Niall Rudd

Niall Rudd Professor of Latin at Bristol University, has translated The Satires and Epistles of Horace and The Satires of Persius. He is the author of Lines of Enquiry, The Satires of Horace and Johnson’s Juvenal.



22 April 1993

Miles Burrow complains of being rather in the dark about Catullus’s irrumabo (Letters, 27 May). To judge strictly from its etymology this should mean: ‘I shall put a teat (ruma) in your mouth.’ But when the teat is seen as the male organ, and when the spirit is one of angry aggression, the effect is transformed. The standard work on this, and similarly edifying topics, is The Latin Sexual Vocabulary...

Princes and Poets

Niall Rudd, 4 August 1983

In his immensely impressive book Dr Erskine-Hill shows how the example of Augustus was used as an inspiration, or as a warning, at every period from the Church Fathers to the end of the 18th century. Elizabeth’s reign had important Augustan features, but her court was not a source of literary patronage, and England did not occupy a central position on the international scene. James I saw himself as a potential Augustus; he encouraged Shakespeare, Jonson and Donne, and took a serious interest in religion; but he failed to assert British power abroad. Charles II was hailed as a new Augustus in panegyrics and on ceremonial arches, and it was in connection with his reign that the word ‘Augustan’ was first used of a cultural period. The comparison was developed by Higgons in 1726 but opposed by Warton and Hume, who argued that in taste and morals the age was far from Augustan. In the mid-18th century the debate became more complicated. Opponents of George II could use either the favourable ‘Velleian’ picture of Augustus as a contrast or the unfavourable ‘Tacitean’ picture as a comparison; many accounts of Augustus were ambiguous. But whether revered or reviled he remained a central point of reference.

Ach so, Herr Major: Translating Horace

Nicholas Horsfall, 23 June 2005

At Mrs H.G. Wells’s funeral on 22 October 1927, Virginia Woolf was surprised that HGW’s ‘typewritten sheets’ were read by ‘a shaggy, shabby old scholar’, T.E....

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