J.P.J. van Rensburg

Jump to navigation Jump to search

J.P.J. van Rensburg (1911-1980) was a Stellenbosch based classicist and translator.


Born Johannes Petrus Jansen van Rensburg on 23 August, 1911, at Tweedronk, Standerton District and attended school in Standerton.

He studied Classical Languages at the University of Stellenbosch, completing a BA in Latin and Greek (1932); a Senior Teaching Diploma and an MA (1934), and a D.Litt. (1943). In 1937 he went to London to continue his studies with an Abe Bailey bursary, completing an MA in Classical languages (1938).

He returned to teach at his alma mater, eventually becoming Professor of Classical languages (1947-51) and Professor of Greek (1951-1976).

Contribution to South African theatre and performance

Besides his teaching, he was a formidable translator of classical Greek and Latin texts.

His Afrikaans translations of classic dramatic works were of particular importance in the effort of the National Theatre Organisation to introduce the general public to the classical repertoire. The works done include Euripides's Vroue van Troje (performed 1945, published by Nasionale Pers 1945), Antigone (1961), Iphigenia in Aulis (performed 1964, published 1967), Elektra (1969) and Lusistrata (1970).

Other Greek and Latin plays included an "imitation" of Die Voëls (The Birds) by Aristophanes, published 1966.

In 1948 and 1963 he received awards from the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns ("South African Academy for Science and Art") for his Drama translations.



Stellenbosch University Drama Department archive and play text collection

Stellenbosch University Library catalogue.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

Return to

Return to ESAT Personalities V

Return to South African Theatre Personalities

Return to The ESAT Entries

Return to Main Page