D. R. Shackleton Bailey

David Roy Shackleton Bailey

(1917-12-10)10 December 1917
Died28 November 2005(2005-11-28) (aged 87)
OccupationClassical scholar
Years active1944–2005
  • Hilary Ann Bardwell
    (m. 1967; div. 1975)
  • Kristine Zvirbulis
    (m. 1994)

David Roy Shackleton Bailey FBA (10 December 1917 – 28 November 2005) was a British scholar of Latin literature (particularly in the field of textual criticism) who spent his academic life teaching at the University of Cambridge, the University of Michigan, and Harvard. He is best known for his work on Horace (editing his complete works for the Teubner series), and Cicero, especially his commentaries and translations of Cicero's letters.[1]

Academic career

Bailey was the youngest of four children born to John Henry Shackleton Bailey and Rosmund Maud (née Giles).[2] After being educated at Lancaster Royal Grammar School, where his mathematician father was headmaster, Shackleton Bailey read first Classics and then Oriental Studies at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, before spending the years of the Second World War at Bletchley Park, the home of the British code-breaking efforts. He returned to Caius as a fellow in 1944, and in 1948 obtained a lectureship in Tibetan at Cambridge University. In 1955 he migrated to Jesus College, Cambridge, where, as Director of Studies in Classics, he began publishing the long series of books and articles on Latin authors that would occupy the rest of his life. He spent four more years at Caius from 1964 to 1968, this time serving as Bursar and Senior Bursar. This time, his move was reputedly because Sir Denys Page, Master of Jesus, refused to allow Shack (as he was commonly known) to have a cat-flap installed in his ancient oak door. In 1968 he crossed the Atlantic, specifically to the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; and in 1976 he moved to Harvard University (whose Classics department he had visited in 1963), first as Professor of Greek and Latin, then (from 1982) as Pope Professor of the Latin Language and Literature. He twice served as the editor of Harvard Studies in Classical Philology (1980-1981 and 1983–1985). In 1988 he retired from Harvard and became an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan.[citation needed]

In 1967 he married Hilary Ann Bardwell (who was later married to Alastair Boyd), the former wife of the British author Kingsley Amis; this marriage was dissolved in 1975. In 1994 he married Kristine Zvirbulis. He was extremely fond of cats (the first volume of his seven-volume Cambridge University Press edition of the Letters of Cicero is dedicated to Donum, a feline present from Frances Lloyd-Jones) and of classical music.[citation needed]

In 1958 he earned the double honour of a fellowship of the British Academy (whose Kenyon Medal he would be awarded in 1985)[3] and a Litt.D. degree from Cambridge; he also held an honorary Litt.D. from Dublin University, awarded in 1984. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1975[4] and a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1977.[5] He was a member of the American Philological Association, which awarded him the Goodwin Award for Merit in 1978; a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters; an honorary member of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies; and an honorary fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.[citation needed]

The bulk of his scholarly work focused on Latin philology and Roman history and prosopography. In retirement he prepared many editions for the Loeb Classical Library published by Harvard University Press, including those of Martial, Valerius Maximus, Statius, and the correspondence of Cicero.[citation needed]

He died of Alzheimer's disease in Ann Arbor, Michigan.[6]

Publications (selected)


  1. ^ "Professor D. R. Shackleton Bailey Latin scholar whose edition of Cicero's letters is a monument of 20th-century classical scholarship" The Independent Wednesday 4 January 2006 [1]
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 April 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Medals and Prizes (Kenyon Medal) - British Academy". Archived from the original on 2 March 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  4. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  5. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 18 July 2022.
  6. ^ http://www.michigandaily.com/media/storage/paper851/news/2005/12/07/News/Classics.Prof.Loved.Latin.Literature.Cats-1433579.shtml[permanent dead link] Michigan Daily
  7. ^ Bailey; D. R. Shackleton Bailey (January 1960). Satapancasa. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-04077-8.