Wednesday, March 23, 2016



W.W. Briggs, entry for W.F. Jackson Knight (1895-1964) in R.B. Todd, ed., Dictionary of British Classicists, Vol. II (Bristol: Thoemmes Continuum, 2004), pp. 548-549:
In an effort to understand himself further, he began taking spiritualism more seriously. In 1947 [T.J.] Haarhoff [1892-1971] thought he had contacted the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus (on whom he was working) through a Johannesburg trance medium (aided by an Egyptian control named Tutu). Tutu had also learnt from the ghost of Benjamin JOWETT that he considered Knight his inspiration and partner. In 1948 Tutu confirmed Haarhoff's belief that in a previous life he had been Cornelius Gallus and that Knight had been Marcus Agrippa. When Knight was visiting lecturer at Witwatersrand in the summer that his mother died, he first got in touch with her, and two years later another medium (Emmy Vermey) put Haarhoff in touch with Virgil for help with certain cruces in the Aeneid, which Knight was translating for Penguin. Virgil answered (first in German, then in Latin) and though Knight did not accept all of the responses (which he thought were genuine), he was later assured by Haarhoff that Virgil was interested in the translation and that the poet sent Knight his 'love and greeting'.
Hat tip: Alan Crease.

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