Canadian Classical Bulletin/Bulletin canadien des études anciennes    (ISSN 1198-9149)
Volume 11.8 (2005 04 15)
Editors/Redacteurs: J. W. Geyssen (University of New Brunswick) & J. R. Porter (University of Saskatchewan)     <

Published by the Classical Association of Canada/ Publié par la société canadienne des études classiques
President: Martin Cropp (University of Calgary) <>
Secretary/Secretaire: Patrick Baker (Université Laval) <>
Treasurer/Tresorier: Annabel Robinson (University of Regina) <>
  Contents of CCB/BCEA 11.8 (2005 04 15)                                           Return to CCB Archive   /   BCÉA Archives
        1. Positions Available
                     (University of Toronto)
        2. Summer Study
                     (University of Saskatchewan: Latin)
        3. Obituary
                     (Victor John Matthews)


Positions Available

From: Ann-Marie Matti
University of Toronto
One-year term appointment: Greek history and Greek language

The Department of Classics at the University of Toronto is soliciting applications for a one-year contractually limited term appointment in Greek history and Greek language and literature at the rank of assistant professor. The successful applicant will have demonstrated excellence in teaching, and an ability to teach Greek history and Greek prose authors (in the original) at the undergraduate level is required. The appointment will begin 1 July 2005; an appropriate doctoral degree should have been earned by that date, and salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. Applications should include: a curriculum vitae, evidence of excellence in teaching, a sample of academic writing, and a brief description of current research plans. Applicants should also arrange to have three letters of recommendation sent to: Greek History Search Committee, Dept. of Classics, University of Toronto, 97 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2E8. To ensure full consideration, the application should be received by 7 June 2005. The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community. The University especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. Enquiries concerning application should be sent to

Recent Postings:

Université Laval

Summer Study
From: John Porter

University of Saskatchewan
Intensive Summer Latin Course

The Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS) program at the University of Saskatchewan is for the first time offering an Intensive Summer Latin Program which will credit students with first-year Latin upon successful completion of 14 weeks of study at 2 hours per day.

Latin 112.3 will be offered in Term 1 (16 May - 30 June); Latin 113.3 will be offered in Term 2 (4 July - 19 August).

The text will be Jones' & Sidwell's Reading Latin. On-line registration begins on 11 April. For more information please visit or contact the instructor, Lewis Stiles ( or 306-664-7064).

From: Martin Cropp

In Memoriam
Victor John Matthews

[The editors would like to thank Mrs. Matthews for sharing the following reminiscence of Professor Matthews.]

Victor John Matthews, BA, Dip.Ed. (Queen's Belfast); MA (McMaster); PhD (Queen's Belfast), Professor of Classics, University of Guelph, Ontario, suddenly passed away on November 28, 2004 in Guelph, Ontario. Victor was born on January 29, 1941 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Following his studies at Foyle College there and at Queen's University Belfast, with numerous academic and athletic achievements, Victor graduated with an MA in Classics from McMaster University and then went on to teach at the University of Guelph where he founded the Greek & Latin Section of the Department of Languages in 1965 while he undertook his doctoral work at his alma mater in Belfast.

Victor's fields of study were: Greek Epic, Hellenistic Literature, and Greek & Roman Sport. He published 2 books: Panyassis of Halikarnassos: Text and Commentary (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1974), xii + 158 pp.; and Antimachus of Colophon: Text and Commentary (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1996), x + 478 pp. In the words of his PhD supervisor at Queen's Belfast — Professor George Huxley — Victor's "work on Panyassis and on Antimachus deservedly won for him [Victor] an international reputation".

Victor authored more than 30 academic articles. Some of his recent articles include: "Interpreting the Euripides Narrative of Hermesianax", in Des géants à Dionysos: Mélanges offerts à F. Vian (ed. D Accorinti and P. Chuvin, Alessandria 2003), pp. 281-286; "Sex and the Single Racehorse: A Response to Cameron on Equestrian Double Entendres in Posidippus", Eranos 98 (2000), 32-38; "Aphrodite's Hair: Colluthus and Hairstyles in the Epic Tradition", Eranos 94 (1996), 37-39; "The Greek Pentathlon Again", Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 100 (1994), 129-138. Several other articles will appear posthumously.

Victor was actively involved in academic associations, such as the Ontario Classical Association, where he served frequently on the Board of Advisors, and the Classical Association of Canada. He also served on university committees, and was supportive of all his colleagues and students.

Victor combined his interest in ancient athletics with a lengthy experience as an active runner and coach and was an attentive student of modern track and field and of the Olympic movement. He won many national and provincial medals in competition and in 1996 was inducted into the University of Guelph Sports Hall of Fame for his achievements as varsity coach. Victor's wealth of knowledge of track and field statistics was remarkable, as was his knowledge of shipping statistics — a hobby. Victor was exceptionally gifted with a 'computer-like memory' to store and recall information and data of all kinds — academic, hobby and general. In the words of his nephew, Victor was a modern polymath!

Victor leaves behind his wife Dr. Irene Matthews, a founding faculty member at the University of Guelph, and son, Thomas, currently an Assistant Professor of Accounting at the University of Alberta.

In the words of a member of Victor's cross-country team: "We can hardly believe that our mighty marathoner has finished his biggest race".

Some comments from his students:

The passion that Dr. Matthews had for his work was definitely contagious. He was so dedicated to his work that he did not want any students to miss out on learning. I remember him waiting for me after class and asking, with a sly smile and a wink, "So are we going to see you in Greek today?" He went past the call of duty to instill a passion for Classics in his students, and I will always be grateful for that. (Emily Lancaster)

Professor Matthews was generous with his time and patience to a degree I have never seen before. He spent two summers teaching me Greek when no courses were offered. I will value those hours forever and will make it my goal to try to pass on a little of the spirit of generosity in teaching that all students will remember about Professor Matthews. (John Walsh)

I remember most his binders of notes. Dr. Mathews would arrive in class carrying binders and folders of carefully written notes, set them upon the podium, and open them for class. He would tell tales of tribunes and emperors; hoplites and Olympiads. Every date and the smallest of details would make their way into lecture, into his tale. Humankind's greatest achievements and bloodiest failures danced in the air with his words. As he continued, the pages of his binder turned, but never did his eyes glance at them. The story he told was woven not from notes nor from text books, but from the fabric of its teller. (Ryan J. Long)

As a student coming out of high school, I did not have the marks to be admitted to university. Professor Matthews was willing, however, to meet with me and conduct an informal interview to assess whether I had the ability and the drive to perform academically at an undergraduate level. It was because he was willing personally to vouch for me that I was given an opportunity to study at the University of Guelph. Throughout the four years that I knew him, he often, in his concise way, compressed invaluable information into terse, memorable phrases that I know I will carry with me through my future academic career. My hope is that I will to some small degree be able to do the same for others, and thus continue his work however I can. (Aaron Kelsh)

Dr. Matthews was, in my opinion, a very memorable professor because the passion he had for his subject so clearly came through in his teaching. His concern for his students as well as his love for his subject were evident in every class I had the privilege to take with him. (Monica Resendes)

Prof. Matthews was the most encouraging professor I've ever had. He was brilliant, but he realized we weren't and didn't want us to get discouraged. Even when we started translating something like "canis" as "you are running" he'd say, "Yep, yep. Well, you see the stem means dog, so what case is it in?" He never wanted us to quit or be embarrassed in front of the class. We'll miss him. (Annie MacMullen)

In his classes, Dr. Matthews maintained both an immediacy through his enthusiasm for the subject, and an unshakeable authority through his vast learning. He wouldn't stop at the political deeds of the senators; he would tell us which of them were good dancers. Passing his students in the hall, he would give them a sly smile, acknowledging them as initiates to a field that holds so many pleasures. (Jim Donaldson)

I am a drama major at the University of Guelph. I took classical studies courses only for interest originally, but in my 4th year, I decided to make it my official minor. Dr. Matthews was probably the single biggest factor behind that choice. He seemed very soft-spoken, shy, and reserved when he taught, but there was a glint in his eyes — you could tell, he loved what he did. One class I took with him concerned ancient sports, and by reading his subdued excitement, I was able to tell how much he loved running, long before I found out just how involved he was in the running community. He was always ready to help a student with his thoughts, his suggestions, and even his books. I always liked how, even with people who were far more serious far earlier about classics, he still knew me by name. I'm sure he knew everyone who made it to one of his classes. When I made classics my minor, it was him who offered the route I should take, and from him I learned second year Latin. He was forever patient, even when the translations the class came up with were nowhere near the meanings he could so easily decipher! He was truly a great teacher, and a great man, and I miss him as both. (Chris Sunnucks)

Some comments from students who have gone on to do doctoral work in Classics/Ancient History:

It is almost impossible to capture in words, and more so in only a few words, the enormous influence that Dr. Victor J. Matthews has had on my life, both personally and professionally. Victor Matthews was a teacher by profession and by nature. Teacher was not a mask he wore in front of the classroom and took off in his office or on the track. To him teaching was not a necessary evil that sustained his research: to Victor teaching was the point of research. To some in our field his priorities may seem skewed, but I think to leave behind even one or two students who feel as exceptionally blessed, as I do, to have sat at his feet far out-weighs a multitude of scholarly tomes. If you were taught by him, you truly knew him. And if you were taught by him, you truly came to know yourself. He had very high standards, and these standards kept getting higher as we approached them. But although the bar was always just out of reach, he would always fill us with a desire to attain the unattainable. For a student, I think there is no greater experience than this; for it is to be taught by a true teacher, one who both sees your potential as limitless and has the ability to make you see it for yourself. I am very very proud to say that I was taught by Victor Matthews, but I am embarrassed that I cannot find a way to express the appropriate degree of gratitude. I can only hope that now, as I am about to embark on my own career as a teacher of Classics, that I can be a good steward of the legacy I have received from my teacher, Dr. Victor J. Matthews. (Jackie Murray, PhD candidate, Classics, University of Washington, Seattle WA; Assistant Professor, Hebrew, Greek, and Roman Classics, Temple University, Philadelphia PA)

I first had the pleasure of being taught by Victor Matthews in 1990 when I took a class in The History of the Hellenistic World. Although I was a history major with an interest in Early Modern Europe, Victor Matthews inspired in me a passion for antiquity that continues to this day. It is owing to this passion that I am now pursuing my doctoral degree in Ancient History at York University. But my debt to Victor does not stop at the interest that he kindled. When I had changed the focus of my study to antiquity I was disheartened to know the monumental task that was ahead of me in acquiring Greek and Latin. It was Victor who took his personal time over the summer to bring me up to the level of proficiency required for me to complete my degree in classics without losing any time. This was Victor. As long as a student showed the willingness to learn, Victor was willing to teach on his own time and expense. I'm certain that I could not be where I am today without the effort, support and encouragement of Victor. He was not only a wonderful teacher, but he was and is a wonderful a friend. (Richard A. Wenghofer, PhD candidate, History, York University)

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