North American Scholar

JOHNSON, Skuli

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1888-09-06
  • Born City: Hynavatnssysla
  • Born State/Country: Iceland
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1955-06-01
  • Death City: Winnipeg
  • Death State/Country: MB
  • Married: Evelyn Margaret Truesdale, 14 July 1921.
  • Education:

    Study at Wesley Coll., U. Manitoba, 1909; B.A. Oxford, 1913 (Rhodes Scholar); diploma, Prov. Normal Sch. (Winnipeg), 1914; M.A. (hon.) U. Manitoba, 1917.

  • Professional Experience:

    Class, mstr. St. John's HS (Winnipeg), 1914-5; prof, class. Wesley Coll., 1915-27; dean fac. arts, 1920-7; asst. to prof. Lat. & Gk. U. Manitoba, 1927-39; Knight of Royal Order of the Falcon (Iceland), 1939.

  • Publications:

    "Virgil's Georgics and Labour on the Land," Manitoba Essays, ed. R. C. Lodge (Toronto, 1937) 220-45; "A Vexed Passage in Epistles I, 2, 30f," C/ 35 (1939-40) 357-9; "A Note on Tibullus I, i, 1-4," CJ 36 (1940-1) 295-7; "Sophocles Ajax 112. A Study in Sophoclean Syntax and Interpretation," AJP 62 (1941) 214-8; "A Note on Martial VI, 82, 4-6," CJ 38 (1942-3) 31-5; "A Roman Elegy on Rural Life," Icelandic Canadian 1 (1942) 11-6; "A Fresh Solution of a Famous Crux in Catullus," CJ 40 (1944-5) 10-8; "A Note on Sophocles Antigone 1232," CJ 41 (1945-6) 371-4; "The Catastrophe in the Antigone of Sophocles," TRSC, ser. 3, 40 (1946) 143-59; "Intimations of Immortality in the Major Lyric and Elegiac Poets of Rome: Horace," TRSC, ser. 3, 44 (1950) 11:65-75; Selected Odes of Horace translated into English Verse (Toronto, 1953).

  • Notes:

    Skuli Johnson's Icelandic background and sympathies were omnipresent in his academic and civic career. He was instrumental in establishing Canada's first chair of Icelandic Studies at the University of Manitoba, and his lectures and addresses on Icelandic culture and on the contribution of Canadians with Icelandic origins served notice to a wide audience of his spirited, committed nature. He was as much at home among the Icelandic sagas as he was with the classical poets. The quality of his published scholarship and his verse translation of selected Odes of Horace highlight his fidelity to the sound and meaning of Horatian verse. His spirited role as champion of the classics in the Canadian West as well as his constant support to the fledgling Phoenix and the Classical Association of Canada were gratefully acknowledged during his lifetime.

  • Sources:

    CanWhWh (1948) 486; The Humanities in Canada, ed. Watson Kirkconnell & A. S. P. Woodhouse (Toronto, 1947), 252-3; NYTimes (4 June 1955) 15; PRSC 49 (1955) 109-10.

  • Author: Alexander G. McKay