About the Lansdowne Lectures

Henry Petty-FitzMaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne
Henry Petty-FitzMaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, Governor General of Canada (1883–88)

On March 23, 1978, the University of Victoria received $4.5 million from the British Columbia Ministry of Education for the sale of the University's former campus on Lansdowne Road, which was then to be further developed as the site of Camosun College. By formal agreement with the Ministry, this total amount was invested in trust, with the revenue dedicated to a special program of distinguished academic appointments. At first, the period of appointment might be for as long as two years; it became the typical pattern, however, to bring eminent scholars to the University for periods ranging from two to five days. The purpose of these short-term appointments was viewed as academic enrichment, complementing and enhancing a department's regular program of studies.

The first Lansdowne appointment in the Department of Classics was for a term of six months: W.J. Niall Rudd, Professor of Latin and Head of the Department of Classics at the University of Bristol, accepted a Lansdowne position from July 1 to December 31, 1979, thus becoming one of the University of Victoria's earliest Lansdowne Visiting Scholars. All subsequent Lansdowne appointments in Classics or Greek and Roman Studies, as documented in the list that follows, have been for a period not longer than one week. These visitors have usually delivered three public lectures of broad interest, and one or two seminars of a more specialized nature.

Over the past twenty-five years, the Department has been highly successful in bringing to Victoria many of the world's leading classical scholars, in all the major branches of our discipline. The result has been richly rewarding for faculty members, students, and the wider community of Victoria residents.

FAQ: The University's former Lansdowne campus derived its name from Lansdowne Road, which had been named after the Marquess of Lansdowne, Canada's popular Governor-General from 1883 to 1888.