Publication Date

April 2016

Advisor(s)

Andrew Szegedy-Maszak

Major

Classics

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

I hope to do three things in this thesis: first, a description of how four notable translations have attempted to replicate the Iliad in English today. Though a great deal of work has been done on reception of the Classical world, with books published even exclusively on the reception of Homer, not nearly enough has been published on translations of the Classical world. Being separated by so much time and culture, translating from Ancient Greek to English (or any modern language) is less about linguistic and conceptual difficulties, though those certainly exist, and more about attempting to make art work in an environment which it is wholly unaccustomed to be in. Achilles, were he to be alive today, would be called a war lord, a rapist, a dictator, and a possibly even guilty of genocide. In Ancient Greece, Achilles is a model of the struggle against death, a courageous warrior representing the impossible fight against fate. Translation is the process of bridging these, and many other, worldviews. I hope to have shown in my second, third, and fourth chapters how translators accomplish this goal. I make no overarching theory of translation to explain the technique of translators. I hope to have offered here only a sketch of what techniques translators have used and what those techniques tell us about translation, and about the Iliad. But, as the last point to my thesis, I hope to show how those techniques by translators reveal the implicit reception of the Iliad which those translators and the culture which they are apart of hold. In such a way, I hope to bridge translation and reception theory, ultimately with the goal of unifying them. Perhaps then, my readers may appreciate and understand the art of translations just a bit better.

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