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Durham University

Department of Classics and Ancient History


Dr Nicholas Horsfall

Nicholas Horsfall (whose origins are mixed even by the splendid standards set by the Durham classics department) began Latin at 8 (it used to happen), went to Westminster School, Peterhouse, Cambridge and Corpus, Oxford, was taught by Kenney and Brink, by Fraenkel, Nisbet, and, above all, Hubbard. He taught at University College London from 1971 to 1987 and then went to live in Italy, 1987-2000, where he taught on an irregular basis, and wrote a good deal. The first of the Virgil commentaries came out at the end of 2000 (Aen. 7) and was followed by Aen. 11, 3 and 2. In 2003 he moved from near Oxford to the northern Highlands of Scotland. He is, and for years has been, closer to classics in Europe (in particular) than in Britain. There is life beyond classics, involving food and wine, cats, military history, cricket , music of discontinuous periods, chess problems and crime fiction. The need to split thirty tons of firewood per annum has reduced the energy that used to go into reviewing.

A full list of publications can be downloaded here (last updated November 2015).

Selected recent publications


"Pictures from an excecution" in Myths, Martyrs, and Modernity. Studies...Jan N. Bremmer (Leiden 2010), 237-47

"Bees in Elysium" Vergilius 56 (2010), 39-45

"Excudent alii" Vergilius 57 (2011), 63-73

"Virgil and the Jews" Vergilius 58(2012), 67-80

"Poets and poetry in Virgil's underworld" Vergilius 59 (2013), 85-90


Virgil, Aeneid 6, a commentary. de Gruyter, Berlin 2013, 2 vols., pp.101 and 650.