Wednesday, August 18, 2010

RIP: Bernard Knox

This is classical, not medieval, but I devoured all of Bernard Knox's writings I could lay hands on when I was a freshman. For some reason, I got it into my head to read every extant ancient Greek play (or at least every one in our library), and though I didn't finish, I got a lot farther than you might think. I read a lot of Bernard Knox.

I was pretty amazed to find he had been in the OSS (predecessor to the CIA). How many people can have a story as cool as this one in his obituary?
The O.S.S. later sent him into northern Italy for an equally dangerous mission with the Italian underground, and it was there that he rekindled his passion for the classics. Holed up in an abandoned villa, he discovered a bound copy of Virgil and opened it to a section of the first Georgic that begins, “Here right and wrong are reversed; so many wars in the world, so many faces of evil.”

Really, who could be more awesome than that?


  1. Ahh yes, Mr. Knox--I remember those hardback, digest size collections of Aeschylus and Euripides oh so well!

  2. YES! I started with Aeschylus and worked my way forward.