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Latin Translations of Greek Literature?

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Latin Translations of Greek Literature?

Postby Discipulus Tristis » Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:36 pm

Hello there,

Does anyone know whether any Latin translations of Greek literature survive? Presumably some ambitious poeta attempted to bring Homer into Latin hexameter. As I don't know any Greek, but really enjoy English translations of Greek works, I'd be interested to know whether such works exist and whether they are worth reading.

D. Tristis
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Re: Latin Translations of Greek Literature?

Postby bedwere » Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:00 pm

Discipulus Tristis wrote:Hello there,

Does anyone know whether any Latin translations of Greek literature survive? Presumably some ambitious poeta attempted to bring Homer into Latin hexameter. As I don't know any Greek, but really enjoy English translations of Greek works, I'd be interested to know whether such works exist and whether they are worth reading.

D. Tristis


I would try to seach Google Books
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Postby Discipulus Tristis » Sat Apr 12, 2008 7:47 pm

Thank you, bedwere. Your suggestion proved fruitful:

To answer my own question, and for anyone else who is interested, the following is from the entry "Homer" in Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia by Christopher Kleinhenz, John W. Barker, Gail Geiger, Richard Lansing (Routledge 2004):

"Additionally, there was a brief condensation (less than 1,100 lines) of the Iliad in Latin verse, dating from the first century after Christ. This was locally available in some parts of Italy from probably the late ninth century onward. It is now known as the Ilias Latina, but for most of the Middle Ages is was just called the 'book of Homer the poet' or just 'Homer.' This very inadequate substitute is thought to have influenced the wording of tenth- and twelfth-century epic poems in Latin from northern Italy and from Pisa, and to have informed and eleventh-century lament for Hector (also in Latin), seemingly from Rome" (509).

So apparently it's not worth reading as a translation of Homer, but it is very interesting because it was the main source for Homer available to most writers during the Middle Ages.

It's also available at the Latin Library: http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/ilias.html
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Re: Latin Translations of Greek Literature?

Postby Patruus » Sat Apr 12, 2008 8:24 pm

Discipulus Tristis wrote:Hello there,

Does anyone know whether any Latin translations of Greek literature survive? Presumably some ambitious poeta attempted to bring Homer into Latin hexameter. As I don't know any Greek, but really enjoy English translations of Greek works, I'd be interested to know whether such works exist and whether they are worth reading.

D. Tristis


Cunich's Latin version of Iliad Book 1 is to be found here:
http://www.grexlat.com/biblio/varia/cunichius.html

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Re: Latin Translations of Greek Literature?

Postby cantator » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:53 am

Discipulus Tristis wrote:Does anyone know whether any Latin translations of Greek literature survive? Presumably some ambitious poeta attempted to bring Homer into Latin hexameter. As I don't know any Greek, but really enjoy English translations of Greek works, I'd be interested to know whether such works exist and whether they are worth reading.


Search Google Books for "graece et latine".

Samuel Clarke's ad verbum translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey are available for download, as are similar translations of other poems, plays and prose works.

Verse translations are harder to find. Notable verse translations from the ancient period include Catullus 51 and 66, more is available from the Renaissance (Valla et al).
Similis sum folio de quo ludunt venti.
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