DEDICATORY EPISTLE TO HABBAKUKIUS DUNDERHEADIUS, Sometime Fellow, etc., of the renowned University of Leyden.
The inestimable Homeric Fragment, which your singular patience of research hath given to the world, will hand down your name sacred and immortal to posterity.
The sagacity of your Annotations, appendant to this divine relic, hath left no room to the learned but for admiration. To the unlearned perchance my feeble translation may afford a dim glimpse of its beauties.
However infelicitous, O thrice sapient Sir! my effort to ren- der adequately into the English tongue so precious a morsel, I am consoled by the hope of stimulating others to so worthy a toil, and by beholding the unheard-of success of the original, in the appearance of a third edition.
UNIOMACHIA, OR THE BATTLE AT THE UNION.
About this text
About this edition
This is a facsimile and transcription of Uniomachia, or The battle at the Union : an Homeric fragment, lately given to the world by Habbakukius Dunderheadius [pseud.] and now rendered into the English tongue by Jedediah Puzzlepate [pseud.]. It is held by Oxford Union Society Library (shelf mark 378.425 74 OUS UNI).
The transcription was encoded in TEI P5 XML by Laura Johnson.
Transcribed from: Oxford Union Society Library 378.425 74 OUS UNI Images scanned from Oxford Union Society Library 378.425 74 OUS UNI
Written as a humorous account of a conflict amongst the members of the Oxford Union Society in the Michaelmas term of 1833, the poem Uniomachia succeeded in healing divisions and securing the future of the Society.
The conflict arose when the ascendancy of the politically-Conservative governing Committee who had controlled the Union for the past year, was overthrown by a number of Liberal reformers, including Edward Massie as the new President. The old Committee took offence at this and formed their own debating society, known as the Ramblers. The Rambler debates proved very popular and attendance at the Union declined. This led Massie and the new Committee to propose a motion to expel all members of the Ramblers from the Oxford Union. The debate on the motion was fierce and the Society remained divided, even after a clear majority of 107 to 63 voters rejected the motion.
In an attempt to heal the rift, Thomas Jackson (pseudonym Habbakukius Dunderheadius) decided to retell the story of the debate in mock Homeric verse. He was assisted in the enterprise by one of the participants of the debate, a fellow undergraduate of St Mary’s Hall, William Sinclair. Originally written in macaronic Greek and Latin, referred to as “Canino-Anglico-Græce et Latine”, this translation of Uniomachia into English in the manner of Alexander Pope was quickly composed and published the same year by John Douglas Giles of Corpus Christi (pseudonym Jedediah Puzzlepate). The texts circulated rapidly around the University and were found to be highly amusing by all sides. This succeeded in easing tensions and led to the arrangement of a banquet for the original protagonists where a blessing of friendship was read.
Publication: Taylor Institution Library, one of the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford, 2019. XML files are available for download under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License . Images are available for download under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License .
Source editionUniomachia, or The battle at the Union : an Homeric fragment, lately given to the world by Habbakukius Dunderheadius, and now rendered into the English tongue by Jedediah Puzzlepate. Oxford : J. Vincent, 1833.
Created by encoding transcription from printed text.
This is a diplomatic transcription. All original spelling, punctuation and capitalisation has been reproduced. The running header, page and line numbers have been represented. All line breaks have been reproduced, but some spacing between words has been normalised.