The idea behind Line of Enquiry was first conceived a few kilometres outside Cahors on the Camino de Santiago in the late summer of 2016 in the course of a conversation with a fellow Classics student. It began with modest ambitions of gathering a favourite line of classical literature from some familiar faces in the Classics Department of Trinity College Dublin. It has since evolved into the volume you hold in your hands today.

With the kind support of the Rudd family, Line of Enquiry quickly became a tribute to one of Trinity’s most illustrious Classics graduates. It has been a privilege to get to know more about Niall Rudd and his work through contact with his family and friends. It is my pleasure to say that many of these former friends and colleagues are represented in this collection.

Throughout the last year, this project has been kept on track with the guidance of a number of current Trinity Classics stalwarts: Winifred Ryan, Professor Brian McGing, Deputy-Editor Andrew Beazley and most notably, my academic advisor Professor Anna Chahoud, who made a busy sabbatical even busier in providing her tireless support and counsel for this project.

Finally, the unexpected success of Line of Enquiry is owed to the enthusiasm and generosity of the 50 contributors who accepted the disarmingly simple challenge of choosing a line and writing a page. Their efforts have produced a collection that is refreshing in its sincerity and illuminating in its variety.

The contributions have been ordered in a bid to draw forth some of the themes that run through the collection: divinity, humanity, creativity, education, happiness, love, loss, nature, journey, and death.

I will conclude with a quote from a scholar far more qualified than myself to make pronouncements on Classics and the power of the written word:

Taken together, this [collection of miscellaneous essays] illustrate[s], however imperfectly, the idea that in the study of literature no single point of view (whether philological, religious, historical or economic) has any special authority, and that the value of a given technique depends entirely on its fruitfulness.

– N. Rudd (1976), Lines of Enquiry; vii.

It is my hope that the book you hold in your hands today, the simple concept behind it, and the wonderfully eclectic contributions contained within it, will bear fruit that is worthy of such a noble idea.

Paul Corcoran, Dublin, May 2017