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Pieter Coecke van Aelst, the elder (Flemish, 1502-1550). 'Saint Jerome in His Study,' ca. 1530. oil on panel. Walters Art Museum (37.256): Acquired by Henry Walters. Image via Wikimedia under Public Domain.

Blog: Valuing Classical Translations for Outreach, Diversity, and Art

By Diane Rayor | January 31, 2019

Literary translation is a scholarly and a creative act in which a reader of the Greek or Latin becomes the writer for new readers. Like all readers, translators interpret the text, and in the field of classics, apply their scholarship and their poetic abilities to put the text into a modern language. Since many readers of our translations cannot read the original, they depend on us to transmit the voice of the original writer and to be transparent in our choices. By that I mean that the translator should proclaim whether the translation is aiming for accuracy (and what that means in particular), whether it adds or subtracts from the source text (such as Richmond Lattimore inserting his own lines into Sappho’s fragments), whether the work is an adaptation Read more …