@Bread and Circuses
From the Stanford Report:
Stanford Professor Emeritus Wesley Trimpi died March 6 from pneumonia at Stanford University Hospital, where he had been admitted after a fall in his Woodside home. He was 85.
A professor of English at Stanford for almost 40 years, Trimpi’s research began with an examination of 17th-century lyric poetry. Later in his career, he developed an interest in ancient poetic theory, examining how philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle discussed literary works.
Trimpi graduated with a BA in English from Stanford in 1950 and returned to Stanford in 1957, where he taught in the Department of English until he retired in 1992.
Trimpi’s publications, which investigated both English Renaissance lyric poetry and ancient classical literature, demonstrated his passion for poetry and poetics as well as the broad scope of his academic expertise.
His first book, Ben Jonson’s Poems: A Study of the Plain Style (Stanford University Press, 1962), argued that Jonson’s use of a plain style allowed him access to subject matter that no other literary style of the time would. Jonson’s style also helped him to become an ambassador between scholars and readers. Trimpi closely examined the prosody of Jonson’s poems to prove his argument.
“Trimpi’s book on Ben Jonson’s poetry was pathbreaking, and remains a valuable resource,” said Stanford English Professor John Bender.
Another of Trimpi’s well-known works as a literary scholar is Muses of One Mind: The Literary Analysis of Experience and Its Continuity (Princeton University Press, 1983), which examines the history of literary criticism and how ancient discussions of literature borrowed their terms from mathematical, philosophical and rhetorical disciplines.
Morton Bloomfield, the late Harvard medievalist, praised the book as “a major contribution to our understanding of ancient narrative and its theory with important contributions to the history of the subject in the West.”
While teaching both undergraduates and graduates, Trimpi began to analyze the critical writings of Plato, Aristotle, Horace and other Greek and Latin literary theorists. He published numerous articles and reviews in journals such as Traditio, New Literary History, The Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Classical Antiquity, Renascence and The Independent Journal of Philosophy, widening his interests to include medieval and classical literary theory.
Trimpi’s passion for poetry was also evident in the classroom, and decades later numerous students claim him as an important influence in their lives and on their work.
A former student, Denis Logie, said Trimpi was one of his favorite teachers at Stanford. “I was an underclassman in 1959 when I took Professor Trimpi’s class on poetry. It was a class I was ill prepared for. I loved poetry, but had received no formal insight or instruction in my high school,” Logie said. “Professor Trimpi awakened in me an understanding and thirst and love for poetry, which has never abated. I can still hear him in my mind chanting in medieval English: Sumer is icumen in, Lhude sing, cuccu.”
In addition to his love for poetry, his intellectual rigor had an influence on many students.
Kathy Hannah Eden, professor of English and classics at Columbia University, was a graduate student of Trimpi’s. She dedicated her first book, Poetic and Legal Fiction in the Aristotelian Tradition (Princeton, 1986), to Trimpi. Eden remembers him as a towering figure in stature and intellect: “The questions that preoccupied him in and out of the classroom proved fundamental to understanding the deep investment of the ancients, their admirers and even their detractors, throughout the centuries in what we call ‘literature’ today.”
Eden continues to send her students and colleagues to Trimpi’s work: “Those who report back on their encounters – and there have been a fair number – regularly confess to a mind-altering experience. Wes was, without a doubt, the scholar’s scholar.”
Another of Trimpi’s graduate students, Steven Shankman, a professor of English and classics at the University of Oregon, described him as an “exacting scholar” who explored his subject matter in profoundly original ways.
“But Trimpi was no mere theorist,” Shankman said. “What gave me confidence in his intricately articulated theoretical formulations was the fact that they were grounded in the reading of poetry – in a keen and sensitive understanding of, and feeling for, poetic form as realized in specific poems by poetic masters. Trimpi, himself an accomplished poet, had a keen feel for the word, the line, and for meter; in short, for the literary particular.”
As a tribute to him, Eden and Shankman edited a special issue of Hellas: A Journal of Poetry and the Humanities (Aldine Press, 1996) with the topic “In Honor of Wesley Trimpi.” The issue included poems and essays by friends, colleagues and former students, all of whom found his scholarship beneficial in their own development.
A young poet
Born on Sept. 3, 1928, in New York City, Trimpi was the son of William Wesley Trimpi Sr. and Marion Bock Trimpi. His father was the son of Swiss-born William Werner Trimpi, founder of the Newark Rivet Works. In his early years he attended the Desert School in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Phillips Exeter Academy from 1943 to 1946. After graduating from Stanford, Trimpi went on to earn his PhD in English from Harvard University.
During his undergraduate years at Stanford, Trimpi wrote and published original poems in The Paris Review, Poetry and other journals. His poems also appeared in anthologies like New Poets of England and America and Poets of the Pacific: Second Series. He also published two of his own poetry collections, The Glass of Perseus (New Poetry Series, 1953) and The Desert House (R. L. Barth: Florence, Ky., 1982).
Trimpi’s interest in poetry flourished as an undergraduate under the mentorship of renowned poet and critic Yvor Winters, who, in a letter to American poet Allen Tate, described Trimpi as “a very intelligent kid, and I think less likely than most to fade out.”
Studying with Winters made a significant impact on Trimpi – some scholars have even called him a Wintersian in his approach to his work and his students.
Bliss Carnochan, a longtime colleague and Stanford English professor emeritus, remembered losing chess matches to Trimpi and also noted the influence of Winters on Trimpi.
“Wes was a traditional scholar, learned, impatient with anything he thought sloppy or faddish. As a student of Winters, he [Wes] held strong opinions about literary values. Like Winters, he was a powerful personality; he attracted devoted students as well as dissenters. … But even dissenters could not doubt his critical ability.”
One of the last articles Trimpi published was a study of his early mentor. “Yvor Winters and the Educated Sensibility in Antiquity” appeared in The International Journal of the Classical Tradition (Fall, 2001).
Trimpi’s fellowships and awards include one from the American Council of Learned Societies for 1963-64, and in 1985-86 he was named to the first group of scholars to spend a year at the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities in Malibu, Calif. He also gave a series of lectures on Coleridge at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.
Trimpi is survived by his daughter Erica Light and son-in-law Martin Light; grandsons Matthew Light (Mikaela) and Jonathan Light (Jade), and great-granddaughter, Juliette Light; also, by his daughter Alison Corcoran and son-in-law Robert Corcoran; his brother, Michael L. Trimpi; his sister, Abigail M. Kellogg; and by his former wife, the poet Helen Pinkerton Trimpi. [...]
From the Valley News:
James Isbell Armstrong, President Emeritus of Middlebury College and Classicist, died on Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, at the age of 94 at his home in Hanover. Armstrong was born to William Park Armstrong, Jr. and Rebekah Sellers Purves on April 20, 1919, in Princeton, N.J. as the youngest of six children. His father was Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis at the Princeton Theological Seminary. He attended Miss Fine’s School, the Princeton Country Day School, the Taft School and Princeton University where he graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors in 1941. Upon graduation, Armstrong served for five and half years in the Army, largely in the Pacific Theater beginning in Hawaii and ending in Manila. He participated in the landing at Leyte and was honorably discharged at the rank of Captain in 1946. After WWII, Armstrong assisted with the Returning Veterans Program at Princeton University where he was offered a teaching fellowship (early Woodrow Wilson Fellow) and received his Ph.D. in Classics (1949). He married Carol Penrhyn Aymar of Darien, Conn. on Nov. 1, 1942. In his judgment and that of many others it was the best venture of his life. She became the still point in the turning wheel for the rest of his personal and professional life. In 1947, Armstrong began a career in teaching and administration at Princeton where he was a member of the Classics Department and a Homeric scholar; there he rose to the rank of Associate Professor (1960) and served as Assistant and Associate Dean of the Graduate School (1958-62). These years were enriched by a year teaching at Indiana University (1949-50) and a Senior Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome (Prix de Rome, 1955-56). In 1951, Armstrong was recalled to active duty and served for a year in the Korean War.
In 1963, Armstrong was appointed President of Middlebury College where he and Carol served for 12 years. Under his leadership the College grew in stature and size, helping to create the international reputation as a premier liberal arts institution that Middlebury enjoys today. During these years Bates College, Grinnell College and his alma mater recognized his contributions to higher education, awarding Armstrong honorary degrees. Middlebury followed suit during his years as President and Director of the Dana Foundation (1975-81). Armstrong also served as trustee at Princeton University and the Hazen Foundation, as a member of the advisory council of the Braitmayer Foundation and as a director at Merrill Lynch.
Armstrong and his wife Carol moved to a continuing care retirement community in 1991 as early residents of the newly built Kendal at Hanover. They enjoyed joining with fellow residents to build and develop their community and improve Kendal’s facilities. Armstrong served as Interim Executive Director in 1995 and also on its Board of Directors. Their beloved farm and friends in Maine were their anchor to windward from the early years of their marriage. Nurturing three children, growing a vegetable garden, haying, wooding, flying a Cessna 150, baking apple pies in the wood stove, hooking rugs and caring for a 150-year-old farm house were the natural counterpoint to their educational pursuits.
Armstrong was predeceased by his daughter, Cary Tall Rothe. He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Carol Aymar Armstrong (Hanover, N.H.); his children, James I. Armstrong, Jr. (Williamsburg, Va.) and Elizabeth L. Armstrong (Lewisburg, Pa.); and six grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, at 2 p.m. at Kendal at Hanover. Memorial donations may be made to the Cadbury Fund of Kendal at Hanover (Brent Edgerton, Associate Executive Director, (603) 643-8900 or BEdger@kah.kendal.org) or Middlebury College.
From the News and Observer:
Lawrence Richardson, Jr.
December 2, 1920 – July 21, 2013
Lawrence Richardson, Jr., died late July 21, 2013 in the Pavilion at Croasdaile Village after a very short illness. He lived a long and wonderful life, and he was lucid and productive to the end. Born December 2, 1920 in Altoona, PA, he was educated at Yale (A.B. with philosophical orations, 1942; Ph.D. in Classical Studies, 1952). But his heart was always in Italy, the center of his prolific scholarship, and at Duke University, where he taught in the Department of Classical Studies from 1966 through his retirement in 1991. Only in 2008 did macular degeneration stop him from going to his office daily, and even through the week of his death he continued to read Latin, correspond with former students, friends, and colleagues, and pursue scholarly projects in his retirement community at Croasdaile. He was a gentle, generous person, famous among friends for his love of convivial companionship and gardening, and known to many for his genteel affability as he walked daily to Duke’s East Campus. He will be sorely missed, even though his numerous scholarly works remain to represent his erudition, wit, and life devoted to the humanities.
He spent many years in Rome and the Bay of Naples, Italy. Larry arrived first in post-war Italy as a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome in 1948, a fascinating experience he recently described in The American Academy 1947-54. Reopening & Reorientation: A Personal Reminiscence (published in 2013, when he was 92). He returned to the American Academy repeatedly, as a field archaeologist working at Cosa (1952-55), Classicist in Residence (1977), and Mellon Professor-in-Charge of its School of Classical Studies (1980-81), as well as during summers. He served the Academy as a Trustee, on various committees such as the Library, and in many other ways. He served on the editorial board of the Associazione Internazionale “Amici di Pompei” (“Friends of Pompeii). He has published numerous articles, reviews, and books, including A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (1992), Pompeii: an Architectural History (1988), A Catalog of Identifiable Painters of Ancient Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae (2000), and Pompeii: The Casa dei Dioscuri and its Painters (1955). He is a joint author of Cosa II: The Temples of the Arx (1960), and Cosa III: The Buildings of the Forum (1993), helping to publish the material from the site at which he first excavated.
He was a recipient of Fulbright, Sterling and Guggenheim Fellowships. He was a former president of the Archaeological Institute of America (North Carolina Society), a member of the AIA, the American Philological Association, and the Academy of Literary Studies. In 2012 he received the Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement in recognition of his myriad contributions to archaeology through his fieldwork, publications, and teaching.
Although Larry taught also at Yale University and at the University of North Carolina, his real home other than Italy was in Durham and at Duke, where he mentored countless students and numerous colleagues from his arrival in 1966. He served as chairman of the Department of Classical Studies in 1966-69, and again in the 1980s. He was in his office daily from mid-morning until after 6, in early years accompanied by one or two of his dear Airedales. His door was always open, and he never seemed too busy to answer a question; he offered his full attention, and then, without a hint of having been bothered, he turned seamlessly back to whatever he had been doing. His personal library was vast and generously loaned; his knowledge seemingly even greater, and just as generously shared. One of his happiest courses was Latin Prose Composition, and he was often seen patiently working with individual students over a translation of a contemporary news piece into the Latin of Cicero. Many of those undergraduates have gone on to careers in medicine, law, or other non-Classical pursuit, but each vividly recalls Latin Prose Comp with Professor Richardson.
Larry was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Dr. Emeline Richardson. He leaves to mourn him innumerable colleagues, students, and friends, whose lives he enriched. He was well cared for at Croasdaile where he continued to learn to his last days, introduced by devoted visitors to Italian soccer and other non-Classical topics. In keeping with his request, there will be no service. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Richardson Graduate Travel Fund, and sent to the Department of Classical Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0103.
From inews (nothing in English yet):
Σε ηλικία 90 ετών έφυγε χτες από τη ζωή ο αρχαιολόγος και ακαδημαϊκός Σπύρος Ιακωβίδης, ειδικός σε θέματα μυκηναϊκής αρχαιολογίας, ο οποίος είχε πραγματοποιήσει ανασκαφές στην περιοχή των Αθηνών, στην Ελευσίνα, την Πύλο, τη Θήρα, την Περατή, τον Γλα και τις Μυκήνες.
Ο Σπύρος Ιακωβίδης γεννήθηκε το 1923 στην Αθήνα. Πήρε δίπλωμα αρχαιολογίας
του Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών το 1946 και διδακτορικό το 1962. Διετέλεσε Επιμελητής Αρχαιοτήτων (1952-1954), δίδαξε αρχαιολογία στα Πανεπιστήμια Αθηνών (1970-1974), Marburg (1976-1977), Heidelberg (1977) και University of Pennsylvania (1979-1991) και υπήρξε μέλος του Ινστιτούτου Προχωρημένων Σπουδών στο Princeton, ΗΠΑ (1977-1978).
Συνέγραψε, μεταξύ άλλων, τα βιβλία: Η Μυκηναϊκή Ακρόπολις των Αθηνών (1962), Περατή (1969-1970), Αι Μυκηναϊκαί Ακροπόλεις (1973), Vormykenische und Mykenische Wehrbauten (1977), Late Helladic Citadels on Mainland Greece (1988), Γλας Ι (1989), Γλας ΙΙ (1998), Gla and the Kopais (2001), Ανασκαφές Μυκηνών ΙΙΙ. Η νοτιοδυτική συνοικία (με συμμετοχή συνεργατών, 2013). Δημοσίευσε σαρανταοκτώ άρθρα σε επιστημονικά περιοδικά, πραγματοποίησε διαλέξεις σε 90 περίπου Πανεπιστήμια, Μουσεία και επιστημονικά σωματεία στην Ελλάδα, Γερμανία, ΗΠΑ, Αυστρία, Αγγλία, Βέλγιο, Καναδά, Κύπρο, Ιρλανδία, Ισπανία, Αυστραλία, Ελβετία.
Μετείχε σε 65 περίπου επιστημονικές συναντήσεις στην Ελλάδα και το εξωτερικό (1971-2002). Επί Κατοχής κατατάχθηκε στις Ομάδες Ελλήνων Ανταρτών υπό τον Ναπολέοντα Ζέρβα και τιμήθηκε με το Μετάλλιο Εθνικής Αντιστάσεως, και τον Μέγα Ταξιάρχη του Φοίνικος
Διετέλεσε συνεργάτης στην Ιστορία του Ελληνικού Έθνους (1970) και στην Ägäische Bronzezeit (1987). Υπήρξε μέλος της Εν Αθήναις Αρχαιολογικής Εταιρείας, της Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, της Βρετανικής Αρχαιολογικής Σχολής Αθηνών, της Society of Antiquaries του Λονδίνου, της Société de Préhistoire Française, του Γερμανικού Αρχαιολογικού Ινστιτούτου, της Ιστορικής και Εθνολογικής Εταιρείας, εταίρος του Σεμιναρίου Αρχαιολογίας του Πανεπιστημίου της Columbia, τακτικό μέλος της Ακαδημίας Αθηνών (Έδρα Αρχαιολογίας, 1991), Γραμματεύς επί των Πρακτικών της Ακαδημίας (2000-2003), Πρόεδρος αυτής (2004) και επόπτης του Κέντρου Ερεύνης της Αρχαιότητος της Ακαδημίας Αθηνών (1993 έως τον θάνατό του). Επίσης υπήρξε Ξένος Εταίρος της Accademia Nationale dei Lincei (Ρώμη), επίτιμο μέλος της Αυστριακής Ακαδημίας Επιστημών στην Τάξη Φιλοσοφίας και Ιστορίας (Βιέννη), Επίτιμος Διδάκτωρ της Αρχαιολογίας του Dickinson College, Pennsylvania, ΗΠΑ, και του Πανεπιστημίου Κύπρου.
- via: Πέθανε ο ακαδημαϊκός Σπύρος Ιακωβίδης (inews)
From the New York Times:
Martin Bernal, whose three-volume work “Black Athena” ignited an academic debate by arguing that the African and Semitic lineage of Western civilization had been scrubbed from the record of ancient Greece by 18th- and 19th-century historians steeped in the racism of their times, died on June 9 in Cambridge, England. He was 76.
The cause was complications of myelofibrosis, a bone marrow disorder, said his wife, Leslie Miller-Bernal.
“Black Athena” opened a new front in the warfare over cultural diversity already raging on American campuses in the 1980s and ’90s. The first volume, published in 1987 — the same year as “The Closing of the American Mind,” Allan Bloom’s attack on efforts to diversify the academic canon — made Mr. Bernal a hero among Afrocentrists, a pariah among conservative scholars and the star witness at dozens of sometimes raucous academic panel discussions about how to teach the foundational ideas of Western culture.
Mr. Bernal, a British-born and Cambridge-educated polymath who taught Chinese political history at Cornell from 1972 until 2001, spent a fair amount of time on those panels explaining what his work did not mean to imply. He did not claim that Greek culture had its prime origins in Africa, as some news media reports described his thesis. He said only that the debt Greek culture owed to Africa and the Middle East had been lost to history.
His thesis was this: For centuries, European historians of classical Greece had hewed closely to the origin story suggested by Plato, Herodotus and Aeschylus, whose writings acknowledged the Greek debt to Egyptian and Semitic (or Phoenician) forebears.
But in the 19th century, he asserted, with the rise of new strains of racism and anti-Semitism along with nationalism and colonialism in Europe, historians expunged Egyptians and Phoenicians from the story. The precursors of Greek, and thus European, culture were seen instead as white Indo-European invaders from the north.
In the first volume of “Black Athena,” which carried the forbidding double subtitle “The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization: The Fabrication of Ancient Greece — 1785-1985,” Mr. Bernal described his trek through the fields of classical Greek literature, mythology, archaeology, linguistics, sociology, the history of ideas and ancient Hebrew texts to formulate his theory of history gone awry (though he did not claim expertise in all these subjects).
The scholarly purpose of his work, he wrote in the introduction, was “to open up new areas of research to women and men with far better qualifications than I have,” adding, “The political purpose of ‘Black Athena,’ is, of course, to lessen European cultural arrogance.”
He published “Black Athena 2: The Archaeological and Documentary Evidence” in 1991, and followed it in 2006 with “Black Athena 3: The Linguistic Evidence.”
Another book, “Black Athena Writes Back,” published in 2001, was a response to his critics, who were alarmed enough by Mr. Bernal’s work to publish a collection of rebuttals in 1996, “Black Athena Revisited.”
One critic derided Mr. Bernal’s thesis as evidence of “a whirling confusion of half-digested reading.” Some were more conciliatory. J. Ray, a British Egyptologist, wrote, “It may not be possible to agree with Mr. Bernal, but one is the poorer for not having spent time in his company.”
Stanley Burstein, a professor emeritus of ancient Greek history at California State University, Los Angeles, said Mr. Bernal’s historiography — his history of history-writing on ancient Greece — was flawed but valuable. “Nobody had to be told that Greece was deeply influenced by Egypt and the Phoenicians, or that 19th-century history included a lot of racial prejudice,” he said in a phone interview Tuesday. “But then, nobody had put it all together that way before.”
The specific evidence cited in his books was often doubtful, Professor Burstein added, but “he succeeded in putting the question of the origins of Greek civilization back on the table.”
Martin Gardiner Bernal was born on March 10, 1937, in London to John Desmond Bernal, a prominent British scientist and radical political activist, and Margaret Gardiner, a writer. His parents never married, a fact their son asserted with some pride in interviews.
“My father was a communist and I was illegitimate,” he said in 1996. “I was always expected to be radical because my father was.”
His grandfather Alan Gardiner was a distinguished Egyptologist.
Mr. Bernal graduated from King’s College, Cambridge, in 1957, earned a diploma of Chinese language from Peking University in 1960 and did graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1963 and Harvard in 1964. He received his Ph.D. in Oriental studies from Cambridge in 1966 and remained there as a fellow until he was recruited by Cornell.
His other books, which also focused on the theme of intercultural borrowing, were “Chinese Socialism Before 1907” (1976) and “Cadmean Letters: The Westward Diffusion of the Semitic Alphabet Before 1400 B.C.” (1990).
Besides his wife, he is survived by his sons, William, Paul and Patrick; a daughter, Sophie; a stepson, Adam; a half-sister, Jane Bernal; and nine grandchildren.
Mr. Bernal was asked in 1993 if his thesis in “Black Athena” was “anti-European.” He replied: “My enemy is not Europe, it’s purity — the idea that purity ever exists, or that if it does exist, that it is somehow more culturally creative than mixture. I believe that the civilization of Greece is so attractive precisely because of those mixtures.”
From the Telegraph:
From the 1960s onwards, despite declining numbers taking Latin at school, Latin literary studies experienced something of a renaissance. Summer schools and courses in translation were making the classics newly accessible to students who had not previously studied Latin and Greek. At the same time, the rise of New Criticism in classical scholarship encouraged close readings of the texts. West’s intensely literary approach put him at the forefront of the emerging movement, concerned with bringing out the richness and variety of the language.
In him the classical Roman poets, Lucretius, Horace and Virgil, found a most accomplished interpreter and translator. His translation of Virgil’s Aeneid (Penguin Books, 1990) is remarkably true to the Latin, and has brought Virgil’s epic to life for a generation of modern English readers.
Unlike his immediate predecessors Robert Fitzgerald and CH Sisson, West believed that prose suited his task better than verse, since “I know of nobody at the end of our century who reads long narrative poems in English, and I want the Aeneid to be read.” In order not to interrupt the flow, he avoided using footnotes or a glossary . Scholarly “furniture”, he felt, would only distract the eye and diminish the vitality of the text.
This vitality extended to West’s three-volume edition of Horace’s Odes (published between 1995 and 2002), perhaps the most accessible guide to Horace’s poems now in print. In rendering such dense and lyrical Latin into English verse, West aimed to create a translation that could appeal both to non-classicists and to students. He followed each ode with a commentary describing how the Latin worked, with close attention to rhythm and sound.
David Alexander West was born in Aberdeen on November 22 1926 and educated at Aberdeen Grammar School and Aberdeen University, and then, after National Service, at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he took a first in the Classical Tripos. He began doctoral work on the Greek comic poet Aristophanes. While doing research on manuscripts in Rome, during a stay at the British School, he met his future wife, whom he married in 1953.
Having held lectureships at Sheffield University and Edinburgh, David West was appointed to the Newcastle chair in 1969 . That same year he published The Imagery and Poetry of Lucretius. During his tenure at Newcastle University the Classics department was described as a “powerhouse of classical learning where they still know how to tell it like it is”, and he became a prominent voice in the classical community nationwide, most notably through his work with the British Classical Association .
Later he co-edited, with Tony Woodman, two collections of essays, Quality and Pleasure in Latin Poetry (1974) and Creative Imitation and Latin Literature (1979).
Following his retirement in 1992 he continued to teach for nearly a decade, and worked not only on his Horace commentary, but also on English poetry. His “exaugural” lecture was on George Herbert, and he then published a detailed commentary on Shakespeare’s sonnets. More recently, combining Classics, English literature and his own Scottish roots, he was working on an edition of part of Gavin Douglas’s great Scots translation of the Aeneid.
He was President of the Classical Association in 1995, and a Vice-President of the Association for Latin Teaching.
Like the Epicurean poets whose work he expounded, David West found delight in friendship, family, the countryside , wine (strong, red, Italian), music, the cultivation and enjoyment of home-grown vegetables, and perhaps above all, wide-ranging conversation, in which rationality and imagination were combined in equal measure.
He married, in 1953, Pamela Murray, who predeceased him in September 1995. He is survived by two daughters and three sons.
David West born November 22 1926, died May 13 2013
- via: Professor David West (Telegraph)