North American Scholar

TAIT, Marcus Donald Campbell

  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1986-02-15
  • Born City: Quebec
  • Born State/Country: PQ
  • Parents: Rev. Donald a Presbyterian minister & Anna Perrine.Tait
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1958-07-23
  • Death City: Rome
  • Death State/Country: Italy
  • Married: Ruth Strong, 5 Nov. 1926.
  • Education:

    Study at University Coll., U. Toronto, 1915-8; B.A. Oxford (Balliol Coll.) (Rhodes Scholar), 1923; M.A., 1924.

  • Professional Experience:

    lctr. class. Queen's U., 1924-7; Austin Res. Stud. Harvard, 1927-8; asst. prof to prof, class. Univ. Coll., U. Toronto, 1928-58.

  • Publications:

    "Lucretius," UTQ 2 (1932-3) 21-39; "The Humanism of Paul Elmer More," UTQ 16 (1946-7) 109-22; "Spirit, Gentleness and the Philosophic Nature in the Republic," TAPA 80 (1949) 203-11; "A Problem in the Method of Hypothesis in the 'Phaedo,' " Studies Norwood, 110-5; "Plato's Use of Myth," UTQ 26 (1956-7) 165-79.

  • Notes:

    Tait was a practicing advocate of the Oxford school of "Greats," emphasizing history and philosophy alongside the relevant classical texts. Students were treated to carefully prepared, precisely offered lectures and discussions, particularly with respect to Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Politics. His treatments of Homer, Greek drama, Catullus, and Lucretius were equally distinguished and memorable. Students and colleagues were repeatedly impressed by his quality of mind and wisdom. Humility and selfless commitment to teaching were his hallmarks; his vigorous and critical intelligence was quite devoid of arrogance, pedantry or dogmatism, a scholar's and a student's paradigm. He died suddenly in Rome and was interred in the Protestant Cemetery within sight of poets and writers he cherished in life.

  • Sources:

    L. E. Woodbury, Phoenix 12 (1958) 140.

  • Author: Alexander G. McKay