Saturday, December 19, 2009

Obsessive Ciceronians

At the Sunday Times, a delightful review by Robert Harris of the paperback reissue of R. Shackleton Bailey's translation of Cicero's Philippics (I have been talking regularly about Ciceronian 'periods' in my style class this semester, and have had a bit of an urge to delve back into some orations - might be I should get a copy of this...):
Shackleton Bailey, known as “Shack”, who died in 2005 at the age of 87, was a Bletchley Park codebreaker who became the doyen of modern Cicero translators. He was also one of the great eccentrics of academia, famous for dedicating his edition of Cicero’s Letters to his cat (“Dono Donorum Aeluro Candidissimo”: “gift of gifts, whitest of cats”) and who allegedly resigned as a tutor from Jesus College, Cambridge when he was refused permission to cut a cat flap in his 16th-century oak door. (“His capacity for alcohol was vast,” noted his Times obituarist. “He used to stand on his head at social events.”)
Here is the direct link to the Times obituary.

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