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Hexametric Aeneid in English?

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Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby adrianus » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:23 pm

Does anyone know of a hexametric translation of the Aeneid in English?
Quis anglicè hexameteram Aeneidos versionem cognoscit?
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby Hampie » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:10 pm

Have you tried Wikisource?
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby adrianus » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:29 pm

Ità. // Yes.

I'm looking for a translation into hexameters in English, not pentameters.
Versionem anglicam in hexametros non pentametros translatam quaero.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby Hampie » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:49 am

I see. All Swedish translations I know of are in hexameter, so I though that the english ones had to be pretty common :O.
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby adrianus » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:52 pm

Ah, that's interesting, Hampie. I wonder then about other languages. What about the Aeneid in languages other than English and Swedish? Is hexametric the norm? Pentameters are the norm in English, I reckon.

Id mihi curae est, Hampie. Miror dein de aliis linguis. Quid de Aeneide in sermonibus aliis quàm Suecicis et anglicis? Typicaene sunt versiones hexametrae in linguâ tuâ? Naturales sunt pentametri anglicé, ut puto.

If it's not too much trouble, could you post here the first sentence (the first four lines in Latin) in your own language?

Si tibi non nimis molestum est, potesne hîc prodere primam sententiam (quae latinè est principes quattuor versus) in sermonibus tibi propriis?
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby Hampie » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:20 pm

adrianus wrote:Ah, that's interesting, Hampie. I wonder then about other languages. What about the Aeneid in languages other than English and Swedish? Is hexametric the norm? Pentameters are the norm in English, I reckon.

Id mihi curae est, Hampie. Miror dein de aliis linguis. Quid de Aeneide in sermonibus aliis quàm Suecicis et anglicis? Typicaene sunt versiones hexametrae in linguâ tuâ? Naturales sunt pentametri anglicé, ut puto.

If it's not too much trouble, could you post here the first sentence (the first four lines in Latin) in your own language?

Si tibi non nimis molestum est, potesne hîc prodere primam sententiam (quae latinè est principes quattuor versus) in sermonibus tibi propriis?

Sadly I do not have a translation of the Ænei at my disposal. I’ve tried to find one on the web, but since Swedish is a small language, no one has bothered to transcribe it. I can give example of Swedish hexameter though if you’d like some.
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby Alatius » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:21 pm

Swedish rendering by Ingvar Björkeson, accentual hexameter:

Vapen sjunger jag om och hjälten som flyktig från Trojas
kuster av ödet drevs till Laviniums strand och Italien.
Länge, förföljd av Junos hat och långsinta grymhet
var han en lekboll till lands och sjöss för himmelska makter,
länge måste han utstå krig tills en stad kunde grundas
och han till Latien fört sina gudar, varifrån Albas
der stammar, latinernas ätt, det mäktiga Roma.
Musa, förtälj om skälen härtill! Säg hur gudarnas drottning
blev i sin värdighet kränkt, vad harm har fått henne störta
in i så ändlösa faror och kval en man som var allmänt
känd för fromhet – är vreden så stor i olympiska hjärtan?

Literal translation:

Weapons I sing of and the hero who fugitive from Troy's
coasts by destiny was driven to Lavinium's shore and Italy.
For a long time, haunted by Juno's hate and perpetual cruelty
he was a plaything on land and at sea for heavenly powers,
long he had to endure war(s) until a city could be founded
and he to Latium brought his gods, wherefrom Alba's
fathers originate, the dynasty of Latins, the mighty Roma.
Muse, tell of the causes to this! Say how the queen of the gods
became in her dignity harmed, what indignation has come her to cast
into such endless perils and suffering a man who was universally
known for piety — is the anger so large in olympic hearts?

Edit: Haha, by chance, the fourth line in the literal translation became a hexameter as well.
Last edited by Alatius on Sun Jul 18, 2010 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby adrianus » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:44 pm

Thanks so much, Hampie, Alatius. I like it. I did, by the way, find a recent online hexametric version by a certain Kline in English. I wonder are there more.
Gratias vobis ago, Hampie, Alati. Id mihi placet. Versionem de Kline quodam hexametram et interretialem et novam obiter repperi. Me roga an amplius sint.

Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam fato profugus Lavinaque venit
Litora—multum ille et terris jactatus et alto
vi superum saevae memorem Junonis ob iram
(Vergil, Aeneis—hexameters)

Arms and the man I sing, who, forc'd by fate,
And haughty Juno's unrelenting hate,
Expell'd and exil'd, left the Trojan shore.
Long labors, both by sea and land, he bore,
(John Dryden, [The Aeneid] The Works of Virgil, 1697—pentameters)

Arms and the man I sing, who first made way,

Predestined exile, from the Trojan shore

To Italy, the blest Lavinian strand.

Smitten of storms he was on land and sea

By violence of Heaven, to satisfy   
Stern Juno’s sleepless wrath; and much in war
(Theodore C Williams, The Aeneid of Virgil, 1908—pentameters)

I sing of arms and the man, he who, exiled by fate,
first came from the coast of Troy to Italy, and to
Lavinian shores – hurled about endlessly by land and sea,
by the will of the gods, by cruel Juno’s remorseless anger,
(A. S. Kline, Virgil : The Aeneid Book I, 2002, http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITB ... c535054289 —hexameters)

Arms and a man I sing, the first from Troy,
A fated Exile to Lavinian shores
In Italy. On land and sea, divine will—
And Juno's unforgetting rage—harrassed him.
(Sarah Ruden, The Aeneid Vergil, New Haven & London, 2008, p.1—pentameters)

Je chante les combats et ce guerrier pieux
Qui, banni par le sort des champs de ses aïeux,
Et des bords phrygiens conduit dans l'Ausonie,
Abords le premier aux champs de Lavinie,
Errant en cent climats, triste jouet des flots,
Long-temps le sort cruel poursuivit ce héros,
Et servit de Junon la haine infatigable.
(Jacques Delille, L'Énéide, traduite en vers Français, Paris, 1809, p.57—tetrameters)
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby modus.irrealis » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:20 pm

The online translation seems to be free verse rather than have a strict meter, similar to Fagles' translation

Wars and a man I sing -- an exile driven on by Fate,
he was the first to flee the coast of Troy,
destined to reach Lavinian shores and Italian soil,
yet many blows he took on land and sea from the gods above--
thanks to cruel Juno's relentless rage -- and many losses

I think hexameter versions are rare just because they don't seem to fit English rhythm all that well. There is, though, this hexameter translation by Sir Charles Bowen:

War I sing, and the hero who first from the Trojan land
Came to Italian shores and to this Lavinian strand —
Exile guided of Fate. Long time on the land and the sea
Driven by the powerful malice of great Immortals was he,
Through fierce Juno's anger. And much in battles he bore,

I also found mention of a translation by Ballard but can't find anything on that.

adrianus wrote:(Jacques Delille, L'Énéide, traduite en vers Français, Paris, 1809, p.57—tetrameters)

These are alexandrines. You might be able to say they're hexameters in some sense but they don't really fall into this classification.
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby Hampie » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:30 pm

I actually found some Æneid lines in Swedish - and even better, it’s not the same translation as the one Altalius posted!


Jag, densamma som förr på den böjliga pipan har spelat

herdars kväden och sedan till gagn för idoga lantmän

trätt ur skogarnas lugn, att näst omgränsande tegar

tvinga till lydnad emot den giriga odlarna omsider.
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby adrianus » Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:48 pm

Thanks, modus.irrealis, for the Bowen, and Hampie. Here is another hexametrical one I found in English, when I was looking into Bowen.
Gratias, modus.irrealis, tibi de exemplo Bowen, et iterùm, Hampie. Ecce alia hexametra à me illam de Bowen inquirenti reperta, ea adeò quam anglicè quaerebam.

Arms and the hero I sing, who of old from the borders of Troja
Came to Italia, banished by fate to Lavinia's destined
Seacoasts : much was he tossed on the lands and the deep by enlisted
Might of supernals, through ruthless Juno's remembered resentment :
(Oliver Crane, Virgil's Aeneid, Translated Literally, Line by Line, into English Dactylic Hexameter, New York, 1888)
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby adrianus » Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:06 pm

The first translation of the Aeneid into English is Caxton's in 1490, and was made from a French translation (Eneydos, Englisht from the French Liure des Eneydes [of 1483])! In fact, it's only in the 10th chapter that we find where Vergil starts his poem, and not at all in a straightforward way.

Prima anglica Aeneidos versio à Guillielmo Caxton facta est anno millesimo quadringentesimo nonagesimo ex sermonibus francicis! Verum dicere, solùm in capitulo decimo fabula ubi Vergilius incipit reperitur et modo quidem obliquo.
http://www.archive.org/details/caxtonseneydos00virguoft wrote:How Iuno, for tempesshe thooste of Eneas whiche wolde haue goon in to ytalye / prayd the goddys of wyndes / that eueryche by hym selfe sholde make concussyon and tormente in the ayer.
Capitulo x˚
Eneas thenne sailynge bi the see, was recountred by yolus, whiche smote wythin the saylles grete assaultes, effortes & bataylles in many maners / And made to come the four wyndes to gyder / one ayenst another, wyth all theyr sequele


First verse translation // Prima in versus
Gavin Douglas, The Bukes of Eneados, London, 1553, http://www.archive.org/details/poeticalworksofg02douguoft, wrote:The battellis and the man I will discrive
Fra Troyis boundis, first that fugitive
By fate to Italie, come and coist lavyne
Over land and se, cachit with meikill pyne
Be force of goddis above, fra every stede
Of cruel Juno, throw auld remembrit feid
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby tjnor » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:12 pm

Adriane,

Perhaps you have already seen this. It's not the Aeneid nor is it even Latin, but it does contain many examples of English Hexamer, including Dr. Hawtrey's English Hexameter versions of some Homeric passages (starting at pg. 242) which Matthew Arnold praised as "the most successful attempt hereto [1847] made at rendering Homer into English":

http://books.google.com/books?id=fiMHAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=English+Hexameter+Translations&hl=en&ei=stE8TISbJ4S4sQPF7djNAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

This is heartbreaking:

Iliad Book III, vv. 234-244

Helen From The Walls of Troy Looking for Her Brothers

Clearly the rest I behold of the dark-ey'd sons of Achaia;
Known to me well are the faces of all; their names I remember;
Two, two only remain, whom I see not among the commanders,
Kastor fleet in the car-Polydeukes brave with the cestus-
Own dear brethren of mine-one parent loved us as infants.
Are they not here in the host, from the shores of lov'd Lakedaimon?
Or, tho' they came with the rest in the ships that bound thro' the waters,
Dare they not enter the fight or stand in the council of Heroes,
All for the fear of the shame and the taunts my crime has awaken'd?
So said she;-they long since in Earth's soft arms were reposing,
There, in their own dear land, their Father-land, Lakedaimon
.

Vale,

Timotheus
Last edited by tjnor on Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby NateD26 » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:21 pm

I hope it's ok to add this link on a brief summary of the English Hexameter controversy:
http://www.bartleby.com/223/0714.html
I do not understand myself anything about meter, be it in English, Greek or Hebrew (have not studied Latin yet).
But perhaps it will be of help to you. The writer referenced Oliver Goldsmith's 16th Essay regarding
his recommendation of English hexameters.
Nate.
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby adrianus » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:48 pm

Many thanks, tjnor and NateD26. This is exactly the controversy that I'm trying to get my head around. It touches on many things.

Gratias multas vobis, tjnor NateD26que, ago. Verùm illa est controversia quam ego intellegere conor. Res multas alias tangit.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Hexametric Aeneid in English?

Postby cantator » Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:49 am

Just for fun you might want to read Pound's essays "Notes On Elizabethan Classicists" and "Translators Of Greek: Early Translators Of Homer", both of which are included in the first volume of his Literary Essays.

I notice you found Gavin Douglas. Have you encountered Salel yet ?
Similis sum folio de quo ludunt venti.
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