David Roy Shackleton Bailey (2005)

What can be added to the numerous tributes to one of the greatest scholars of our time, David Roy Shackleton Bailey, born in December 1917? As E.J. Kenney wrote, he was a "lover of facts" who devoted his life to "the establishment and explication of Latin texts." He attended Lancaster Grammar School where his father was headmaster, received a first class Cambridge in Classical Languages, then after switching to Sanskrit and Pali, received a second first in Oriental Languages. Following work in British Intelligence in World War II, Bailey became University Lecturer in Tibetan at Cambridge in 1948, where he published an important edition of Buddhist hymns. By 1955 he had returned to classics and shortly published his first great book, Propertiana, an invaluable compendium of information and insight not only on the elegist but on editing Latin texts in general. In the next fifty years he published editions of Horace, Lucan, Martial, Valerius Maximus, Quintilian. He would ultimately edit over thirty Loeb editions. His greatest work, indeed one of the greatest works of classical scholarship in the twentieth century, was his edition of Cicero's letters in 10 volumes. In 1968 he moved into CAMWS territory, joining the University of Michigan. Seven years later he decamped to Harvard as Pope Professor of Latin. Apparently the CAMWS call was so alluring that when he retired from Harvard in 1988, he returned to Ann Arbor, where he died on November 28, 2005. Though in truth there is no recorded connection between Bailey and CAMWS, we should be nonetheless enthusiastic in celebrating the life and accomplishments of this truly great scholar who was in our midst.

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