Papers relating to Jackson Knight collected by Professor T P Wiseman

Scope and Content

The papers comprise two boxes of material gathered whilst Professor Wiseman was researching his book on Talking to Virgil (1992). The papers include offprints of journal articles by Jackson Knight, together with manuscript notes by Professor Wiseman and a small amount of correspondence between Wiseman and various correspondents including the Psychic Society, Maurice Pope, John Christie and C L Rollo.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Francis Jackson Knight (1895-1964), classical scholar, the elder son of George Knight and Caroline Louisa Jackson, was born on 20 October 1895. He was educated at Dulwich College and Hertford College Oxford, to which he won an open scholarship in Classics. He served as a despatch rider during the First World War. After a number of teaching jobs, including ten years at All Saints' School, Bloxham, he became a temporary lecturer in Classics at the University of St. Andrew's. The following year he accepted an Assistant Lectureship at Exeter, which he turned to a Lectureship the next year and a Readership in 1942. He remained at Exeter, a committed educationalist who inspired hundreds of students, until and after he retired. His publications included several works on Virgil, including 'Vergil's Troy' (1932), 'Cummaean Gates' (1936), 'Accentual Symmetry in Vergil' (1939), 'Roman Vergil' (1943), 'Vergil and Homer' (1950), and 'Virgil's Aeneid, a translation' (Penguin Classics, 1956). In addition he played a key role in extra-mural activities, encouraging young poets and establishing and commanding the University's Officer Training Corps. He established the international review 'Erasmus'. He retired from teaching in 1961. His biography, by his brother George Wilson Knight, was published in 1975.

Professor Wiseman came to Exeter as Professor of Classics in 1977, was Head of Department until 1990, retired in 2001, and is now Emeritus Professor. Wiseman has been fascinated by the ancient world for over half a century. His first and abiding interest has been in the late Roman Republic, both its literature and its social and political history: see Catullan Questions (1969), New Men in the Roman Senate (1971), Cinna the Poet (1974), Catullus and his World (1985), Roman Political Life (1985), and Remembering the Roman People (2008). That led him into the study of Roman historiography, and from there to the myth-history of early Rome: see Clio's Cosmetics (1979), Historiography and Imagination (1994), Remus: A Roman Myth (1995), Roman Drama and Roman History (1998), The Myths of Rome (2004), which won him the American Philological Association's Goodwin Award of Merit, and Unwritten Rome (2008). But apart from these main areas, he also conducted research inRoman studies, and published the following works, for instance Roman Studies (1987), A Short History of the British School at Rome (1990), Death of an Emperor (1991) and Talking to Virgil (1992).

Access Information

Usual EUL conditions apply.

Other Finding Aids


Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Related Material

Exeter University Library holds the following collections relating to William Jackson Knight and to his brother George Wilson Knight: EUL MS 54, 75, 80, 84, 87, 89, 93, 94, 185, 191, 193 and 194. Other papers relating to Jackson Knight are also held by the following repositories: Leeds University, Bodleian Library and University College London.


These papers were collected in preparation for the publication 'Talking to Virgil' (1992) by T P Wiseman.