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The Complete Aeschylus: Volume I: The Oresteia (Greek Tragedy in New Translations) 1st Edition
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Compare the first lines of the Agamemnon from the older Lattimore version published by the University of Chicago:
"I ask the gods some respite from the weariness
of this watchtime measured by years I lie awake
elbowed upon the Atriedaes' roof dogwise to mark
the grand processionals of all the stars of night
burdened with winter and again with heat for men.
dynasties in their shining blazoned on the air,
these stars, upon their wane and when the rest arise."
with the same lines from that of Alan Shapiro in this Oxford University Press volume:
"I beg the gods to deliver me at last
from this hard watch I've kept now for a year
upon the palace roof of the Atreidae,
dog-like, snout to paws, night after long
night, studying the congress of the stars,
the unignorable bright potentates
that bring down through the night sky to us here
below, the summer now, and now the winter,
eternal even as they wane and rise."
I don't know which version is more faithful to the original, although I understand that Ancient Athenian Greek is so different from Modern English that any attempt at translation is highly problematic, some would even say impossible. Still, most of us aren't going to learn Ancient Greek, so if we are to read these plays at all we need translations, approximate as they may be.Read more ›