d.m. Michel Janon

Crest of the University of Ottawa
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From the Canadian Classical Bulletin, with the kind permission of Daniel M. Millette:

Michel Janon, Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Ottawa from 1986 to 1995, died on May 31st, in Marseilles, France, at the age of 72.  He was educated in Algiers (History and Archaeology, 1964) and earned his doctorate at the Sorbonne (History, 1970).  He held positions within the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) from 1965 to 1970 in Algiers, and from 1970 to 2010 in Aix-en-Provence.  From 1995, he was a member of the Institut de Recherche sur l’Architecture Antique (IRAA), within the CNRS.

Janon was highly specialized in Latin epigraphy and architectural decor, particularly of Narbonensis.  He published two seminal volumes: the first on the Latin Inscriptions of Narbonensis (Fréjus), with J. Gascou, in 1985, and the second on architectonic elements of Narbonne, in 1986.  His other published work followed these research themes.  A second principal area of interest was archaeology, first practicing in Algeria at Cherchell, Tiddis and Lambaesis, and eventually in France, at Fréjus, Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges, Gaujac and Orange.  He was an authority on the urban plan and archaeology of Lambaesis, producing an innovative book, with J.-M. Gassend, in 2005.

Michel’s intellect was of the extremely independent kind.  He defended his ideas fiercely, often remaining misunderstood and at times fuelling intense debate.  He expected brilliant work from his students, resulting in high quality research.  For his students and selected colleagues, he could be charming, displaying a joie de vivre that could only be matched by his love of debate.  In his final years, he found happiness through his grandchildren, spending time with his wife Nancy, and painting from his homes in France and Spain.

One thought on “d.m. Michel Janon

  1. I’m saddened to hear of this. Prof. Janon was my guide to all things architectural and Roman during my time at U of O, at a time in the late 80’s and early 90’s when Ottawa had a powerful department bubbling with activity, controversy, and powerful scholarship. He taught me to be a fiercely independent thinker, as well as a fiercely independent drinker: he had an encyclopaedic knowledge of Rhone wineries, and recognized the budget-priced nectar amidst the overpriced plonk. For a practicing archaeologist, a skill worth its weight in trowels.

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