North American Scholar

GORDON, Arthur Ernest

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1902-10-07
  • Born City: Marlborough
  • Born State/Country: MA
  • Parents: Arthur Ernest & Susan Esther Porter G.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1989-05-11
  • Death City: Oakland
  • Death State/Country: CA
  • Married: Maddalena Belloni, 15 Sept. 1924; Joyce A. Stiefbold, 11 June 1937.
  • Education:

    A.B. Dartmouth, 1923; study at AAR, 1923-5; Ph.D. Johns Hopkins U., 1929.

  • Professional Experience:

    Instr. Lat. Dartmouth, 1925-7; instr. Lat. Western Reserve U., summer 1928; asso. prof. Lat. & anc. hist. U. Vermont, 1929-30; asst. prof, to prof. Lat., U. California (Berkeley), 1930-70; chair, class.dept., 1953-9; prof, class, langs. Ashland (OH) Coll., 1970; prof, class. Ohio State, 1971; sr. res. fell., class, stud. AAR, 1948-9; assoc. ed. CJ, 1944-7; Guggenheim fell. & Fulbright res. sch., 1955-6; NEH sr. fell., 1972-3; mem. 2d Int. Cong. Gk. & Lat. Epig., Paris, 1952; mem. adv. council, sch. class, stud. AAR, 1940-70; chair, 1953; pres. PAPC, 1952.

  • Dissertation:

    “Local Cults in Latium” (Johns Hopkins, 1929).

  • Publications:

    “On the Origin of Diana,” TAPA 63 (1932) 177-92; “The Cults of Aricia,” UCPCA 2,1 (1934); “The Cults of Lanuvinum,” UCPCA 2,2 (1938) 21-58; “A Mysterious Latin Inscription in California,” UCPCA 1,13 (1944) 313-55; “Further Light on the Mysterious Latin Inscription in California,” TAPA 77 (1946) 325; “Ludwig Traube and Abbreviations in Latin Inscriptions,” TAPA 78 (1947) 428; “Supralineate Abbreviations in Latin Inscriptions,” UCPCA 2,3 (1948) 59-132; “Supralineate Abbreviations in Latin Inscriptions and Their Relation to Abbreviations in Medieval Latin Manuscripts,” TAPA 78 (1947) 437; “Roman Names and the Consuls of A.D. 13,” with Joyce S. Gordon, AJP 72 (1951) 283-92; “Quintus Veranius, Consul A.D. 49: A Study Based upon His Recently Identified Sepulchral Inscription,” UCPCA 2.5 (1952) 231-351; “More on the Consuls of A.D. 13,” with Joyce S. Gordon, AJP 74 (1953) 421-2; “Potitus Valerius Messalla, Consul Suffect 29 B.C.,” UCPCA 3,2 (1954) 31-63; “Contributions to the Palaeography of Latin Inscriptions,” with Joyce S. Gordon, UCPCA 3,3 (1957) 65-242; Album of Dated Latin Inscriptions, with Joyce S. Gordon, 4 vols. in 7 (Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1958-65); “The Letter Names of the Latin Alphabet,” UCPCS 9 (1973); “The Inscribed Fibula Praenestina: Problems of Inauthenticity,” UCPCS 16 (1975); Illustrated Introduction to Latin Epigraphy (Berkeley, 1983); Index to CIL vol. VI, with Joyce S. Gordon (Berlin & New York, 1986); “The Latin Epigram at Corinth,” Studies in Honor of D.A. Amyx, ed. M. del Chiaro & W. R. Biers (Columbia, MO, 1986), 50-3.

  • Notes:

    Arthur Gordon believed strongly in the importance of precise knowledge of Latin grammar, which was of course bound up with his epigraphical specialty; and he was legendary at Berkeley for his strict teaching, which reduced men as well as women to tears at times. Nevertheless, his students came to recognize the value of that precision and therefore were eventually grateful for his teaching. The 40 years he served in the Department of Classics at Berkeley were years of valuable labor for the classics, especially his six years as chair. Retiring in 1970, Gordon continued his active scholarship and his friendly participation in the life of the Classics Department. He and his wife Joyce, his co-worker in all his inscriptional study, were often seen in the department until disabilities took their toll in his final year. He had retired with two other classicists. All three lived into their eighties, but Gordon outlived his friends, dying in his 87th year.

  • Sources:

    Fontenrose, 55-6; University of California In Memoriam (1989) 52-4; WhAm 1978-9:1247.

  • Author: William S. Anderson