Ilias Latina

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Barry Hofstetter
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Ilias Latina

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:04 pm

I'm all about the Iliad these days, reading Homer's Iliad (in Greek), and now the Ilias Latina. I found this gem, a dissertation which also includes the complete text of the Ilias together with translation.

http://cdm15799.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ ... /id/506434
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

Callisper
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Re: Ilias Latina

Post by Callisper » Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:00 am

It might interest you also to check out the full-scale translations into Latin hexameters - first by Helius Eobanus Hessus and later by Raymundus Cunichius.


(As always, I'd be glad to hear of any I have missed)

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Barry Hofstetter
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Re: Ilias Latina

Post by Barry Hofstetter » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:46 pm

Fascinating, and looks fun, but right now I'm concentrating only on texts written in antiquity. I'm a bit surprised with how easy the Ilias Latina is. Is this because it was actually a teaching text, and deliberately simplified?
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
καὶ σὺ τὸ σὸν ποιήσεις κἀγὼ τὸ ἐμόν. ἆρον τὸ σὸν καὶ ὕπαγε.

mwh
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Re: Ilias Latina

Post by mwh » Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:39 am

I shouldn’t think so. Just why it was written is not very clear, but it doesn’t look to me as if the Latin itself (as distinct from the narrative) is simplified. It's less simple than Homer’s Greek.
The work served to make the Iliad accessible to the Greekless. Which is why in the West it effectively was the Iliad until the Renaissance.

Callisper
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Re: Ilias Latina

Post by Callisper » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:55 am

mwh wrote:
Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:39 am
The work served to make the Iliad accessible to the Greekless. Which is why in the West it effectively was the Iliad until the Renaissance.
Were there many literate Romans when Ilias Latina was composed - that is, 1st century AD - who couldn't read the original Greek?

Or does your comment refer to its fortunes post-fall of Rome, in medieval times etc. until the 'rediscovery' of Greek in the Renaissance West?

At any rate it seems plausible it could have been intended as a pedagogical work... the dissertation Barry linked adduces on p25 a number of scholars, admittedly old, on both sides of the argument. I don't know if something has since swung the scales. Certainly Döring's belief (p24) that Silius was writer is something our modern philological armory would have a lot to say about.

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Re: Ilias Latina

Post by mwh » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:13 pm

Well I imagine there were a good number of literate Romans who even if they could read the original Greek might well have welcomed a hexameter abridgment of the Iliad in their own language. But it’s impressively faithful*—I’m tempted to say it assumes familiarity with the original Greek. My point was just that the Latin does not seem to be dumbed down for children. It’s patently under heavy Vergilian influence. I’d say it’s as much a pedagogical work as the Aeneid, but it was apparently not put to such pedagogical uses. I was expecting the most interesting thing about it to be how it adapts the Homeric narrative and adjusts it to its own purposes, emphasizing and deemphasizing certain aspects and events. But it seems to follow the original quite neutrally and untendentiously. There’s a big lacuna, so the line count is misleading. I’ve never read it before (shame on me), and do not know what’s been written about it. But it’s a more interesting production than I was expecting.

Silius Italicus, hmm. Well, why not? The framing acrostics identify the author as Italicus, and the Punica is similarly indebted to the Aeneid, and Pliny’s description of his verse as written maiore cura quam ingenio certainly fits. But obviously none of that is determinative. I’m not competent to make a proper stylistic comparison, and if the idea has failed to gain traction I expect it’s wrong,

But yes it was its medieval success that I had in mind in the latter part of my comment.

*Iram pande mihi Pelidae, Diua, superbi
Tristia quae miseris iniecit funera Grais
Atque animas fortes heroum tradidit Orco
Latrantumque dedit rostris uolucrumque trahendos
Illorum exsangues, inhumatis ossibus, artus. …
And this in an acrostic! But less faithful later, unsurprisingly.

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