Category Archives: Translation

Statius: “Achilleid”

This 1st-century AD Latin poet died after writing a book and a half of his epic on Achilles; intended no doubt to build on the success of his Thebaid, about the civil war between the sons of Oedipus Polynices and … Continue reading

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“The Rings of Saturn” by W.G. Sebald

A chance find on the bookshelves of a holiday cottage in Staithes. Ten short chapters. I’d heard of the author, but that only: I didn’t even know he was German. If I had I might have been put off, as … Continue reading

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Herodotus’ Histories

My previous experience of Herodotus had been, as for many classicists, that of reading isolated episodes, either as set texts for teaching Greek GCSE, or as passages for unseen translation. I’d also read some of his stories in secondary literature, … Continue reading

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The Divine Comedy

Wow. Took ages, particularly ploughing through Paradiso: they’re right that evil is more interesting. But it was a surprise. Mainly the strangely modern beginnings to most cantos, easy conversations on the lines of “you know when a candle…” or “you … Continue reading

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“The New Jerusalem” by Emanuel Swedenborg

Starts as a promising attempt to work out a spiritual life from first principles. Swedenborg’s (admittedly naive) mutually-derived binary oppositions (so Good and Truth give respectively Will and Intellect, which, again respectively, give Charity and Faith; so, Good leads to … Continue reading

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President Oidipous

My children, last in the long line of Kadmos’ descendants, Why have you gathered here before me? What help do you want? The whole city stinks of incense; The whole city rings with chants and prayers. So, my children, I, … Continue reading

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