spqr101
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Salvete omnes! Χαιρετε παντες!

I'm a student currently taking GCSE Latin and Ancient Greek (I'm in Y10 atm). As I'm sure we all are a little miserable with what's going on around the globe at the moment, (plus the weather today is absolutely horrific, where I am at least) I've decided to start this thread where all classics enthusiasts can discuss what they love, from mythology to ancient history and politics, philosophy to book recommendations!

I'm going to make a little post explaining what I love about Classics, book and tv recommendations etc. shortly!
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CLASSICS DISCUSSION POST #1

Why do I love Classics? What do I hate about it?
I love Classics because of the many ways in which the ancient world has shaped modern society, whether philosophical, scientific or literary! Mythology is also absolutely fascinating (and also very entertaining), and I think it's so beautiful how many of these ancient stories and tales have remained so relevant over such a wide range of cultures and time periods; I recently wrote a short piece on why the story of Troy has remained so relevant and it was fascinating to explore universal ideas relating to the impermanence of life and horrors of war (I've actually written an article on this on my blog- you can check it out here: https://www.ad-veritatem.com/trojan-war/)
I personally also love Roman politics, just because I find the system so incredibly complex for a society that existed two millennia ago! Finally, Classical languages are brilliant because there is something so satisfying about piecing together the cases, tenses, voices and moods, and don't even get me started on stylistic nuances in literature!!

Now, what do I hate about it? Well, I suppose the fact that, in my opinion, it's not really the most relevant subject in the modern world. I would not find it a fulfilling career path as I don't think it's really possible to make a difference with the subject, which is why I don't think I'd really study a Classical subject any higher than sixth form level- but if anyone has an opposing opinion, then please chime in! Also, I think the stereotype associated with Classics is a real shame... I remember my teacher told me once about how in the past Classicists tended to be 'old, elitist, white males.' I think that's a real shame and really hope that this misconception is broken down in the near future, starting off with Classical subjects being offered more widely in state schools.

What Classical stuff have I been up to outside the classroom?
  • I visited the Troy Exhibition twice in the same week (ik a bit weird...) at the British Museum earlier this year- it was really brilliant!
  • Watched a performance of Aristophanes' Frogs at Bloomsbury Theatre (UCL)
  • Essay competitions- unfortunately, since I'm in Y10, our school doesn't offer us the opportunity to do external competitions quite yet, but I have taken part in internal competitions. This summer I'm working on an essay titled 'Is Aeneas’ behaviour in Aeneid Book 2 heroic or foolish?'.
  • My blog (ad veritatem)- I pasted a link to it earlier in the post. It's on different subjects, but do have a navigate and check out my Classics-related posts
  • Extra reading- recommendations coming up!!!
  • Editor of the school Classics magazine- I was really excited when I got the news a few weeks ago!!
  • Artwork- I'm currently working on a piece based off of the sack of Troy, but with a bit of a more modern side to it. I'll send a pic when I've finished it

Reading recommendations!

Here are some books that I've read and enjoyed!

To do with the Trojan War and tales surrounding it:
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker- Trojan War from the point of view of slave-girl Briseis

Circe by Madeline Miller- The tale of the misunderstood sorceress

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller- Tale of the Trojan War, focusing heavily on the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus

Lost books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason- Mason explores how the Odyssey has, in fact, emerged from short folk tales, and tells the tales that he thinks didn't make the 'final cut'.

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood- Odyssey from Penelope's point of view

The Odyssey translated by E. V. Rieu

I haven't read the Iliad, but I've heard that the translation by E. V. Rieu is also brill so definitely on my list!

House of Names by Colm Toibin- Modern retelling of Aeschylus' tragedy the Oresteia

Other Greek mythology and history books:

Mythos by Stephen Fry- Short tales on the myths about the Gods

Heroes by Stephen Fry- Short tales on the myths about mortal heroes

I've heard Fry's coming out with a third book so keep eyes peeled for it

Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault (what I'm currently reading)- The first book from a trilogy on Alexander the Great

Roman history and literature:

The Aeneid prose translation by David West and verse translation by Robert Fagles

Rubicon by Tom Holland- history of the Roman Republic


TV Recommendations!


This is a mix of more serious documentaries and slightly sillier movies and shows I've watched!


Troy (2004)- Pretty sure everyone's probably watched it. Annoying because of how they just messed up a timeline and just missed stuff out (I mean, hello? Where is the sacrifice of Iphigenia, and what about Chriseis?), but still made me cry . AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX

Troy: Fall of a City (2018)- This series had a lot of hate, but personally I really loved it (apart from the unnecessary sexual scenes!!). AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX AND BBC iPLAYER

Gladiator (2000)- Surprisingly I've not watched this one but saw it when browsing Netflix today (you know what I'm watching next), though pretty much everyone I know has and they say it's great. AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX

Roman Empire (2016-)- A drama-mentary on different Roman figures. S1 was Commodus, 2 was Caesar and 3 was Caligula. AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX

Archaeology: A Secret History- A documentary on archaeology in general rather than just Classical archaeology, but amazing! AVAILABLE ON iPLAYER

Slightly different, but I recently watched a talk by Natalie Haynes where she told the tale of the Iliad with artist Chris Riddell illustrating side by side. I watched it here: https://www.hayfestival.com/p-16774-natalie-haynes-chris-riddell.aspx but I think it may have been moved to Hay player by now.

I really hope we have some fun discussions on this thread in the near future! I'll send a few updates in the future of anything cool I do. Let me know if I should tag you when I post them!
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neko no basu
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Oooh this looks interesting, I think classics is a very underrated subject. I think I'd have considered doing GCSE Latin but my school didn't offer it :cry:
Your blog looks very cool btw and I'd love to see the finished product of the piece you're currently working on:nyan:
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(Original post by neko no basu)
Oooh this looks interesting, I think classics is a very underrated subject. I think I'd have considered doing GCSE Latin but my school didn't offer it :cry:
Your blog looks very cool btw and I'd love to see the finished product of the piece you're currently working on:nyan:
Oh nooo that's so sad. Well my current Greek teacher actually learnt Greek in her gap year so I suppose you could definitely do a course on the side or something (never too late to learn a new skill ), but again THIS IS WHY I THINK CLASSICS NEEDS TO BE OFFERED MORE WIDELY!!

Thanks for checking out the blog and I'll certainly send an update on the thread when the piece it's done
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(Original post by neko no basu)
Oooh this looks interesting, I think classics is a very underrated subject. I think I'd have considered doing GCSE Latin but my school didn't offer it :cry:
Your blog looks very cool btw and I'd love to see the finished product of the piece you're currently working on:nyan:
Also PRSOM for the second time today :lol: !!!
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sakura_23
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Hi! I’m taking Latin and Ancient Greek next year too, but I’m starting completely from scratch, any tips?
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(Original post by sakura_23)
Hi! I’m taking Latin and Ancient Greek next year too, but I’m starting completely from scratch, any tips?
Ooh yay greetings fellow classicist !! Do u mean that you are starting the GCSE courses next year and will be doing the exams a year after that? (sorry I'm a little brain dead at the moment haha)
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sakura_23
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(Original post by spqr101)
Ooh yay greetings fellow classicist !! Do u mean that you are starting the GCSE courses next year and will be doing the exams a year after that? (sorry I'm a little brain dead at the moment haha)
Ah right, I’m going into Year 10!
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Ah right, I’m going into Year 10!
Ah thanks. Though I started Latin in Y7, I too started Greek from scratch in Y10. I would say that you really want to get to grips with the basic grammar with cases and tenses, so definitely pay attention in your first few lessons which is when your teachers are most likely to go through this. Once you have that foundation everything should be pretty alright. I actually have a booklet with grammar info and I'll attach a pic of the information on different cases so you can get a head start:

Name:  cases.jpg
Views: 46
Size:  85.2 KB

Remember that cases are for nouns and tenses are for verbs
Quick disclaimer- Greek doesn't have an ablative! Don't worry about that now though.

You can also have a flip through Cambridge Latin Course book 1 which will also have information on the basic grammar rules in the language information near the end of the book.
You can view the book here: https://www.cambridgescp.com/files/l...dex.html?p=177

The reason why I'm giving you these Latin resources rather than Greek ones is because Latin, for me, was the subject that taught me all the basic grammar etc.

Maybe familiarise yourself with the Greek alphabet beforehand too? Tbh it's not strictly necessary because you really do end up picking it up so fast it's scary!!

It's brilliant that you're taking both subjects- they both support each other so well! Latin really helped me with Greek and Greek really helped with Latin!

Some people are often really daunted by literature but it's not scary at all. You don't need to analyse things half as in depth at GCSE level as English lit, it's really just simple and fairly obvious analysis. Personally I'd really prefer it if we did more advanced analysis...

But you'll have lots of fun, trust me. Any doubts don't hesitate to ask.

Cheers!
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(Original post by spqr101)
Ah thanks. Though I started Latin in Y7, I too started Greek from scratch in Y10. I would say that you really want to get to grips with the basic grammar with cases and tenses, so definitely pay attention in your first few lessons which is when your teachers are most likely to go through this. Once you have that foundation everything should be pretty alright. I actually have a booklet with grammar info and I'll attach a pic of the information on different cases so you can get a head start:

Name:  cases.jpg
Views: 46
Size:  85.2 KB

Remember that cases are for nouns and tenses are for verbs
Quick disclaimer- Greek doesn't have an ablative! Don't worry about that now though.

You can also have a flip through Cambridge Latin Course book 1 which will also have information on the basic grammar rules in the language information near the end of the book.
You can view the book here: https://www.cambridgescp.com/files/l...dex.html?p=177

The reason why I'm giving you these Latin resources rather than Greek ones is because Latin, for me, was the subject that taught me all the basic grammar etc.

Maybe familiarise yourself with the Greek alphabet beforehand too? Tbh it's not strictly necessary because you really do end up picking it up so fast it's scary!!

It's brilliant that you're taking both subjects- they both support each other so well! Latin really helped me with Greek and Greek really helped with Latin!

Some people are often really daunted by literature but it's not scary at all. You don't need to analyse things half as in depth at GCSE level as English lit, it's really just simple and fairly obvious analysis. Personally I'd really prefer it if we did more advanced analysis...

But you'll have lots of fun, trust me. Any doubts don't hesitate to ask.

Cheers!
Thank you so much, I’ll keep you updated on my Classics journey 😤
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(Original post by sakura_23)
Thank you so much, I’ll keep you updated on my Classics journey 😤
Haha yes defo!!
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Hi, do you have any good GCSE Latin reasources?
Also do you have any tips for how to learn grammar easily? I'm really struggling (which I hate, not to brag but I usually am near the top of the class) and my teachers only advice is 'just learn it' or 'why are you confused you know it'

Any tips would be very helpful as I end most translations and such crying
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spqr101
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(Original post by Kitty_Kat31415)
Hi, do you have any good GCSE Latin reasources?
Also do you have any tips for how to learn grammar easily? I'm really struggling (which I hate, not to brag but I usually am near the top of the class) and my teachers only advice is 'just learn it' or 'why are you confused you know it'

Any tips would be very helpful as I end most translations and such crying
Ah grammar ... It's a shame your teacher isn't that supportive though.

Right I'll get back to you in a bit with some resources etc.
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Mesopotamian.
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Absolutely love ancient history (as you can probably tell from my username) so I’m glad to come across this thread!
I’m currently doing 2 online history courses (one on modern history from 1760-1910 and one on Ancient Greece) to make the most of my free time in this pandemic period.
Although history is my favourite subject, I chose not to pursue it as a career so it’s now more of a hobby for me which I enjoy.

Edit: I was about to take Latin GCSE but unfortunately our only Latin teacher left before the year started
Also I found out that my school decided to offer classical civilisation GCSE right after I’d finished

Edit 2.0: I’d like to be tagged
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spqr101
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(Original post by spqr101)
Ah grammar ... It's a shame your teacher isn't that supportive though.

Right I'll get back to you in a bit with some resources etc.
(Original post by Kitty_Kat31415)
Hi, do you have any good GCSE Latin reasources?
Also do you have any tips for how to learn grammar easily? I'm really struggling (which I hate, not to brag but I usually am near the top of the class) and my teachers only advice is 'just learn it' or 'why are you confused you know it'

Any tips would be very helpful as I end most translations and such crying
I've attached the booklets we got given for GCSE grammar- I find it quite helpful to have all the grammar in one place rather than in loads of separate sheets in my folder. The file named 'grammar' is basically grammar for individual words- stuff to do with verbs, nouns and participles. The 'syntax' one is to do with different types of clauses and sentence structures. Everything is explained really well- it helped me a lot when revising for a test we had a few months ago.

You can see the language and grammar section of Cambridge Latin Course book 5 here: https://www.clc.cambridgescp.com/sit...dex.html?p=101
That's also basically all the grammar you need to know for GCSE.

Cactus 2000 has Latin conjugation tables: https://latin.cactus2000.de/index.en.php


Is there any particular grammar point that confuse you? Like adjective agreement, or participles, or the subjunctive etc.?

As far as translation is concerned, the best thing to do is take it systematically. When we started out Latin in Y7 and Y8 i would always make the rookie mistake of just writing out the English definition of each word on top of the corresponding Latin word and just piece it together in a game of rearrange the sentence. That method obviously works for simpler translation but once you get to higher level stuff for GCSE and actual Latin literature then that will not work!!

The best thing to do is look for the nominative, the verb and the accusative- those three parts are what make up the main sentence. After that you look for adjectives and participles, but always make sure to check the endings and see which noun they are agreeing with. I tend to take a while with translations because I'm always going through each and every ending, but the exam isn't too time pressured and it's worth it for the accuracy of your translation!

I actually just found this pdf on the internet with tips for Latin translation: https://www.galorepark.co.uk/getmedi...ing-Latin.aspx

If you want, you can send me a picture of a translation you are struggling with (along with the vocab underneath please!) and tell me which parts you were confused with in particular and I can try and explain things for you.
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neko no basu
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(Original post by Mesopotamian.)
Absolutely love ancient history (as you can probably tell from my username) so I’m glad to come across this thread!
I’m currently doing 2 online history courses (one on modern history from 1760-1910 and one on Ancient Greece) to make the most of my free time in this pandemic period.
Although history is my favourite subject, I chose not to pursue it as a career so it’s now more of a hobby for me which I enjoy.

Edit: I was about to take Latin GCSE but unfortunately our only Latin teacher left before the year started
Also I found out that my school decided to offer classical civilisation GCSE right after I’d finished

Edit 2.0: I’d like to be tagged
ooh those courses sound cool, which platform are you doing them on, may I ask?
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spqr101
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(Original post by Mesopotamian.)
Absolutely love ancient history (as you can probably tell from my username) so I’m glad to come across this thread!
I’m currently doing 2 online history courses (one on modern history from 1760-1910 and one on Ancient Greece) to make the most of my free time in this pandemic period.
Although history is my favourite subject, I chose not to pursue it as a career so it’s now more of a hobby for me which I enjoy.

Edit: I was about to take Latin GCSE but unfortunately our only Latin teacher left before the year started
Also I found out that my school decided to offer classical civilisation GCSE right after I’d finished

Edit 2.0: I’d like to be tagged
Ooh yay greetings fellow ancient historian!

Again more schools need to offer Classics because they are so awesome, and the whole Class Civ shenanigan is so annoying!

Also those courses sound really cool. I know that there are some really good lectures on classics and history on a website called massolit (https://www.massolit.io/) but I think you need to pay for a subsciption, though I think you can get a free 14 day trial (sorry about that- I always use the school subscription). I recently watched a set of lectures by Classicist Llewelyn Morgan on the Aeneid!
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(Original post by spqr101)
I've attached the booklets we got given for GCSE grammar- I find it quite helpful to have all the grammar in one place rather than in loads of separate sheets in my folder. The file named 'grammar' is basically grammar for individual words- stuff to do with verbs, nouns and participles. The 'syntax' one is to do with different types of clauses and sentence structures. Everything is explained really well- it helped me a lot when revising for a test we had a few months ago.

You can see the language and grammar section of Cambridge Latin Course book 5 here: https://www.clc.cambridgescp.com/sit...dex.html?p=101
That's also basically all the grammar you need to know for GCSE.

Cactus 2000 has Latin conjugation tables: https://latin.cactus2000.de/index.en.php


Is there any particular grammar point that confuse you? Like adjective agreement, or participles, or the subjunctive etc.?

As far as translation is concerned, the best thing to do is take it systematically. When we started out Latin in Y7 and Y8 i would always make the rookie mistake of just writing out the English definition of each word on top of the corresponding Latin word and just piece it together in a game of rearrange the sentence. That method obviously works for simpler translation but once you get to higher level stuff for GCSE and actual Latin literature then that will not work!!

The best thing to do is look for the nominative, the verb and the accusative- those three parts are what make up the main sentence. After that you look for adjectives and participles, but always make sure to check the endings and see which noun they are agreeing with. I tend to take a while with translations because I'm always going through each and every ending, but the exam isn't too time pressured and it's worth it for the accuracy of your translation!

I actually just found this pdf on the internet with tips for Latin translation: https://www.galorepark.co.uk/getmedi...ing-Latin.aspx

If you want, you can send me a picture of a translation you are struggling with (along with the vocab underneath please!) and tell me which parts you were confused with in particular and I can try and explain things for you.
Thank you soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much
I think you just saved me from death by a subject I chose just because i loved it
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spqr101
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A CLASSICAL UPDATE!
salvete omnes! χαιρετε παντες! sakura_23 Kitty_Kat31415 Mesopotamian. neko no basu (if you do not wish to be tagged/ I accidentally tagged you just let me know- no offence will be taken )

Also, seeing that we have a few non-Latinists and non-Hellenists I thought I'd explain my rather strange greeting...

In Latin 'salve' means hello. Since it's an imperative (an 'ordering word'), if I am ordering multiple people I must add the ending 'ete,' (the case is the same in Greek, where i need to add ετε to χαιρε)
'omnes' means 'all' or 'everyone' (where you get words like 'omnivore')
χαιρε (khaire) in Greek means 'hello' or 'goodbye'
παντες (pantes) means 'all' or 'everyone' (where you get words like 'pandemic')
So yes, long story short I'm saying 'hello everyone' in Latin and Greek... didn't really need that thesis did it...

ANYWAY, moving on to my actual post, I just wanted to let you all know of a very fascinating article I read last night:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...rs-translators

This links really well with my mention earlier of how Classics is often considered to be dominated by white, elitist males.

It's a really interesting insight into the role of rather underrepresented female translators, and how, in the past, translating Latin and Greek were ways for women to prove that they too had the same intellectual capabilities as men.
Yet many female translations would have been rather tentative and textbook-like, too afraid to really get out there and add colour and vibrance and nuance to these pieces like their male counterparts such as Alexander Pope and Robert Fagles (ngl Fagles is a brilliant translator- I've been reading his translation of the Aeneid and it's amazing!) because of their fear that they would not fit into this male-dominated sphere if they are anything out of the ordinary.
But their productions of many Greek tragedies and plays, though a way for them to fit into the male sphere again, also was a means through which they could express how they were suppressed in Victorian society through similarly suppressed female characters in literature (such as Electra).

I think it's definitely true that there really is a lack of female translators. I actually realised that I've never read a female translation of classical texts (yikes!!), so when I eventually am able to go to the library I 100% am searching for a female translation of the Iliad!

But I think in the modern day and age many women have certainly taken to approaching these original texts from a different angle and looking at the women in the story, and their emotions and lives.
Here are some examples from my reading list earlier:

(Original post by spqr101)
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker- Trojan War from the point of view of slave-girl Briseis

Circe by Madeline Miller- The tale of the misunderstood sorceress

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood- Odyssey from Penelope's point of view
I found the article really inspiring!! As a non-white, female (and most certainly not elitist haha) Classics student I think I definitely want to have a go at translating some pieces myself! I actually think that at some point during the holidays I want to try and have a go at translating the opening of the Aeneid, but with a little flair to it. (I really don't know how though haha... I mean I haven't even done my Latin GCSE yet and in lessons we always have a teacher to help us cobble together a pretty dead translation of passages, but we'll see how it goes :laugh:).
Also I am definitely asking for the article to be pinned to the Classics notice board when we get back to school haha

If you have any thoughts, then please, discuss away!!

Edit: Just remembered, if anyone else has been inspired and is interested in having a go at translating the Aeneid I was recommended these sites by my teacher

This is quite a good commentary for certain parts of the Aeneid: http://dcc.dickinson.edu/vergil-aeneid/preface

This is good for Vocab: https://d.iogen.es/web/?ver=1.003&user=stud (make sure you go to P. Vergilius Maro, not Virgil)
If you use this website I think even non-Latinists might be able to have a try at translating because it gives the definitions as well as grammar for each Latin word.
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neko no basu
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(Original post by spqr101)
A CLASSICAL UPDATE!
salvete omnes! χαιρετε παντες! sakura_23 Kitty_Kat31415 Mesopotamian. neko no basu (if you do not wish to be tagged/ I accidentally tagged you just let me know- no offence will be taken )

Also, seeing that we have a few non-Latinists and non-Hellenists I thought I'd explain my rather strange greeting...

In Latin 'salve' means hello. Since it's an imperative (an 'ordering word'), if I am ordering multiple people I must add the ending 'ete,' (the case is the same in Greek, where i need to add ετε to χαιρε)
'omnes' means 'all' or 'everyone' (where you get words like 'omnivore')
χαιρε (khaire) in Greek means 'hello' or 'goodbye'
παντες (pantes) means 'all' or 'everyone' (where you get words like 'pandemic')
So yes, long story short I'm saying 'hello everyone' in Latin and Greek... didn't really need that thesis did it...

ANYWAY, moving on to my actual post, I just wanted to let you all know of a very fascinating article I read last night:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...rs-translators

This links really well with my mention earlier of how Classics is often considered to be dominated by white, elitist males.

It's a really interesting insight into the role of rather underrepresented female translators, and how, in the past, translating Latin and Greek were ways of women to prove that they too had the same intellectual capabilities as men.
Yet many female translations would have been rather tentative and textbook-like, too afraid to really get out there and add colour and vibrance and nuance to these pieces like their male counterparts such as Alexander Pope and Robert Fagles (ngl Fagles is a brilliant translator- I've been reading his translation of the Aeneid and it's amazing!) because of their fear that they would not fit into this male-dominated sphere if they are anything out of the ordinary.
But their productions of many Greek tragedies and plays, though a way of them to fit into the male sphere again, also was a way for them to express the ways in which they were suppressed in Victorian society through similarly suppressed female characters in literature (such as Electra).

I think it's definitely true that there really is a lack of female translators. I actually realised that I've never read a female translation of classical texts (yikes!!), so when I eventually am able to go to the library I 100% am searching for a female translation of the Iliad!

But I think in the modern day and age many women have certainly taken to approaching these original texts from a different angle and looking at the women in the story, and their emotions and lives.
Here are some examples from my reading list earlier:

I found the article really inspiring!! As a non-white, female (and most certainly not elitist haha) Classics student I think I definitely want to have a go at translating some pieces myself! I actually think that at some point during the holidays I want to try and have a go at translating the opening of the Aeneid, but with a little flair to it. (I really don't know how though haha... I mean I haven't even done my Latin GCSE yet and in lessons we always have a teacher to help us cobble together a pretty dead translation of passages, but we'll see how it goes :laugh:).
Also I am definitely asking for the article to be pinned to the Classics notice board when we get back to school haha

If you have any thoughts, then please, discuss away!!

Edit: Just remembered, if anyone else has been inspired and is interested in having a go at translating the Aeneid I was recommended these sites by my teacher

This is quite a good commentary for certain parts of the Aeneid: http://dcc.dickinson.edu/vergil-aeneid/preface

This is good for Vocab: https://d.iogen.es/web/?ver=1.003&user=stud (make sure you go to P. Vergilius Maro, not Virgil)
If you use this website I think even non-Latinists might be able to have a try at translating because it gives the definitions as well as grammar for each Latin word.
ooh this looks very interesting 👍
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Are you confident you could find support for your mental health if you needed it in COVID-19?

Yes (47)
23.04%
No (157)
76.96%

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