North American Scholar

GORDON, Colin Douglas

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1915-04-18
  • Born City: Edmonton
  • Born State/Country: AB
  • Parents: Robert Kay, prof. Eng. at U. Alberta & Nina Grahame Joy G.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1976-11-09
  • Death City: Port Hope
  • Death State/Country: ON
  • Married: Iris Corbould, 27 Jan. 1944.
  • Education:

    B.A. U. Alberta, 1936; M.A. U. Michigan, 1937; Ph.D., 1948.

  • Professional Experience:

    lctr. class. U. Alberta, 1945-7; lctr. to prof, class. McGill U., 1947-76; chief invigilator, 1955-65; chair dept. class., 1964-9; vice-dean fac. A & S., 1969-71; vis. lctr. anc. hist. U. Michigan, 1958, 1960; vice pres. CAC, 1968-70.

  • Dissertation:

    “The Subsidization of Border Peoples as a Roman Policy in Imperial Defence” (Michigan, 1948).

  • Publications:

    The Age of Attila (Ann Arbor, 1960; pap. 1966); “Subsidies in Roman Imperial Defence,” Phoenix 3 (1949) 60-9; “Procopius and Justinian's Financial Policies,” Phoenix 13 (1959) 23-30; “Fifth-Century Chronology in the Fragments of Priscus,” New Review IV, 2-3 (1964) 51 ff.; “The Agelessness of Gibbon's History,” & “Gibbon and the History of the Early Church,” introductions to 2 vols. of Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (New York, 1962); “Meg Dods' Cookery: Everyday Life in the Mid-Nineteenth Century,” Queen's Quarterly 76 (1969) 45-54; “A Modest Proposal for Modernizing Academe,” ibid. 503-10; “Gavin Douglas's Latin Vocabulary,” Phoenix 24 (1970) 54-73; “Pro Laetitia Juvenili,” Queen's Quarterly 78 (1971) 187-90; “The French River,” Queen's Quarterly 79 (1972) 14-6.

  • Notes:

    Gordon was a splendid member of a generation of scholars whose training was interrupted by World War II. Returning to the classroom in 1945 after service in the RCAF, he found himself (as he fondly reminisced) only one lesson ahead of his postwar students. Nonetheless, for the next 30 years he was to influence profoundly that same generation of students, none of whom ever forgot the lucid brilliance of his lectures on Greek and Roman history. All who knew him recognized a remarkable man. In his character he combined the best of the Roman virtues with the values of his Scots heritage. He contributed greatly to his university and to his discipline. Modest about his own efforts, he generously encouraged the efforts of many younger Canadian scholars who are his heirs.

  • Sources:

    McGill U. Archives.

  • Author: Phebe Chartrand/Paola Valeri