Sunday, December 11, 2005



Two great scholars died recently.

One was Roger Shattuck, whose book Forbidden Knowledge I'm currently reading. He was Commonwealth Professor of French at the University of Virginia when I was a graduate student in the classics department there. I think that his only academic degree was a B.A. from Yale -- his life and work refuted those who regard formal academic credentials as all-important.

The other was D.R. Shackleton Bailey, editor and translator of Cicero's letters, Martial, and other Latin texts. As if his unrivalled knowledge of Latin was not enough, he was also a Tibetan scholar, who edited Satapancasatka of Matrceta: Sanskrit text, Tibetan translation & commentary, and Chinese translation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951).

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