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Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 17.09.2010

Introduction. In this piece of translation, Sabidius turns to Homer's second great epic poem, the "Odyssey", which is believed to have been committed to writing in the eighth century B.C. This is the story of the long and tortuous homeward journey of Odysseus after the ten year siege of Troy has been successfully completed. In fact, it takes Odysseus an equal period of time, ten years, to make his way home, and on the way he loses all his companions, who are drowned in a ship-wreck. At the beginning of these two short extracts from Book V, we find Odysseus in a particularly woe-begone state, weeping and wailing on the shore as he looks out over the sea. On the face of it, it seems strange that this hero of the Trojan war should have been reduced to such a maudlin state; however, according to the legend Odysseus was effectively Calypso's prisoner on her small island home of Ogygia for as many as seven out of the ten years of his 'Odyssey'. This makes his miserable condition a little more understandable perhaps!
Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 30.08.2010

Introduction. Readers are invited to look first at Sabidius' introduction to his translation of Book I of the 'Iliad' (see items from March 2010) for initial comments about Homer's great work. These short extracts, telling of the encounter between Achilles' bosom companion Patroclus and Zeus' mortal son, Sarpedon, demonstrate how entertwined are the considerations of the gods with the affairs of the protagonists on both sides. They also provide good examples of Homer's practice of repeating phrases, and sometimes even whole lines, which is a chacteristic of poetry which was initially orally composed. Here lines 455-457 are identical or almost identical to lines 673-675, and the same is the case in relation to lines 668-673 and lines 678-683. In this translation these lines have been italicised to highlight these similarities.
Ancient Greek, Greek Texts / 05.08.2010

Introduction. Procopius of Caesarea, is the last great Greek historian to write in the classical tradition of Herodotus, Thucydides and Polybius, and, although he wrote in the Sixth Century A.D., right at the end of the classical era, and on the cusp of the Dark Ages, he was one of the greatest of these historians. His reputation is mainly founded upon his "Histories of the Wars" of the reign of Justinian (527-565 A.D.) in eight books. Books I-VII, covering the years 527-550, were published in 550-1, and Book VIII,...