Gordon Willis Williams
Williams's publications were numerous and influential. A groundbreaking series of articles in the late 1950's dealing with aspects of Roman social history and the position of women was followed in 1968 by the appearance of the massive and classic work Tradition and Originality in Roman Poetry, a book of fundamental importance to which Classicists forty years later are still responding. In quick succession came an edition of the third book of Horace's Odes in 1969 and then a briefer version of Tradition and Originality in 1973. There followed more major and provocative works of scholarship, Change and Decline: Roman Literature in the Early Empire (1978), Figures of Thought in Roman Poetry (1980), and Technique and Ideas in the Aeneid (1983).
For many years Gordon maintained a very high profile in the profession, frequently travelling all over the world to give lectures or teach specialized seminars. A great teacher of undergraduates, he directed many dissertations in his quarter century at Yale: his students and students of his students teach in Departments of Classics and of Comparative Literature from coast to coast. He was a great asset to Yale and to the Department of Classics. He will be much missed.