The Association for Latin Teaching

respice prospice

Professor David West, who died on 13 May, 2013, was a Vice-President of ARLT and a long-standing friend of the Association. He was Professor of Latin at Newcastle University from 1969 until 1992, having previously held posts at Sheffield and Edinburgh. Though sometimes jocularly threatening to give up Latin, he remained active in scholarship through more than twenty years of retirement. Many members will recall his lectures on Latin poetry – Virgil, Horace and Ovid in particular, while others will know him best through his books, especially the Penguin translation of the Aeneid (arguably the best English prose translation) and the three volumes of Horace’s Odes Books I-III with translation and commentary, entitled respectively Carpe Diem, Vatis Amici, and Dulce Periculum. His rare ability to extract the living meaning from the words on a page of Latin will be much missed, as will his conviviality, his warm enthusiasm for the subject, and his support for all who teach it.

Full obituaries may be found via the following links:

(The Times, 19 June 2013, by Keith Maclennan)

(Council of University Classics Departments, Bulletin 2013, by Peter Jones)

(Daily Telegraph, 20 June 2013, originally by Jonathan Powell but much edited)

(Herald of Scotland, 29 June 2013)

Tributes from the symposium ‘Enthusiasms, in commemoration of David West’ held at Newcastle on 3rd May 2014:

By David’s daughter Catherine:

By Professor James Wright, Latin scholar and former Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University:

Jonathan Powell, RHUL


22.11.1926  –  13.5.2013

David West  performs with David Parsons at the ARLT Summer School 1987