Proseminar: Medieval Translations of the Classical
|Dozenten-innen: Dutton Elisabeth|
|Art der Unterrichtseinheit: Proseminar|
Although the Renaissance is often conceived as the re-discovery of classical learning, medieval writers, too, used classical texts as sources of authority and inspiration. They did not have access to as many classical texts as their successors, but they made extensive use of Latin poets – Ovid and Virgil particularly – as well as looking to the authority of the likes of Cicero.
This course will consider a selection of medieval translations of classical works. The translator must always begin with his reading of a text, and medieval readings of classical writers might appear to us eccentric. How did medieval readers interpret classical texts? Were the Latin poets simply sources of a good story? What were the priorities of the medieval translator? The course will consider medieval translations and adaptations of classical texts and stories in poetry, prose and drama.
Knowledge of Latin is not essential to this course: modern English translations of necessary classical texts will be used.
15.09 Ovid’s Narcissus and Echo
22.09 Gower’s Narcissus
29.09 post-medieval Narcissus
06.10 Virgil’s Dido, Ovid’s Dido
13.10 Gower’s Dido, Chaucer’s Dido
20.10 post-medieval Dido
27.10 Ovid’s Pyramus and Thisbe
03.11 Gower’s Pyramus and Thisbe, Ovid’s Thisbe
10.11 post-medieval Thisbe
17.11 Chaucer’s House of Fame I
24.11 Chaucer’s House of Fame II
01.12 Christine de Pisan on Medea, Thisbe and Dido
08.12 No class
- Developing knowledge of Middle English / early Modern English language
- Consideration of theories of translation
- Appreciation of the role of classical literature in England prior to the Renaissance
- Understanding of medieval methods of exegesis of classical texts