My translation of Homer. Iliad, Book II, “The Catalogue of Ships”, Lines 546-580 in Modern English: Click to ENLARGE
Compare my translation in twenty-first century English with that of A.T. Murray 90 years ago (1924): Click to ENLARGE:
and you can instantly see the glaring discrepancies in the English of these two completely alien translations. Murray's translation from 1924 sounds uncannily like something Alexander Pope might have dryly penned in the eighteenth century! There really was no excuse for this, even in 1924, when people spoke an English very little removed from that we speak today. We can be pretty sure that the poor school children who were obliged to read the Iliad and Odyssey in that translation would probably not want to have anything more to do with either masterpiece for the rest of their lives. And who could have blamed them? But the Georgian mores of that era, still grudgingly hanging on in spite of the roaring twenties, prevailed, and to this day, far too many readers, young and old alike, end up in the ghastly grips of translations such as that one. God forbid! The most galling thing about it all is that The Perseus Digital Library
should know better. They have such a wealth of choice from modern translations, which they could easily have availed themselves of.
In the next post, we will be recommending some quality twenty-first century translations of the Iliad.
Historical linguist, Linear B, Mycenaean Greek, Minoan Linear A, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, ancient Greek, Homer, Iliad, only Blog ENTIRELY devoted to Linear B on Internet; bilingual English- French, read Latin fluently, read Italian & ancient Greek including Linear B well, Antikythera Mechanism
View all posts by vallance22
6 thoughts on “Homer. Iliad, Book II, “The Catalogue of Ships”, Lines 546-580 in Modern English Cf. Anachronistic Translation from 1924”
Reblogged this on KORYVANTES Association published work and commented:
Homer, Iliad, Book II. The Catalogue of Ships in Translation, lines 546-580
I see nothing wrong with the Murray translation. It is deliberately archaic and poetic to match its source material. The idea that translations must always be into modern idiomatic language grates with me.
Hello Wayne. Yes, of course, you are entitled to your opinion, and that is cool with me. I do not know about you, but I am almost 70 years old, and I for one do not think anything folks MY age might say about translations of the Iliad, archaic or not, washes well with the young generation on the rise now, and as I have often said in my posts, archaic translations will most certainly turn THEM off, if not people of my generation. Anyway, we shall all be dead in 20 years or so, and so it does not even matter. Additionally, I find the archaic English of the 1924 translation VERY off-putting, if for no other reason than that it is misleading, in that it is not an accurate translation of the Iliad. You can count on that. I do not not whether you read Greek, but if you do, then of course, what I am saying here is beside the point. But if you do not read Greek, I can assure you that that translation leaves a very great deal to be desired. Finally, the purpose of my translation is NOT to re-translate the entire Iliad into modern English. Far from it. It is to validate and cross-reference my Mycenaean Linear B research in the context of the Iliad, which is THE primary source of the earliest archaic Greek for any and all references to the Trojan War, which was in fact, the MYCENAEAN Trojan War. I would kindly ask you to read our latest post on the translation of lines 615-562, in which Knossos and several Minoan cities are specifically mentioned. If I had not translated the Catalogue of Ships into modern English, there would have been no viable way for me to demonstrate the various points of my new theories re. Linear B, or for me to publish my Topical English – Mycenaean Lexicon sometime in 2016 or 2017, which is to be the most comprehensive English-Mycenaean Greek lexicon to date, encompassing at least twice as much vocabulary than is currently available to students and researchers of Linear B. And for that, the English MUST be modern. You see what I mean.
OH and by the way, the ORIGINAL Greek text is written in Epic Greek, which is, I hate to say it, not archaic at all, but a variant of Ionic Greek.
Thank you for your insight.
Dear Richard, Fantastic! Thankyou.
I guess you have also been following the latest Parthenon Scupltures travesty by the Britush Museum.
It’s a disgrace. Their archaic attitudes and slippery arguments leave the rest of the world aghast.
Elly Symons firstname.lastname@example.org Sent from my iPhone 0419133033
Hi, Elly. No I have not, but I certainly shall now. The British Museum has its fist up its arse. It is DISGUSTING the so-called arguments they make to hang onto the so-called “Elgin Marbles”, that name in and of itself being a HUGE insult to the Greeks and a desecration of the Parthenon, just as was the act of Elginism in the first place. Elgin should be put posthumously on trial at the World Court at the Hague for Grand Theft and Vandalism, and sentenced to 50 years in absentia.
PS I do not see any link to the article. Please supply it.
Comments are closed.