North American Scholar

WOODSIDE, Moffatt St. Andrew

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1906-05-18
  • Born City: Carleton Place
  • Born State/Country: ON
  • Parents: George A., a Presbyterian minister, & Annie Laurie Woodington W.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1970-08-28
  • Death City: Toronto
  • Death State/Country: ON
  • Married: Eleanor Agnes Barton, 17 June 1933.
  • Education:

    B.A. University Coll., U. Toronto, 1928; B.A. Oxford (Corpus Christi Coll.) (Rhodes Scholar), 1931; M.A., 1934.

  • Professional Experience:

    Lctr. class. University Coll., U. Toronto, 1931-2; Victoria Coll., U. Toronto, 1932-5; asst. prof, to asso. prof. anc. hist., 1935-47; registrar, 1944-52; Nelles prof. anc. hist., 1947-52; prof, class. U. Toronto, 1952-70; dean fac. arts & sci., 1952-7; actng. pres., 1957-8; princ. University Coll., 1959-63; vice-pres. (academic), 1963-8; provost, 1965-8.

  • Publications:

    "The Role of Eight Bavarian Cohorts in the Events of 68-69 A.D.," TAPA 68 (1937) 277-83; "Vespasian's Patronage of Education and the Arts," TAPA 73 (1942) 123-9; "Toynbee's Study of History," U. of Toronto Quarterly (Oct. 1955) 104-8; "The Value of the Humanities," ibid. (Apr. 1957) 508-19. '

  • Notes:

    Woodside's career as an academic administrator was remarkably distinguished, perhaps unique; for in the space of only 16 years, 1952-68, he held all the most important posts in the University of Toronto. He demonstrated an ideal of unselfish devotion to duty, without regard for his personal preferences, and of love for the institution, together with gracious courtesy, judgment, and wide knowledge. For him the teaching of undergraduates, rather than graduate studies and publishable research, was always the most valuable function of the university. He was a dedicated and challenging but also a kind and sympathetic mentor. A former pupil (now himself a professor of ancient history) recalls, "At our first tutorial he pointed out that there is no past, but only our present from which we try to reconstitute the non-existent past." The history of the re-created past may then help us to make sense of and give shape to the present. His interests as a historian were broad, for he considered that social, cultural, and economic matters were as important as military and political activities. Oxford had left its stamp on him. He early accepted and always supported Arnold Toynbee's theories of the historical process; they informed his own thinking and lecturing about the Greco-Roman world, and led him to introduce the first and only course on the philosophy of history to be offered by the University of Toronto Classics Department.

  • Sources:

    Prof. M. B. Wallace; Prof. A. B. Woodside; personal knowledge.

  • Author: R. M. H. Shepherd