Obituary: Jonathan Foster

Bruce Gibson (Professor of Latin, Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology) writes:

Friends and colleagues will be saddened to hear of the death of Jonathan Foster on 21st May, after a long period of ill health.

Educated at the University of Aberdeen and at Balliol College, Oxford, Jonathan joined the then Department of Latin at the University of Liverpool, where he taught for over forty years, before retiring in 2003.

Generations of our students in Liverpool enjoyed and benefited immensely from Jonathan’s passion for teaching, and his unshakeable enthusiasm for the subject similarly inspired publications on texts ranging from Roman comedy to Catullus, Horace, Virgil and Petrarch. Jonathan was also thrilled to develop a long-enduring link with colleagues at the Charles University in Prague, where he was delighted to give lectures on Classics in Czech.

Jonathan was a cherished member of the Virgil Society, organizing meetings and serving as Editor of Proceedings of the Virgil Society over many years.

His gift for inviting speakers whom the members would enjoy hearing was matched by his love of friendly discussion and questions after the papers. As an Editor, he combined acuity with wisdom, patience and tact.

Devoted to his family, Jonathan is survived by his wife, Joan, their two sons Ben and Nick, and two grandchildren.


Though the funeral will take place privately owing to current circumstances, it is likely that a memorial service will be arranged in the future. Anyone wishing to write to Joan Foster is welcome to do so using the email address below: