He contributed significantly to the development of UTM’s department of Theatre and Drama Studies. Also a playwright, Beck’s original works and translation were presented at UTM’s Studio Theatre and the Toronto Fringe Festival.

THOMAS MORE ROBINSON (1936-2023) Thomas M. Robinson, born in a mining town in northeast England, received his BA from Durham University and BLitt from Oxford University, before obtaining his DLitt at the University of Athens and DSLitt from the University of Toronto in 1968. He went on to receive honorary doctorates in Humane Letters from the University of Athens and in Sacred Letters from Trinity College at the University of Toronto. He served as president of the International Plato Society (1995-98), the Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy (1993-95), Canadian Federation for the Humanities (1988-90), and most recently, as Honorary President of the International Association for Greek Philosophy. He was editor of Phoenix, the journal of the Classical Association of Canada, from 1971 to 1978, and received an Aristotle Award, conferred by the Greek government to non-Greek citizens in acknowledgement of exceptional contributions to the understanding of Greek thought and culture, in 1998. In addition to his scholarly publications, he published a volume of eighteen plays dramatizing the lives and works of the central actors of the golden age of 5th and 4th century BCE Greece.

WALLACE EDMOND McLEOD (1931-2020) Professor McLeod graduated from Victoria College in the University of Toronto in 1953 with a degree in Classics (Greek and Latin), and he earned a Masters degree (1954) and his PhD (1966) in Classics at Harvard. He studied archaeology as a Fellow of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens for two years (1957-1959), and he held teaching positions at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut (1955-1956), the University of British Columbia (1959-1961), and the University of Western Ontario (1961-1962), before he returned to his alma mater, Victoria College. There he taught Ancient Greek Language and Literature from 1962 onward, and he was promoted to Professor in 1974. Professor McLeod was a specialist in Homer, with expertise in oral poetics, and he was celebrated on campus as a genial and engaging teacher.

M. OWEN LEE (1930-2020) Father Lee received his BA and MA in Classics from the University of Toronto in 1957, and his PhD in Classics from the University of British Columbia in 1960. He also received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology at St. Michael’s College in 1957, the same year he was ordained as a priest in the Congregation of St. Basil. Father Lee taught for decades at St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, and he also held positions at other institutions in the period of 1968 to 1975. After his return to the University of Toronto, he was promoted to Professor in 1979 and appointed to the graduate program of the Classics Department from 1990-95. Father Lee received outstanding teaching awards three times at the University of St. Thomas and at the University of Toronto in 1994. He was the author of numerous academic articles and books on Latin poetry, and he was also the author of many popular articles and books about cinema, music, and opera. He was also celebrated as a participant in the intermission radio program for the Metropolitan Opera, and he was awarded honorary degrees by the University of Windsor in 1994, the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in 1998, and St. Michael’s College in 2001.

ALEXANDER DALZELL (1925–2019) Alexander Dalzell received his BA, MA, and BLitt (1956) at Trinity College, Dublin. After holding positions at other institutions, he taught at Trinity College at the University of Toronto beginning in 1954 and was promoted to Professor in 1968. He was Dean of Arts at Trinity College (1968-73) and Vice-Provost (1972-79). In recognition of his service, he was made an Honorary Fellow of Trinity College. Professor Dalzell also served the Classical Association of Canada as Treasurer (1958-60), Vice-President (1978-80), and President (1980-82). He served the journal Phoenix as Review Editor and Associate Editor (1960-64) and Editor (1964-71). He also served the American Philological Association in various capacities. The scholarship of Professor Dalzell focused on Latin literature, and he was a member of the Editorial Board for the Collected Works of Erasmus.

JOAN M. BIGWOOD (1937-2017) Joan Bigwood received her MA in 1958 from the University of St. Andrews and her PhD in 1964 from Radcliffe College at Harvard University. She then taught at Victoria College at the University of Toronto. She became Associate Professor in 1975 and then Continuing Member of the School of Graduate Studies starting in 1982. Professor Bigwood’s area of research specialization was Greek history of the Classical Period, as well as Achaemenid Persia. After her retirement in 2001, she continued to publish on the representation of Persian women in Greek historiography.

DANIEL DE MONTMOLLIN (1921-2017) Daniel de Montmollin was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He earned his doctorate in Greek philosophy from l’Université de Neuchâtel, before coming to Victoria College in 1946, where he taught Latin and Greek for almost forty years, until his retirement in 1985. Professor de Montmollin was a dedicated Aristotelian scholar, particularly interested in Aristotle’s Poetics, on which he prolifically and became a global authority. As a meticulous writer and researcher, he amassed a vast corpus of Greek texts, which he later donated to Victoria College library.

R. ELAINE FANTHAM (1933-2016) Elaine Fantham received her BA at Oxford University before returning to her native city of Liverpool to earn her PhD in 1965. She held teaching posts at St Andrews University and Indiana University before joining Trinity College at the University of Toronto in 1968, where was promoted to Professor 1978. Professor Fantham served as Vice-President of the Classical Association of Canada from 1982-84, during which period she also served as Vice-President and then President of the Canadian Society for the History of Rhetoric (1983-1986). In 1986 she was appointed Giger Professor of Latin in the Department of Classics at Princeton University. For the American Philological Association, she served as President-Elect (2003) and President (2004); in January 2009, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Philological Association in recognition of her superlative service to the profession. After retiring in 2000, Professor Fantham returned to Toronto, where she made significant contributions to the Department of Classics and continued to be an engaging colleague and supportive mentor to many. She also served as the Honorary President of the Classical Association of Canada from 2001 to 2006, and in May 2015 Professor Fantham was honored with the Classical Association of Canada Award of Merit. Known both for the wide range and for the accessibility of her scholarship, Professor Fantham was the author of seventeen books and over a hundred articles and book chapters, and she was continually in demand as a speaker around the world. From 1996 onward, she contributed frequently to the National Public Radio in the United States on classical topics.

KENNETH R. THOMPSON (1930-2016) Kenneth Thompson received his BA in 1953 from Queen’s University and his AM in 1954 from Harvard University. From 1955-1957 he taught as Lecturer in Classics at Dalhousie University. After further study at Harvard, in 1959 he began to each at Victoria College, University of Toronto. In 1973 he was promoted to Associate Professor. From 1975 to 1978 he served as in the college Registrar’s office, thence as Registrar until 1995, while he continued to teach Introductory Latin and Greek. Ken Thompson retired in 1996 and remained closely involved with Victoria College thereafter.

RONALD M. H. SHEPHERD (1925-2016) Born in St. Kitts, British West Indies, Ronald Shepherd was educated at Harrison College in Barbados. Upon winning the Barbados Scholarship, the island's most distinguished award for academic achievement, he traveled to England in 1945 to attend the Classical Tripos program at St. John’s College, Cambridge. He first came to the University of Toronto in 1949 as a Lecturer in Ancient Greek, and stayed until he retired as Professor of Classics in 1991, though he continued to teach part-time until 1995. He held various administrative positions at University College, including Registrar (1961-70) and Acting Principal of the College and Chair of the College Council (1980-81), in addition to various influential committee appointments. He is remembered as a passionate and charismatic instructor, and for his numerous contributions to the department, faculty, and university.

EMMET ROBBINS (1939-2011) Emmet Robbins received his BA (1963), MA (1965), and PhD (1968) at the University of Toronto. After several years abroad he returned to his alma mater and began to teach at St. Michael’s College of the University of Toronto in 1972. He was promoted to Professor in 1988, and starting in 1990 he served as Chair of the Department of Classics for seven years. A meticulous scholar, he contributed more than 80 articles to the New Pauly. A volume of his publications on early Greek poetry and myth, Thalia Delighting in Song: Essays on Ancient Greek Poetry, was published in 2013. A gifted musician, as well as widely and deeply cultured in all arts, Professor Robbins was cherished as an engaging teacher and mentor. The Emmet Robbins Memorial Graduate Award in Classics was established in his honour.

FREDERICK ELLIOTT WINTER (1922-2011) Fred Winter, born in St. John, Barbados, received his BA from McGill University (with Gold Medal in Classics) in 1945. He received his doctorate from the University of Toronto in 1957, in the Department of Art and Archaeology, with a thesis on Greek Fortifications, a version of which was published as a Phoenix supplementary volume. He held a tenured position in the Department of Art and Archaeology, but also taught in the Classics Department and Trinity College. In a fifty-year career at the University of Toronto, he served the University in many other ways, including a term as President of the University of Toronto Faculty Association. In retirement, he served on the board of the Canadian Institute in Greece, a country to which he was as devoted as to his adopted country Canada.

D.F.S. THOMSON (1919-2009) D.F.S. Thomson attended Merton College, Oxford, receiving the award of the Postmastership in Classics (1939). His BA was interrupted by service in the war, from which he returned to complete his BA and MA in 1945-1947. He taught at Glasgow Academy in 1948 before taking up a position as Lecturer in the Department of Classics at University College in the University of Toronto. His scholarly specialization was in Latin literature and textual criticism, with a focus on Catullus and Erasmus. In addition, Professor Thomson co-edited, co-annotated and co-translated six volumes of the correspondence of Erasmus in collaboration with R.A.B. Mynors (and others), as well as co-editing (with H.C. Porter) a volume of Erasmus’ Cambridge letters, all of which appeared in the Collected Works of Erasmus imprint of the University of Toronto Press.

MALCOLM BARTON WALLACE (1941-2008) After attending University College of the University of Toronto from 1958 to 1963, “Mac” Wallace studied in 1963-1964 at Oxford, where he earned a second BA (first class) in 1967. At Toronto he received his MA (1966) and PhD (1972). Starting in 1969 he taught at University College, as had his father and grandfather; he was promoted to Associate Professor in 1975. He served as Review Editor, Associate Editor, and Editor of Phoenix from 1971 to 1988. Renowned as a polymath, he specialized in Herodotus, epigraphy, and numismatics. The archeological site at Karystos on Euboea was the topic of his doctoral dissertation, and he was director of the Canadian Karystia Project from 1984 to 1995. He also served as President of the Canadian Institute in Greece. He was cherished as a dedicated teacher and mentor, within the university and beyond. The M.B. Wallace Memorial Graduate Award in Classics was established in his memory by his sister Philippa Matheson.

ALAN SAMUEL (1932-2008) Alan Samuel received his BA from Hamilton College in 1953, and his MA and PhD from Yale University in 1957 and 1959 respectively. He taught at Yale University from 1959 to 1966 before joining the Department of Classics at the University of Toronto in 1966; he was promoted to Professor in 1969. The author or co-author of ten books and numerous articles, Professor Samuel was a renowned ancient historian and papyrologist, with expertise in the interpretation of ostraka as well as papyri, Ptolemaic chronology and bureaucracy, Hellenism and Christianity.

MICHAEL JOHN O’BRIEN (1930-2007) Born in New York City, Professor O’Brien received a B.A. from Fordham University, before moving on to Princeton, where he acquired an M.A. in 1953 and PhD in 1956 with a dissertation titled “Virtue, Knowledge, and the θυμοειδής.” He taught at Wesleyan University from 1955 to to 1956, before spending ten years at Yale, from 1956 to 1966. He came to the University of Toronto in 1966 as an Associate Professor, before being promoted to Professor in 1969. He taught at UofT for almost thirty years, including a term served as Chair of the Department of Classics from 1973 to 1981. In 1972, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in support of his exceptional scholarship as a Classicist.