Abstract and Keywords
For students of Roman antiquity, translation figures in two arenas. First, it was a cultural activity of the Roman Empire from the third century BCE onwards, when a Romanised Greek called Livius Andronicus ‘turned’ Greek epic and drama into Latin, and thus inaugurated Latin literature with his versions of Homer's Odyssey and Greek drama. Livius's respectful imitation soon modulates into imperialistic appropriation of Greek culture when in the 50s BCE Catullus translates poems by Sappho (Poem 51) and Callimachus (Poem 66), and when the Hellenistic poet Aratus's didactic poem on astronomy and meteorology is translated into Latin by Varro Atacinus and Cicero in the late Republic; by Germanicus, nephew and heir to the emperor Tiberius, in the early Principate; and by Avienus in the mid-fourth century CE. Secondly, translation from Latin has extended the influence of Latin literature throughout Europe and beyond. This article deals with translation from Latin into various vernaculars, including English. It suggests that the importance of translation extends beyond the aesthetic sphere into the social and moral spheres, including politics and even economics.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.