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Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 29.07.2019

Introduction: In this translation piece Sabidius returns to Homer, whose last translated passage, the "Iliad" Book III, he published on 16 December 2012. Previous to that, he had published translations of the "Iliad" Book I on 12 March 2010 and Book VI on 5 June 2012 (See Sabidius.com). Book II of the "Iliad" commences with Zeus' plan to punish Agamemnon for his mistreatment of Achilles. He sends a false dream, in the apparent shape of Nestor, King of Pylos, Agamemnon's most trusted senior adviser, to assure him that...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 29.05.2017

(Taken from Polybius 'Histories' Books I and VI) Translator's Introduction. Polybius (c. 200-118 B.C.) was born in Megalopolis, Arcadia, and was the son of Lycortas, the commander of the army of the Achaean League. After the defeat of Perseus, the King of Macedonia, by Lucius Aemilius Paullus, in 167 B.C. Polybius was sent to Rome as a hostage, and he remained in this position until 150. During this time he tutored Paullus' son, Scipio Aemilianus, to whom he became closely attached, and whom he accompanied during the Third Punic War...

Greek Texts, Latin Texts / 28.12.2014

Introduction. This extract from St. Paul's first letter (or epistle) to the Corinthians features the final part of the traditional reading laid down in the Book of Common Prayer for the Funeral Service. This magnificent and haunting passage is set out below in four versions. The first two versions are in English, the recent translation of the New English Bible preceding the words of the Authorised Version, in which the English language appears at its most majestic. Below are the Latin version of the Vulgate, used by the Roman Catholic Church for centuries, and, finally, the original, as written by St. Paul in 'koine' Greek.
Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 25.08.2013

I. THEORY OF ART Book Ten has the appearance of an appendix, written to justify, against anticipated or actual criticism, the attack on poets in Books Two and Three. It has been suggested that it should not be taken too seriously, and should be read as an attack on the extravagant claims made for the poets by Greek opinion, rather than as a serious attempt to state a philosophy of art. It is true that the Greeks treated the works of Homer as their Bible, and also, as we...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 16.12.2012

Introduction. Sabidius has previously translated Book I of the "Iliad" (20th March 2010) and Book VI (5th April 2012), and also on this blog is an extract from Book XVI (30th August 2010). Scanning, reading and then translating Homer's verse is invariably a great pleasure, and this particular book is no exception. After the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon in Book I, and the celebrated catalogue of ships in Book II, in which the various Greek contingents are listed, accompanied by a thumb-nail sketch of their leaders, Book III...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 05.04.2012

Introduction. Sabidius published on this blog a translation of the First Book of Homer's Iliad on 12th March 2010, and the introduction to that is relevant here also with regard to its general comments about Homer. He now offers a translation of Book Six. This book is one of the most arresting of the twenty-two books, of which the "Iliad" is composed. It includes the meeting between Diomedes and Glaucus, which throws light on the ethics of warfare in the epic age, and line 208 contains the injunction "Ever...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 12.03.2012

Introduction. Following his translations of books 4 and 6 of Virgil's "Aeneid", Sabidius now offers a translation of the first book of the "Iliad", Homer's epic poem about the fall of Troy. Not only was the the "Iliad" the first poem in European literature, having almost certainly existed for centuries in oral form before being written down in the eighth century BCE, it is one of the most influential works of literature of all time and established the genre of epic poetry. For Greeks and later for Romans it...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 23.11.2011

Introduction. Chapter 17, verses 16-34. St. Paul in Athens. The "Acts of the Apostles" forms the second part of the literary work begun by the "Gospel of St. Luke". It describes the rapid spread of Christianity through the Mediterranean world, a process facilitated by the wide currency of Greek (now in "koine" or "common" form, having lost its earlier dialects.) "Acts" is our main source for the earliest history of the Church. In Chapter 17 Paul has just arrived in Athens after his missionary journey through Greece. The date is...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 22.11.2011

Introduction. Sections 419B-420A (or 17-18). Great Pan is dead. This dialogue is set in Delphi in about 83 A.D. A group of learned men are discussing how oracular prophecy works, and why oracles have become less vocal and important than in the classical past. The conversation has turned to "daimones" (divine spirits, spoken of by Hesiod and Plato, as intermediaries between gods and men); the question whether divine beings can die elicits from a historian called Philip the haunting story of the death of Pan. Because the events described took place...

Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 22.11.2011

Introduction. Plutarch (c. 46-120 A.D.), biographer, historian and moral philosopher, was born in Boeotia in central Greece, studied at Athens, visited Egypt and Italy, and spent the last thirty years of his life in Boeotia and Delphi. His most famous work is his "Parallel Lives", in which the life of an eminent Greek is paired with that of a famous Roman with whom there were, in his view, points of resemblance. For example, the "Life of Antony" is given in parallel with that of Demetrius I Poliorcetes of Macedon...