Translating the Middle Ages  book cover
1st Edition

Translating the Middle Ages

ISBN 9781138108134
Published May 25, 2017 by Routledge
236 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

Drawing on approaches from literary studies, history, linguistics, and art history, and ranging from Late Antiquity to the sixteenth century, this collection views 'translation' broadly as the adaptation and transmission of cultural inheritance. The essays explore translation in a variety of sources from manuscript to print culture and the creation of lexical databases. Several essays look at the practice of textual translation across languages, including the vernacularization of Latin literature in England, France, and Italy; the translation of Greek and Hebrew scientific terms into Arabic; and the use of Hebrew terms in anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim polemics. Other essays examine medieval translators' views and performance of translation, looking at Lydgate's translation of Greek myths through mental images rendered through rhetorical figures or at how printing transformed the rhetoric of intervernacular translation of chivalric romances. This collection also demonstrates translation as a key element in the construction of cultural and political identity in the Fet des Romains and Chester Whitsun Plays, and in the papacy's efforts to compete with Byzantium by controlling the translation of Greek writings.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Catherine Batt; Part 1 What’s in a Word: Dictionaries, definitions and databases, Brian Merrilees; The translation of nature: Al-Sharif al-Idrisi on the plant life of the Western Mediterranean, Russell Hopley. Part 2 Translation and Devotional Selfhood: Translating ma dame de Saint-Pol: the privilege and predicament of the devotee in the Legiloque manuscript, Aden Kumler; Foul fiends and dirty devils: Henry, Duke of Lancaster’s Book of Holy Medicines and the translation of 14th-century devotional literature, Catherine Batt; Languages low and high: translation and the creation of the community in the Chester Pentecost play, Robert W. Barrett Jr. Part 3 Translation in Italy: Dante’s Comedy: the poetics of translation, Christopher Kleinhenz; Traces of translators in late medieval Italian vernacularizations, Alison Cornish. Part 4 Translations of Antiquity and of the Romance Tradition: Translating Julius Caesar, Jeanette Beer; John Lydgate’s ’ugly’ Orpheus: translation and transformation in the Fall of Princes, Russell Stone; Intervernacular translation in the early decades of print: chivalric romance and the marvelous in the Spanish Melusine (1489-1526), Ana Pairet. Part 5 Translations and Religious and Political Institutions: Monks and history: Byzantine chronicles in Church Slavic, Boris A. Todorov; Greek at the Papal court during the Middle Ages, Réka Forrai; Translation, transcription, and transliteration in the polemics of Raymond Martini, OP, Ryan Szpiech; Bibliography; Index.

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Karen L. Fresco is Associate Professor of French, Medieval Studies, and Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Charles D. Wright is Professor of English, Director of the Program in Medieval Studies, and Editor of the Journal of English and Germanic Philology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


'This volume offers a strong and searching record of recent investigations into the rich stores of medieval translation. Its various contributors treat with keen discernment questions of theory and praxis in a broad range of linguistic traditions. It is a work of sound and significant scholarship.' Samuel N. Rosenberg, Professor Emeritus, Indiana University, USA '... inventive, creative and innovative. ... Karen Fresco and Charles Wright are to be commended ...' The Medieval Review 'The thirteen essays comprise some high-quality pieces of distinguished scholarship ...' Journal of Transcultural Medieval Studies