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Translation and Literature



Translation and Literature is an annual serial published by Edinburgh University Press. It may be ordered through any bookshop or direct from the Press using the form included at the back of this volume.

Intending contributors should refer to the notes on the final page of this issue. General Editor: Dr Stuart Gillespie, Department of English, The University, Glasgow Grz 8QQ, UK. American Editor: Prof. Greg Clingham, Department of English, Fordham University, Bronx, NY 10458, USA. Review Editor: Mr R. M. Cummings, Department of English, The University, Glasgow Grz 8QQ, UK.

Advisory Board ROBERT ALTER









Editorial Board

Stuart Gillespie University of Glasgow

Greg Clingham Fordham University

Robert Cummings University of Glasgow

David Hopkins University of Bristol

David Jasper University of Durham

Sandra Kemp University of Glasgow

Daniel Kinney University of Virginia

Harald Kittel University of Gottingen

Stephen Prickett University of Glasgow

Translation and Literature



Transferred to Digital Print 2010

Printed and bound in Great Britain by CPI Antony Rowe, Chippenham and Eastbourne


ARTICLES Douglas Robinson The Ascetic Foundations of Western Translatology: Jerome and Augustine Robin Sowerby Chapman's Discovery of Homer Stuart Gillespie A Checklist of Restoration English Translations and Adaptations of Classical Greek and Latin Poetry, 1660-1700 Michael Edwards Beckett's French G. M. Hyde Mayakovsky in English Translation


26 52

68 84

TRANSLATORS' FORUM David West Translating the Aeneid Kenneth Muir Translating Golden Age Plays: A Reconsideration

97 104

POETRY IN TRANSLATION Alistair Elliot Four Poems from the French

NOTES AND DOCUMENTS Robert Cummings Tennyson, Trench, Tholuck and the 'Oriental' Metre of Locksley Hall Karin Lesnik-Oberstein Adapting the Roman de Ia Rose: Was the Middle Dutch Adaptor Careless or Ambitious?





From the Italian Leopardi on the Right Language of Translation

REVIEWS Barbara Reynolds Matteo Maria Boiardo, Orlando Innamorato, translated by Charles Stanley Ross P. G. Walsh I 57 Intellectual Culture in Elizabethan England, by J. W. Binns; Companion to Neo-Latin Studies, second edition, by Josef Isjewijn Gordon Braden I 59 The Sixth Book of Virgil's Aeneid Translated and Commented on by Sir John Harington, edited by Simon Cauchi David Norbrook I67 Continental Humanist Poetics, by Arthur F. Kinney; Trials of Authorship, by Jonathan Crewe Victor Skretkowicz I7I Marcus Tullius Ciceroes Thre Bokes of Duties, turned out of latine into english by Nicholas Grimalde, edited by Gerald O'Gorman Michael Wilding 174 Remembering and Repeating: Biblical Creation in 'Paradise Lost', by Regina M. Schwarz Eithne M. O'Sharkey 176 King Arthur through the Ages, edited by Valerie M. Lagorio and Mildred Leake Day Richard Bates I8I Visions of Dante in English Poetry: Translations of the 'Commedia 'from Jonathan Richardson to William Blake, by V. Tinkler-Villani; The Passionate Intellect: Dorothy L. Sayers' Encounter with Dante, by Barbara Reynolds Ritchie Robertson I85 Selected Poems of Hi:ilderlin, translated by David Constantine; Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies, translated by Stephen Cohn Donald MacKenzie I 87 European Poetry in Gaelic, edited by Derick Thomson; European Poetry in Scotland: An Anthology of Translations, edited by Peter France Edwin Morgan I89 Eugenio Montale, The Coastguard's House, translated by Jeremy Reed; Poems from Mandelstam, translated by R. H. Morrison; Sylva Fischerova, The Tremor of Racehorses:

Contents Selected Poems, translated by Jarmila and Ian Milner; Tua Forsstrom, Snow Leopard, translated by David McDuff; Odysseus Elytis, The Sovereign Sun: Selected Poems, translated by Kimon Friar; Luis de Camoens: Epic and Lyric, translated by Keith Bosley Robert Crawford Slavic Excursions, by Donald Davie Stephen Prickett The Book and the Text: The Bible and Literary Theory, edited by Regina Schwarz Julian Ross Translated! Papers on Literary Translation, edited by James S. Holmes; 'Something Understood': Studies in Anglo-Dutch Translation, edited by Bart Westerweel and Theo D'haen


194 196


Books Received


Notes for Intending Contributors



The Ascetic Foundations of Western Translatology: Jerome and Augustine Douglas Robinson The theory of translation is one of the very few Western logoi or sciences that were not founded by Plato; an important contemporary consequence of that fact, surely, is the relatively low valuation of translation theoryeven in the recent hunger for theory in the humanities. The Greeks seem to have repressed the Egyptian sources of their culture; Plato, who like Pythagoras and Solon travelled in Egypt and brought back his share of Egyptian wisdom, was committed to an epistemology in which truth was received directly from the gods, not mediated by a predecessor culture.' Translation theory was 'invented' by the Romans, anxious heirs of the Greeks, headed by Cicero in De oratore (55 B.C.) and De optimo genere oratorum (46 B.C.), and followed by Horace in the Ars poetica (c. H)-17 B.C.), Pliny the Younger in his Letter to Fuscus (c. A.D. 85), Q!Iintilian in the Institutio Oratoria (A.D. g6?), and Aulus Gellius in his NoctesAtticae (c. A.D. wo). But only 'invented' in a sense. Productive, provocative as it is, Roman translation theory is too unfocused for our post-Christian tastes; it is difficult to read it without impatience; it is too casual, too free-spirited, too willing to give the translator free rein, for us (heirs of Jerome and Augustine and a millennium and a half of Christian civilization) to take it 'seriously'. I think it essential that we do take it seriously, that we make the effort to excavate Roman translation theory from its current preChristian vagueness; but the fact remains that Western 'translatology', the logos about translation, the logical confines into which translation in the West is to be normatively fitted -the 'science' of translation that feels to us like a science because it is logical and normative - begins definitively not in classical but in Christian antiquity, in the need to maintain dogmatic control over translations of the Bible. Christian translatology is instituted specifically as a branch of systematic theology- a surreptitiously political branch whose function was to police the transfer of the Word of God from Hebrew and Greek text to Latin-speaking readers and listeners. This meant dogmatic control not only over the Word, the 'dogmatized' or systematically unified 'sense' or 'meaning' or semantic content of the


Western Translatology: Jerome and Augustine

Bible, but also over translators, to ensure their conformity to interpretive norms. Western translatology begins at the peripheries of the Roman Empire (North Africa, Palestine) at the very end of what we call antiquity, in the critical historical seam between the conversion of Rome to Christianity (A.D. 313) and its fall to the barbarians from the north and east- those 'stammering' hordes ('bar-bar-bar ... ') whose territorial wranglings for the next millennium or so would map the political and ideological geography of modern Europe. (Rome was first invaded in A.D. 410, Hippo in 430, the year of Augustine's death.) It is the period, most significantly for the history of translatology - as of most other Western logoi, especially the natural and social sciences - of the transformation of Christianity from a persecuted nomadic cult into a state religion, indeed into a theocracy, the political structure (the Roman Empire as Roman Catholicism) that maintained what 'rational' social order there was between the fall of Rome and the rise of the absolute states in the fifteenth century. Even more significantly in terms of the ruling ideologies of the West, it was the period during which asceticism emerged as the dominant Christian discipline. The first Christian ascetics, anticipated and to some extent inspired by the writings ofOrigen early in the third century A.D., began to appear in Mesopotamia and Egypt toward the end of that century, in the decades before the conversion of the Empire; by the middle of the fourth century Athanasius had written the enormously popular and widely imitated Life of Anthony, who was at the time still alive; and by the end of the fourth century Augustine and others were forging a new monastic or 'cenobitic' Church based on a communal 'ascesis' or discipline, including sexual abstinence, fasting, silence, and the systematic eradication of 'worldly' personality. Ecclesiastical asceticism can be read, in fact, as a kind of Aujhebung of classical civilization, a storing of social structure, order, and 'reason' in the most condensed form imaginable, so as to survive the 'barbarian' millennium ahead. Ascetic Christians in the fourth century pared Roman culture down to its barest minimum, to an anti-worldly core that yet preserved in ideal form all the best (as they conceived it) that the 'world' of their era had to offer: self-discipline, stoic endurance, suppression of decadent emotionalism and individualism, rigid hierarchical order. This core yielded the monasteries that maintained it a powerful weapon against the dominant territorialism of the feudal lords - a right-makesmight, to put it aphoristically, to oppose to feudalism's might-makesright. Because the territorial lords did have the worldly might that makes right, the monastic 'right' made only a kind of otherworldly might; but the ideological survival of the Roman Empire in that otherworldliness gave

Douglas Robinson


it enormous worldly power, and that power was systematically extended throughout the Middle Ages. The ascetic imperialism of the medieval Church was first channelled through superstitious fear of an angry deity monopolized by the clergy; and in some sense, despite an escalating series of bourgeois demystifications throughout the modern era, that imperialism of the spirit is with us still today. Gradually, however, the monasteries extended their worldly sway into overtly socio-political spheres, through the amassing of vast ecclesiastical land holdings, for example - a kind of parallel or mirror-image feudalism informed not by territorialism but by an ascetic ideology that structured even decadent opulence in totalitarian ways. Toward the end of the Middle Ages, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the monastic opposition to the territorial ideology of mightmakes-right began to assume political form in the rise of the absolute state, which can be seen as the socio-ideological extension of monastic rule. 2 And finally- and most importantly, though also most indirectly- ecclesiastical asceticism 'seized power' in Western society through the rise of a secular but insistently ascetic bourgeoisie, dedicated to monetary profit through a new ascetic regimen: temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquillity, chastity, and humility, in Benjamin Franklin's late-eighteenth-century list.3 This transformed ascetic ideology has been so successful in the past few centuries that Franklin's (or we could say Augustine's) ascetic 'virtues' have become naturalized in Western society, inscribed in what we unthinkingly take to be human 'nature,' in a discipline that (we believe) it is only 'natural' for all humans to undertake. I am arguing, in other words, that asceticism, and specifically the Christian asceticism of the Middle Ages, is not simply a rather ludicrous fanaticism that was popular for several centuries long ago and then happily died out, but one of the dominant strains in our civilization - in Western ideology. As such it has been inscribed on our bodies, etched into the deepest strata of our being, so that it seems natural, for example, that 'maturity' be defined as the ability to delay the gratification of desires, or that leisure-oriented consumer society be portrayed as a decadent fallingoff from an earlier work ethic- or that the translator be expected to empty him- or herself of personal desires in order to achieve the neutral, impersonal transfer of the author's meaning to a reader in another language. The sheer ordinariness of these assumptions, the fact that they are so familiar as to attract no attention whatsoever, is the strongest evidence of the continuing ideological sway of medieval asceticism in our time. Certainly the importance of asceticism for the history of Western translatology cannot be over-emphasized. 'Normal' translation as it has


Western Translatology: Jerome and Augustine

been imagined in the West for sixteen centuries, and continues to be imagined today, is hegemonically ascetic (although humanistic strains from Cicero and the other classical theorists survive even within Christian asceticism, encouraging the translator to develop, to grow, through translation). Indeed it is difficult to recall (or even to imagine) a Western definition of translation, simple or complex, old or new, that does not immediately betray its ascetic aims. Consider only the 'renunciations' that are now and have long been expected of the translator: the renunciation of source-language syntax and 'colour' or 'feel' or 'mood', in the reduction of the source-language text to an abstract 'sense'; the renunciation of personal biases, predilections, preferences, and opinions in the education of the translator into a neutral transfer-machine. Consider the diatribes launched at 'word-for-word' and 'free' translations, and the temptation good translators feel and resist to indulge those pleasures: to cling 'too' closely to the source-language text, to trace its contours lovingly in the target language, by translating word for word; or to strike off 'too' boldly in a new direction, to sever ideologically-controlled ties with sourcelanguage meaning, by translating freely. Consider the discipline required of the translator to renounce all this, to resist such temptations, and the institutional support (translator training, translator organizations and conferences, legal and financial sanctions) provided to back up that discipline. The history ofWestern translatology is many things, but above all it is a history of ascetic discipline. After Jerome and Augustine, even the worldly rebels against ascetic translatology typically only modify the prescribed ascesis. Christian asceticism begins in a double tradition, eremitic and cenobitic, and the history of Western translatology reflects that split from the beginning. The eremite was the hermit who took drastic and dramatic steps to still the lure of the world in himself: starvation, motionlessness, sleep deprivation, the refusal to lie or sit down, sitting on poles. The cenobite was the monk or nun who submitted to monastic discipline, surrendered all decision-making to the father or mother superior and to the founder of the order, in the form of a monastic 'rule'. In The Ascetic Imperative in Culture and Criticism Geoffrey Galt Harpham places the two forms of Christian asceticism usefully in a mutually complementary relation: 'Each remembered what the other had forgotten - the eremite, that the grace of God dwelt within each person; and the cenobite, that the dead weight of sin stood between the human and the divine. If the eremite courted temptation in order to achieve the sharpest possible definition of himself, the cenobite sought not to be led into temptation so that the self would grow indistinct in its outlines, and would, ideally, simply cease to be' (p. 28). This had important consequences for the ideological survival of ascetic discipline: 'But for the cenobite, the goal was not to protect one's

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vital selfhood, but to extinguish whatever spark of temptability lay within. Eremites renounced the world; cenobites renounced themselves. Accordingly, eremites gained themselves; and cenobites, through the monasteries that exerted their powerful influence until the Reformation, gained the world' (p. 29). The worldly success of cenobitism has rendered the ascetic tradition in Western translatology more hegemonically cenobitic than eremitic; the ideal Western translator has always been more a disciplined monk or nun than a self-dramatizing hermit. As Harpham says, the cenobite, like the ideal translator, is 'faultless rather than excellent, a subtracted rather than an achieved self (p. 28). It is tempting, therefore, to set the eremitic tradition to one side and focus on the development of translatology out of cenobitism. The exclusion of the eremite- the maverick, the bullheaded loner, the individualist, the Holderlin, the Pound, the Nabokov- is in fact one of the great temptations of mainstream Western translatology, and one that I am going to have to resist ifl am to explore the complexities of ascetic translation. Although it is true, for example, that most Western translators have received overwhelming instruction of one kind or another in cenobitic invisibility (the 'subtracted self), and have more or less successfully resisted the temptation to enter into eremitic self-dramatizations, the two most famous Western translatologists were eremites: Jerome, the hermit who ended his life in a monastery in Bethlehem, and Martin Luther, the Augustinian monk who broke free of the monastery and became one of the first modern eremites, a famous ascetic who ate and drank and married and clamoured for attention. Jerome's 'Letter to Pammachius' (395) and Luther's 'Circular Letter on Translation' (1530) are powerfully eremitic documents that have shaped translatology from the ideological periphery: wild, shaggy ietters aflame with the passionate tempers and animal fears of their writers, documents that have been more quoted than read precisely because they are so embarrassingly unkempt and uncouth. Calm, rational, presentable (cenobitic) translatology begins in the West in Book II of Augustine's On Christian Doctrine, his discussion of signs. Augustine was in fact the founder of a monastic order that bore his name; during the course of the Middle Ages a hundred or more other orders would either adopt or adapt his monastic Rule as their founding document, the text that was read aloud to the assembled brothers or sisters (Augustine wrote masculine and feminine versions of the Rule) once a week and constituted the order's social contract, by reference to which a brother or sister could be punished or expelled for an infraction. Where Jerome's eremitic translatology is personal, pragmatic, and riddled with internal contradictions, Augustine's cenobitic translatology is impersonal, perfectionist, and systematic; where Jerome's is rhetorically hot, Augustine's is cool.


Western Translatology: Jerome and Augustine

Jerome's letter, in fact, is ad hoc theory, a practicing translator's anecdotal attempt to rise above 'mere' untheorized practice by systematizing his own translation decisions for others' emulation - a mode that Martin Luther and later practicing translators will cultivate when asked to pronounce on translation right up to our own day. Augustine expounds a scholarly semiotics that only veers incidentally into translation by way of illustration, and then into a highly idealized and impractical form of translation that is more dogmatic myth than institutional reality- a mode that Charles Batteaux and later linguistic theorists will cultivate when asked to pronounce on translation, again right up to our own day. Here at the very source of Western translatology, in other words, we find the rift that will characterize the discipline throughout its history: between translators who want to talk to other translators about what they do and theorists who want to describe or prescribe the transcendental structures undergirding or guiding what translators (ought to) do. For all their differences, however, Augustine and Jerome do formulate a more or less coherent translatological 'core' or 'centre' that will organize all later translation theory into an ascetic tradition. Both insist that the source-language text be reduced to (or conceived as) its transcendental 'meaning,' an abstract semantic content stripped of all 'carnal' specificity (the feel or colour of words, word order) that can be transferred without change to a target language. Both caution the translator against insufficient knowledge of the source language and reading individual words out of context. Both teach the translator piety toward the source-language text and submission to the authority of the institution that maintains it (controls its interpretation, commissions its translation)- although here the cenobitic Augustine is by far the more 'reliable' guide. Jerome, the fiery eremite, counsels piety and submission in tones that ring with barely suppressed impious revolt. Jerome writes to Pammachius because he has been charged with 'ignorance and falsehood ... by an inexperienced, bumptious tongue' (probably Rufinus). He goes on: This tongue, it seems, claims that I have made mistakes through misinterpretation or carelessness when I translated into Latin a letter written by another in Greek . . . My enemies tell the uneducated Christian crowd that Jerome falsified the original letter, that Jerome has not translated word for word, that Jerome has written 'beloved friend' in place of 'honorable Sir', and that- more disgraceful still- Jerome has maliciously condensed by omitting the epithet 'most reverend'.4 Jerome is at some pains to defend himself against these charges- to show

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that they are based on ignorance and inexperience of translation - and lashes back at his enemies with his own 'bumptious tongue'. Compared with his slightly younger and infinitely more authoritative contemporary Augustine, 5 Jerome is a quirky, crotchety hothead whose blood boils throughout the letter: At the very beginning, before I defend my translation, I wish to interrogate those men who call cunning and malice prudence. Where did you obtain your copy of my translation? Who gave it to you? How dare you display something obtained by your fraud? What place will be safe when a man cannot keep his secrets even behind his own walls and in his private desk? (p. 134) He rants on for a page or two about legal and scriptural precedents for this sort of deceit and fraud, calling Rufinus a Judas and a heretic, imagining him belching while offering up lame excuses for the theft of the letter, portraying the attack on his translation as a subterfuge to distract Church authorities from Rufinus' own black heresies, and generally venting his spleen at a political opponent. 'If I happen to be a poor translator, does that absolve you from being a heretic?' (p. 136). In the defence that follows of his sense-for-sense Latin translation of a Greek letter from Epiphanius, Bishop of Constantia, to John, Bishop of Jerusalem, Jerome vacillates tellingly between eremitic self-dramatizations as an experienced translator who knows the right way to translate and cenobitic submission to the authority of a whole string of classical and Christian authors (Cicero, Horace, Terence, Plautus, Caecilius, and Bishop Evagrius of Antioch, who translated Athanasius's Life ofAnthony into Latin). Here, for example, is an eremitic passage, which Jerome quotes from his own preface to an earlier translation: 'In the following sentence composed by another man, it is difficult not to diverge somewhere; and in translating it is hard to preserve the beauty of idiom which in the original is most distinguished. Each particular word has a significance of its own. Possibly I have no equivalent, by which to express some word, and if I then must go out of my way to reach the goal, miles are spent to cover what in reality is a short city block. To this difficulty must be added the windings of word transpositions, the dissimilarities in the use of cases, the varieties in figures of speech, and, most difficult of all, the peculiar vernacular marrow of the language itself. If one translates each and every word literally, the passage will sound absurd; and if by necessity I change anything in the order and wording, it will seem that I have abused the function of translator.' Then, after a


Western Translatology: Jerome and Augustine

lengthy discussion, which would be a bit boring to follow here, I added the following: 'If anyone does not see how translation adulterates the charm of the original, let him squeeze Homer word for word into Latin - I will go even further and ask him to render Homer into Latin prose: the result will be that the order of the words will seem ridiculous, and that the most eloquent of poets will be hardly articulate.' (pp. 138-9) This is the first in a long string of such complaints, the most familiar (indeed almost de rigeur) complaints in the history ofWestern translatology. What the familiarity of Jerome's protests may conceal, however, is their implicit asceticism. 'It is difficult not to diverge somewhere': this is the fulcra! ascetic claim, and in its flaunting of difficulty, its intensification of the temptations that must be resisted and the pitfalls that must be skirted, it is specifically eremitic. Jerome wrote the letter to Pammachius from a monastery in Bethlehem, but he was temperamentally never a cenobite. His two years in the Egyptian desert, short as that time was in eremitic terms, had moulded his self too sharply for that. His letter glows with visionary certitude, the rock-hard confidence and irascible stubbornness that comes from having discovered these things for himself, the hard way; and he defends his certainty with the arrogance of the old hand, saying only: ifyou don't believe me, try it yourself; I don't need to explain myself to you. Jerome does not stick to this rhetorical stance throughout, however; he sandwiches these particular eremitic claims, for example, between quotations from Cicero and Bishop Evagrius that establish his cenobitic credentials as submissive follower of a 'Rule' ('for this practice I have behind me the authority of Cicero himself; 'now if my own opinion seems to lack authority ... read and consider this short preface from a biography ofSt Anthony of Egypt', pp. 137, 139). Indeed the remainder of the letter is devoted to a close reading of the Seventy's translations from the Hebrew and the evangelists' free interpretations or misreadings of the Old Testament, in order to show that the greatest authorities of all, the Greek translators of the Old Testament (whom Jerome at this writing, following Philo, still believed to have been divinely inspired) and the writers of the four gospels, tacitly approved of his translation practice, and thus lent him their considerable exegetical weight. Tellingly, however, the cumulative effect ofJerome's citations from the Septuagint and the gospels is subversive of cenobitic discipline undermines his implicit self-presentation as the submissive follower of a Rule. The impetus of his citations, ostensibly submissive and honorific, is almost invariably accusatory: Though the sense is identical with that in the Septuagint, the words are dissimilar, and are quite differently arranged. (p. 141)

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Even greater discrepancies may be discovered in another passage from Matthew. (p. I44) Similar trifling mistakes occur in the Apostle Paul. (p. I46) One of the most striking misquotations is made by Stephen, Christ's first martyr. (p. I47) He is supposedly defending the writers and translators in question; but rhetorically his enumeration of their failings is carefully balanced between praise for sense-for-sense equivalence and blame for word-for-word deviation: Should one accuse the Apostle Matthew of adulterating his translation? It agrees neither with the Hebrew original, nor with the Greek Septuagint, and, worse than that, one could claim that Matthew has mistaken even the author's name, attributing the passage to Jeremiah instead of Zechariah. Far be it from Jerome, however, to speak like this about a follower of the Christ. The truth is that Matthew made it his business to formulate dogmas rather than scurry after words and syllables. (pp. I4I-2) It is a canny move: at the simplest level, he is providing a model for both

praise and blame, hoping to force his accusers into an extension of their attack on him to the Seventy and the authors of the New Testament, and thus, since that position is politically untenable (i.e., heretical), to force them back into praise for his own position. But there is another, and more devious (more eremitic), side to Jerome's claims- or rather, not a 'side', but an ascetic tension between opposed resistances. Jerome does blame the Seventy and the evangelists, it seems to me, for their inaccuracies; and he also praises them for their creative deviances, their eremitic wanderings beyond the faceless cenobitic discipline of the scholars. He takes a fierce pleasure in enumerating the 'defects' in these texts, the slippages from the Old Testament Hebrew to the Greek of the Septuagint and the New Testament, and the pleasure seems to me to be steeped in an eremitic imitation of Christ. This mimetic pleasure in effect conflates Jerome's implicit praise and blame for the Seventy and the evangelists, for it suggests simultaneously that the writers of the Greek Bible are nothing compared with Christ (and hence are as subject to blame as anyone else) and that their greatness, like Jerome's own, lies in their imitation of Christ (hence they are to be admired and emulated). This reading ofJerome's duplicitous letter would corroborate Harpham's claim that, 'conceiving ofhimself as a direct or primary imitation of Christ, the eremite actually stands in the position of the transcription of the spoken Word. The highly mediated nature of even this posture undercuts


Western Translatology: Jerome and Augustine

any pretension to true originality on the part of the eremite, but this is not the real point. The eremite had predecessors but not intermediaries; he placed himself in direct relation, if it can be called that, to the Mediator' (p. 43). The eremitic Jerome has predecessors- Cicero, Horace, Bishop Evagrius, the Seventy, the evangelists - but they are not intermediaries in the sense of mastering or mediating his understanding of the sourcelanguage text (especially in the most radical Christian sense, of Jesus as the divine source-language Text or Word). They are only humans like himself, predecessors in the sense of having gone before, having attempted (like himself) to place themselves in an unmediated relation to truth. Faced as translator and Bible scholar with the textual traces of their imitations, he sees the inadequacies of those traces (as he sees the inadequacies of his own), and is not impressed- certainly is not silenced by them. But because he is attempting to achieve the same unmediated relation through his translations, he also recognizes the visionary power of their failures, the courage and determination that led them to deviate from mediated models of understanding and strike off on their own, hoping to transcribe the transformative Word on and through their own bodies by wandering like Jesus in the desert. That Jerome does not actually come out and say this- does not openly identify himself with theW ord incarnate and contemptuously set aside the mere human words of previous translators - suggests that the visionary model of translation his letter implies is not so much the overt eremitic project of Western translation as it is the resisted eremitic temptation of Western translation. Jerome himself resists it staunchly all through the letter, only giving out echoes of its siren call in his tonal contempt-cumadmiration for the evangelists, say. We will see very much the same eremitic temptation resisted in very much the same way by Luther, and in very different ways in the peripheralized (institutionally 'resisted') mystical/kabbalistic/romantic tradition: embraced as an impossible but essential ideal (hence resisted in their very acquiescence to it) by Boethius, Goethe, Schleiermacher, Benjamin, Steiner, and identified with all translation and rejected as impossible by Bacon, Dante, Humboldt, Derrida. 6 This crisscrossing of temptations and resistances is in fact inscribed within Jerome's own eremitic translatological regimen, in what may be the oddest note in the letter: 'Now I not only admit but freely announce that in translating from the Greek - except of course in the case of Holy Scripture, where even the syntax contains a mystery - I render, not word for word, but sense for sense' (pp. 136--7). Given the absence of support for (or later recurrence to) this 'exception', Jerome's insistence that he renders the Bible word for word sounds superficially like kneejerk piety

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- perhaps an attempt to protect himself against charges of heresy. Read this way, his word-for-word exceptionalism becomes a claim to resist the eremitic temptation to 'deviate' from the sense of the original. But it is more complicated than that. Word-for-word translation is 'normal' for ecclesiastical authorities ignorant of translation, who believe that piety toward the source-language text requires piety toward every word in it. This renders word-for-word translation an ideological haven for those afraid of heresy charges - like Jerome, who writes this letter precisely in order to defend himself against such charges. At the same time, however, it is 'deviant' for ecclesiastical authorities with experience of translation, who believe that the translator should show piety not toward the source-language text but rather toward its transcendental meaning. This renders word-for-word translation a temptation to be resisted, a delight in the felicity of the source-language text that the ascetic translator must renounce. As Jerome's claim that 'even the syntax contains a mystery' suggests, word-for-word translation is at least implicitly kabbalistic: it reveals too great an attachment to the 'world', to 'fleshly' utterances, to the 'mystery' of specific articulations. The ascetic translator is expected to resist this temptation through idealization, abstraction, the transcendentalization of meaning especially through sense-for-sense translation, where the 'sense' to be translated is regarded as dwelling not in individual words or even utterances, but beyond all natural language in the mind of God (as circumscribed by the Church), and perceived by the pious translator only through the source-language text as through a veil. Inscribed in the temptations and resistances of Jerome's letter, therefore, is a whole mutually defining system of translatological oppositions that will inform translation theory until our own century. On the one hand, there is 'humble' or 'self-effacing' or cenobitic translation, predicated on the translator's pious submission to the source-language author's intention as defined by the ecclesiastical (or other social) institution; on the other, there is 'arrogant' or 'self-dramatizing' or eremitic translation, predicated on the translator's assumption that he or she knows best and will translate any way he or she sees fit. Each of these positions is then divided into a sense-for-sense/word-for-word opposition: the ignorant cenobite translates, or requires that others translate, word for word, while the learned cenobite translates, or requires that others translate, sense for sense; and the orthodox eremite translates (etc.) sense for sense, while the kabbalistic eremite translates (etc.) word for word. As the ascetic tradition insists, these oppositions are opposed not by sheer logical differentiation (this or that, A or not-A), but as temptation to renunciation: each of these three translation models is a temptation that is renounced and resisted binarily by each of the other three. Thus Rufinus

Western Translatology: Jerome and Augustine as word-for-word cenobite and Augustine as sense-for-sense cenobite both renounce or resist Jerome's sense-for-sense eremitism, Rufinus because Jerome has added to or subtracted from the source-language text, Augustine because Jerome has stepped beyond ecclesiastical control by using the Hebrew Old Testament rather than the Church-approved Septuagint as his source-language text. Thus also Jerome as sense-forsense eremite renounces or resists the cenobitic temptation to submit to ecclesiastical authorities (especially the Seventy and the evangelists), but simultaneously feels tempted by word-for-word translation for reasons both cenobitic (political security) and eremitic (delight in source-language mysteries). I am suggesting, in other words, that Jerome's letter to Pammachius is rhetorically far more complex, and translatologically far more productive of splinter views, than the tradition that explicitly harks back to it will allow. The dictum to which his letter is normally reduced- non verbum e verbo, sed sensum exprimere de sensu -is indeed Jerome's translatological position, both official and pragmatic; he is both a practitioner and a theorist of sense-for-sense translation. But he practices and theorizes sense-forsense translation with the intensity and fervour of the eremite, which means that his 'position' is more a statistical average than a firm stance, more the uneasy sum of his resistances to the various temptations nascent translatology offers him than a systematic view. He theorizes sense-forsense translation not only as submission to the intended meaning of the source-language text but as a needed corrective to the shoddiness of the source-language text; and he leans toward word-for-word translation both as a 'safe' because cenobitically naive method and as an eremitically bold departure into kabbalistic mysticism.




If in Jerome the ideological forces at work in nascent translatology sought to explode into mutually repellent stances, Augustine exerted quite the opposite influence: his cenobitic translatology was a dogmatic straitjacket into which he attempted to fit a field that he did not really understand very well. As I mentioned earlier, this tension between the 'centrifugal' pragmatist and the 'centripetal' perfectionist has continued to characterize translatology (like most other branches of Western knowledge) into our own time: while one group of translatologists is busy opening up new cans of worms, another group is just as busy chloroforming the worms and pinning them to the mat of scientific classification. The fragmentation of the Church's authority in the Reformation did in one sense undo Augustine's translatological straitjacket: no longer was it possible to

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centralize all control over Bible translation in a single institution, or even a single institutional ideology administered by several monastic institutions. But in another sense all that meant was that institutional control moved inward: external enforcement was internalized as the translator's own ascetic discipline, and Augustine's ideological hegemony was extended beyond the end of his ecclesiastical monopoly in the form of 'conscience', or (later) 'professionalism'. Jerome instituted translatology almost by accident, individualistically, eremitically, in situational self-defence and self-creation; the cenobitic Augustine took a larger, more dogmatic view. Augustine instituted translatology as a systematic undoing of the scattering of tongues at the Tower of Babel- specifically by identifying the translatum or transferred message with the unitary Word of God and then policing the transfer. Translation may seem to be a mere ineffectual crossing of linguistic barriers carried out by imperfect, fallible humans; it may seem to partake of the marketplace (the bartering of meanings, this for that) or of the nomadic life (the constant reinscription of culture on a shifting geography, flux the nomad's only stability). But for Augustine these are mere appearances, mere surface; in the depths lies true translation, perfect translation, ideal translation, the perfect transfer of a stable meaning from one language to another by the ideal interpreter. It must: Augustine's political optimism requires the possibility of bounding, if not binding, sin; of at least controlling the damage wreaked on linguistic understanding at Babel, and perhaps even remedying it. If 'true' or 'perfect' or 'ideal' translation is not possible, if perfect communication between God and humans, Hebrews and Greeks, Greeks and Romans, Romans and Arabs and Berbers and so on is not possible, in some sense the Church is not possible. Then the most that can be hoped for is a proliferation of visionary monads, eremitic mystics perhaps, who experience God's truth but cannot convey it to others. In order to envisage perfect translation, then, and thus the Church, Augustine charts out a dual ascesis, a cenobitic purification at once of the translatum and of the translator. Everything in language that is not pure, simple, stable, permanent, must be excised; living language use, especially speech, must be derogated and dismissed as mere dross, a distortion of stable logoi (which are themselves distortions of the divine Logos) that is in turn subject to further distortion by listeners. And everything in human response that proliferates individuated meanings, all interpretive idiosyncrasies, inclinations, impulses, must be silenced, from within and without: both renounced by the interpreter and denounced by the monastic institution. Nomadic translation, marketplace translation, translation as a free-flowing series of encounters with other speakers in a fluid social


Western Translatology: Jerome and Augustine

sphere - all this must be thematized as a temptation to be resisted, a sickness to be purged, an evil to be exorcised. The ideal translator for Augustine was a monk in a cell, purified of personality, perfectly conformed to cenobitic rule, wholly spoken from within by the voice of God. Augustine begins book two of On Christian Doctrine7 with a definition of signs as solely directed at 'bringing forth and transferring to another mind the action of the mind in the person who makes the sign' (II.ii.3; p. 35), 8 a relational definition of signs that at once grounds their efficacy in and makes them the enabling condition of community: social intercourse through communication. For the cenobite, danger lies not so much in the 'world' as in the 'self: community, relation, the 'world' of social interaction that was anathema to the eremite is the cenobite's defense against the isolated ego. But not any social world; not, say, the community of the market-place: rather an idealized community, an ideally unified community in which all speakers are themselves spoken by a higher unifying voice and share the same signs as vehicles of their communication. The giving and taking of signs is the next best thing to the paradisal state of being 'one mind', of one mind, one in mind, one through mind. In Augustine's formulation the sign is the vehicle not only of the transfer of mental actions from one mind to another, but also of the elicitation or evocation of mental actions, their 'bringing forth' from the shadowy depths of inner being. Signs are the 'publication' of private thoughts, the rendering public of what was isolate, individual, incommunicado. Implicit in this construction is also the rendering permanent of what was fleeting, evanescent: signs are the stabilization of the flux of mental actions, the freezing sqlid of what William James calls the stream of thought. As Harpham makes clear, this conception of signification as an exteriorization of the inward, communalization of the individual, publication of the private, and stabilization of the fleeting is caught up in an ascetic mortification of life, an attempt to 'idealize' or 'transcendentalize' the flux of life by killing it, by reducing its multiplicity and mutability to the fixity of death. In the same way, the evanescence of speech is 'mortified' through writing. Augustine continues: 'But because vibrations in the air soon pass away and remain no longer than they sound, signs of words have been constructed by means of letters. Thus words are shown to the eyes ... not in themselves but through certain signs which stand for them' (II.iv.s; p. 36). What is heard falls away; what is seen remains. What is 'in itself is carnal, worldly, individuated, and therefore subject to deathas-decay; what is represented in signs is ideal, transcendental, and therefore subject to death-as-perfection.

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Unfortunately, however, 'these signs could not be common to all people because of the sin of human dissension which arises when one people seizes the leadership for itself. A sign of this pride is that tower erected in the heavens where impious men deserved that not only their minds but also their voices should be dissonant' (II.iv.s; p. 36). 'For itself: this is as impious as the 'in itself. The sin, for Augustine, is not the will to power over other people - his own authoritarian formulations in his monastic Rule and throughout his writings and political activities were to consolidate the first successful political application of Plato's totalitarian designs from the Republic, in the thousand-year reign of the medieval Church - but rather the gathering of power into the prideful self, even when that self is collectively defined ('when one people seizes the leadership for itself). It is selfishness that causes dissension, not the will to power. To put that differently, dissension arises when humans refuse to channel God's power- or (more secularly) when they refuse to unify or consolidate the power they wield in God's name. The gathering of power into the self in effect blocks God's instrumentalization of humans as his agents, and thus the transcendentalization of power: it is acceptable, indeed essential, that one 'lead' or wield power over others, as long as one is in turn 'led' or instrumentalized by a higher power. Only God's 'condescension' to human leadership can prevent human 'dissension'. When selfishness at Babel bred dissension, then, that dissension led to vocal dissonance, which led to the need for translation; but in the 'scattering' of Bible translations across the world Augustine sees a potential reversal of the Babelian scattering of tongues: Thus it happened that even the Sacred Scripture, by which so many maladies of the human will are cured, was set forth in one language, but so that it could be spread conveniently through all the world it was scattered far and wide in the various languages of translators that it might be known for the salvation of people who desired to find in it nothing more than the thoughts and desires of those who wrote it and through these the will of God, according to which we believe those writers spoke. (II.v.6; pp. 36-7). The aporias that drive Augustine's idealization run deep: the scattering of translations allows all humans to hear 'nothing more' than the single and unified voice of God. More is less: more languages, more translations, more voices mean less dissension, less plurality, less selfish individuation. Augustine can only envisage this transformation of more into less through the ascetic regimen that he outlines in On Christian Doctrine (II. vii), the seven-step path to wisdom that enables the Bible reader (and

Western Translatology: Jerome and Augustine thus also the translator) to renounce the 'selfish' impulses that proliferate interpretations and preclude hegemonic understanding. I devoted a section of my study The Translator's Turn to a close reading of this regimen in terms of translational instrumentalism, and will not repeat the argument here; let me instead quickly list the seven steps as they apply to the cenobitic translator and comment: 1.


3· 4·



Fear. Be afraid of critical censure, and let your fear guide you to obedience. In this first step, obey the rules (translate only the intended sense of the source-language text as that sense is defined by the relevant institution) out of sheer self-protection. Piety. Respect the source-language author enough to set aside your own personal opinions and translate his or hers. Knowledge. Familiarize yourself with the source-language author and text, historically, biographically, terminologically. Fortitude. Recognize that you will never know enough about the source-language author and text and will never be able to translate it adequately, but do not despair. Keep trying to do the impossible; keep thinking of it as impossible, but also as absolutely essential. Mercy. Remember the poor target-language reader, who could not understand the text if you did not translate it, and will not understand it as intended if you add to it or subtract from it. Cleansing. Purify yourself of all personal idiosyncrasies that might distort the target-language reader's view of the source-language author's intention. Make yourself a window- and a clean one- for the target-language reader to see through. Wisdom. Attain peace and tranquillity by clinging to what you know is right and sloughing off everything that does not contribute to that state of mind - including the intermediate steps en route to this goal. Forget that you once translated 'correctly' out of fear or fortitude or mercy. Let hegemonic translation become 'second nature'.

What makes this ascetic regimen so successful (witness how well it still works for us today, sixteen centuries after Augustine invented it) is partly that each step in some sense erases or subsumes the one previous, so that the pious translator no longer needs to be afraid, the knowledgeable translator no longer needs to conceive his or her quest for knowledge in terms of piety, and so on, until the arrival at 'wisdom' or perfect submission to cenobitic discipline erases everything that has gone before, leaving only (at least ideally) the perfectly neutral translator, the translator as robot, the 'machine' translator that continues to practice all seven ascetic disciplines but has forgotten that it does so (has forgotten that it has been

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programmed and believes that it is 'free'). This is the sense in which machine translation, the great cenobitic project of twentieth-century translatology, would be the ultimate fulfilment of Augustine's ascetic program. But this forgetful internalization is only part of the reason for the program's success. Another part is institutional enforcement, the maintenance of communal discipline that provides for sanctions when ideological programming fails. And it always does: this is the problem. We are 'only human', we say- not (quite) machines. We try to maintain our fear of the critics and our respect for the source-language author, but they are too pathetic, too absurd in their ignorance, too backward in their attempts to write comprehensible source-language (the author) or target-language (the critics) prose, and we 'fix things up'. We try to purge ourselves of distracting personality, but it sneaks back in when we least expect it. We try to banish despair with determined fortitude, but fail (and despair at our failure). We try to be merciful to the target-language reader, but the source-language words delight us too much, we can't turn away from them, and so we pepper our translation with source-languagisms, literal renditions. We fail, in other words, to 'die to the world' (II.vii.rr; p. 40), which the cenobitic Augustine insists is the prerequisite for understanding. But it is more than this; for in some sense Augustine's (indeed every) ascetic regimen has its own failure built in. This is most obvious in the fourth step, where fortitude is defined as resistance to despair, and as constantly necessary because despair survives all resistance, indeed survives in resistance, and therefore continues to plague the ascetic who resists it. To discipline oneself to fortitude is to discipline oneself to not-despair, and thus to build despair into one's discipline in negated form. But the same is true of the other six steps as well, or of any ascetic regimen, precisely because an ascetic 'step' or 'practice' is by definition an attempt to resist something, and resistance only works in a tensile or dialectical relation. Fear only works as a check on courage, and courage as a check on fear; piety is generated out of a smoothing-over of contempt, or of equality conceived as contempt, and requires for its operation something to smooth over; knowledge assumes importance through the perception of ignorance, but the continuing perception of ignorance undermines the illusion of knowledge (which perception, as Augustine says, will force the translator 'to lament his own situation',; p. 39); mercy is a tempering of justice, which continues to demand a reckoning; the impulse to cleanse or purify arises out of an obsession with dirt that continues to haunt even the cleanliest puritan; and wisdom, defined as not turning away from the truth, requires a vigilant clinging, a refusal to listen to the voices that would entice the wise person to turn. Failure is built into ascetic regimens; the ascetic must fail, and must thematize failure as a goad to further efforts.


Western Translatology: Jerome and Augustine

As Harpham says, 'asceticism, the discipline of the essential self, is always defined as a quest for a goal that cannot and must not be reached, a quest with a sharp caveat: "seek but do not find"' (p. 43). And let me stress that this is true of ascetic discipline- not of all human existence. The mutual implication of fear and courage, piety and contempt, knowledge and ignorance, fortitude and despair, mercy and justice, cleansing and dirt, and wisdom and errancy seems to us universal, not because it is, but because asceticism is so successful an ideology in Western thought- because we have collectively forgotten the ascetic steps that have brought us to that belief. This institutional enforcement of built-to-fail ascetic programs is central to Augustine's cenobitic translatology. It is not enough to internalize and then forget fear, piety, knowledge, fortitude, mercy, purification, and wisdom; one must be repeatedly guided by institutional authorities to the proper fulfilment of those steps. Augustine uses his third step, knowledge, to illustrate the importance of submission to institutional guidance, insisting that readers (and translators) of the Bible limit themselves to the certain books: In the matter of canonical Scriptures he should follow the authority of the greater number of catholic Churches, among which are those which have deserved to have apostolic seats and to receive epistles. He will observe this rule concerning canonical Scriptures, that he will prefer those accepted by all catholic Churches to those which some do not accept; among those which are not accepted by all, he should prefer those which are accepted by the largest number of important Churches to those held by a few minor Churches of less authority. If he discovers that some are maintained by the largest number of Churches, others by the Churches of the weightiest authority, although this condition is not likely, he should hold them to be of equal value. (II.viii.12; p. 41) Note that at no point in this hierarchical regress is the Bible reader asked to make up his or her own mind; even in judgment calls, as when there is a discrepancy between number and weight, the cenobitic reader is to make the decision prescribed for him or her by Augustine (indeed to recognize the need to make that decision only in circumstances defined by Augustine). As V. N. Voloshinov argues in Marxism and the Philosophy ofLanguage, this institutional authority is traditionally vested in, justified by, and transmitted through the 'alien word', a foreign word that is just domesticated enough to be almost understandable but still alien enough

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to be elevated, solemn, sacred, powerful. 9 All priests, Voloshinov suggests, rely on the alien word for their otherworldly aura, for the impression they give of being in contact with a higher level of being - a higher level associated with the supernatural and borrowing ideological support for that association from a venerated foreign language. Augustine is no exception. In a trivial example of his veneration for the alien word, he lists Hebrew words that Latin translators of the Bible do not translate, like 'amen' and 'alleluia', due to their 'holier authority' (II.xi.16; p. 43); because he himself had no Hebrew, however, he clearly does not consider that language to carry much institutional weight. The alien words that patently carry 'holier authority' for Augustine are Greek: the words of the Septuagint and the Greek New Testament, which he was able to read. Most pressing of these for Augustine and the Christian Middle Ages was logos, of course, the Greek word for word and especially, after the first chapter of]ohn's gospel, for Jesus Christ, the creative Word whom God spoke in the beginning and will speak in the end. Revealingly, this is not a word native to either Jesus himself, who spoke Aramaic, or Augustine, who spoke Latin; rather, it is a word native to Plato and Philo Judaeus, the ghostwriters, as it were, of the New Testament and the presiding classical authorities for the Christian Middle Ages, largely due to the military conquests of Alexander the Great, student of Aristotle (student of Plato), founder and namesake of the city in which the Septuagint was created and Philo wrote. More broadly, and more significantly for medieval translatology, the alien words of Augustine's dogmatic system are the Greek words of that Alexandrian translation, which he too, like Philo and Jerome, believed to be divinely inspired: And in emending Latin translations, Greek translations are to be consulted, of which the Septuagint carries most authority in so far as the Old Testament is concerned. In all the more learned churches it is now said that this translation was so inspired by the Holy Spirit that many men spoke as if with the mouth of one. It is said and attested by many of not unworthy faith that, although the translators were separated in various cells while they worked, nothing was to be found in any version that was not found in the same words and with the same order of words in all of the others. Who would compare any other authority with this, or, much less, prefer another? But even if they conferred and arrived at a single opinion on the basis of common judgment and consent, it is not right or proper for any man, no matter how learned, to seek to emend the consensus of so many older and more learned men. Therefore, even though something is found in Hebrew versions different from what


Western Translatology: Jerome and Augustine they have set down, I think we should cede to the divine dispensation by which they worked. (II.xv.22; p. 49)

This is the perfectionist ideal of cenobitic translatology: the subordination of not one but seventy-two translators, in seventy-two monastic cells, to a single alien word, the word of the Holy Spirit ('many men spoke as if with the mouth of one'}, with the result that the translation they produce actually supersedes the original text. 'Who would compare any other authority with this?' - even a Hebrew authority, even the sourcelanguage text, believed by kabbalists to have been written in the language of heaven, in God's own script. Implicit in this preference for a Greek translation over the Hebrew original is a preference for the ascetic regimen by which the translation was achieved. The Hebrew Old Testament was written over many centuries by sundry hands, spoken by a hodgepodge of voices (and then copied by a hodgepodge of scribes) without benefit of cenobitic discipline, and thus, though Augustine will not say this openly, is less reliable than a cenobitic document like the Septuagint: 'even though something is found in Hebrew versions different from what they have set down, I think we should cede to the divine dispensation by which they worked'. Even if the translation was not divinely inspired, Augustine clings to this notion of a surreptitiously political 'divine dispensation': 'even if they conferred and arrived at a single opinion on the basis of common judgment and consent, it is not right or proper for any man, no matter how learned, to seek to emend the consensus of so many older and more learned men'. The 'consensus of so many older and more learned men' constitutes a locus of authority that 'it is not right or proper' to challenge. This is the cenobitic ideology at its strongest: the subtracted self in search of a master whose command will render its expressions faultless. If the subtracted self can believe that the master is divine, so much the better; barring that ultimate transcendentalization of authority, however, any authority will do, especially one lent credence by the alien word and collective consensus, which together banish (or help resist} the demystifying effects of ordinary speech and the atomizing effects of the isolated self. This insistence on the centrality of the alien Greek word to Augustine's cenobitic semiotic may seem to be undermined by the close attention Augustine pays to Latin translations; but in fact there is no conflict. The key for Augustine is not the use of an alien language, but the alienation of whatever language one uses. Nor is this alienation entirely at odds with familiarity, for in some sense he requires that both the alien and the familiar be resisted: the utterly alien is not understood and therefore has no impact, while the utterly familiar has no impact because it is

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unremarkable. By domesticating the foreign and alienating the familiar, the user of language creates a kind of ascetic Esperanto, an 'alien word' that is at once familiar and strange, understandable and shot through with awe. We should recognize this 'alien word' as the interlanguage into which translators are systematically encouraged to render their source-language texts, even by translatologists like Eugene A. Nida, a vocal advocate of not making the translation sound like a translation. Nida disapproves of alien Bible translations, like the radically literal renditions of Buber and Rosenzweig or Chouraqui, or like the outdated English of the King James Version, and calls for easily understandable colloquial translations; but he also disapproves of overly assimilated translations, slangy translations, modernized translations, and so on. The translation should be familiar but not too familiar - and alien, but not too alien. In fact, of course, this dialectical resistance to both the alien and the familiar means in practice that, depending on the readership for whom the translator is translating, the ascetic alien word may take any number of forms: from the qualified colloquialism of a Nida translation to the literalism of David Rosenberg in The Book ofJ to the modernization of Clarence Jordan's Cotton Patch Version; from the radical plainness of a Pound translation to the radical ugliness of Nabokov's Eugene Onegin. Augustine says explicitly that he is addressing his remarks to Latinspeaking men (II.xi.r6); this requires him to posit an alien/familiar interlanguage between Greek and Latin. For later writers, who do not speak Latin themselves and do not address Latin-speaking men, this interlanguage must shift: for many English writers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, for example, to a space between Latin and English, a Latinized English that carries the authority of Augustine's Latin and the understandability of contemporary English. In any case, what Augustine's translatology underlines is that the 'alien word' of the translator's inter language or translationese is hegemonically the 'authoritative word' that subjects both the translator and the targetlanguage reader to a cenobitic discipline - to the masterful speaking of an authority, who coaches the translator and the reader in submission to the ascetic command. ro Whether this means that the Bible reader can 'trust' (and conform to) a Bible translation because the translator has been so thoroughly conformed to God's source-language intention, or that a consumer can 'trust' (and conform to) a translated advertisement or business letter because the translator has been so thoroughly conformed to the source-language writer's intention, translation since Augustine has been, and remains to this day, normatively a cenobitic discipline. It is steeped in social power, mastery and subjection, command and conformity.


Western Translatology: Jerome and Augustine

But this is simplistic. Translation remains normatively a cenobitic discipline; but in the repressive dualism of Western thought, norms are predicated upon deviations, and therefore depend on them for their impact. Cenobitic translation, bound as it is by the subtracted selfs dialectics of success and failure and of the familiar and the alien, is built upon the repression of eremitism. Eremitic translation, bound as it is by the isolated selfs dialectics of brilliance and heresy, mystical oneness with the source-language author and audience response, is built upon the repression of cenobitism. Ascetic translation itself, eremitic and cenobitic, is built upon the repression of classical humanism, which was bound by the created selfs dialectics of passive reception and anxious appropriation, other- and inner-direction. And the key to the complexity of Western translation theory is this: what is repressed in each successive theory does not thereby vanish, but survives in the resistance that maintains the repression, survives in a vital enough form to anticipate and in some sense engineer its own return. Cicero and Luther sound in Jerome. Quintilian and Goethe sound in Augustine. Repressed echoes striate each theory, every voice. It is only by listening to those echoes and tracing those striations that we can begin to move beyond the hegemonic repetition- Cicero and Jerome and Luther and Dryden and everybody between and since calling for sense-for-sense rather than word-for-word translation - to which the history of Western translation theory has conventionally been, and continues today to be, reduced. University of Mississippi NOTES 1. See, for example, Socrates' remarks in the Phaedrus (275 B.C.). 2. I'm drawing here on Norbert Elias, Power and Civility, Volume II of The Civilizing Process, translated by Edmund Jephcott (New York, 1982). 3· For the classic discussion of the bourgeois transformation of ascetic ideology, see Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, translated by Talcott Parsons (New York, 1976). For a discussion of the transformation of 'profit' from spiritual in the fourth century to monetary in the seventeenth and eighteenth, see Geoffrey Galt Harpham, The Ascetic Imperative in Culture and Criticism (Chicago, 1987), pp. 62-4. 4· Jerome, 'Letter to Pammachius (On the Best Kind of Translator)', in The Satirical Letters ofJerome, translated by Paul Carroll (Chicago, 1958), pp. 1324· 5· Jerome was born c. 347, Augustine nine years later in 356;Jerome dies around the age of 73 in c. 420, Augustine at the age of 74 in 430. 6. On this impossibility as resistance to temptation, let me quote Harpham again: 'So while both [cenobites and eremites] strove for the perfect imitation, both

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were also highly conscious of their own derivation and the impossibility of ever attaining the status of their model. Indeed, the illusion that one had reached an ideal or perfect identification with Christ the word was the most notorious and insidious of temptations, slamming the door closed at the very moment when one had proven oneself worthy of entering. Hence asceticism, the discipline of the essential self, is always defined as a quest for a goal that cannot and must not be reached, a quest with a sharp caveat: "seek but do not find"' (p. 43). See also my discussion of perfectionism in Chapter 1 of my study The Translator's Turn (Baltimore, 1991), pp. 54-64. 7. This section was written in 396, the year after Jerome's letter; the entire book was finished around 427. 8. See Augustine, On Christian Doctrine, translated by D. W. Robertson, Jr (Indianapolis, 1958); this and all subsequent references are to book, chapter, paragraph; and page. 9· V. N. Voloshinov, Marxism and the Philosophy of Language, translated by I. R. Titunik and Ladislav Matejka (Cambridge, Mass., 1983), especially PP· 74-5· 10. The 'authoritative word' is Bakhtin's term for what Voloshinov calls the 'alien word'. See Mikhail Bakhtin, 'Discourse in the Novel', translated by Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist, in Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination, edited by Michael Holquist (Austin, 1981), pp. 259-422, especially pp. 343-9·

Chapman's Discovery of Homer Robin Sowerby

Chapman's translation of the Iliad was undertaken in three distinct stages. In I 598 he published Seaven Bookes of the Iliades' with a dedication 'To the most Honored now living Instance of the Achilleian vertues eternized by divine Homere, the Earle of Essexe'. In I6o8 he made some minor revisions to the books already translated (1, II, VII-XI) and added the intervening books and Book XII to produce Homer ... in twelve Bookes. At a later stage he translated the second half of the poem in fifteen weeks and entirely re-translated the first two books (except for the catalogue of forces at the end of Book II). In the 'commentarius' added to the I6I I edition of The Iliads of Homer, he tells the reader that it was only in this final phase that he clearly discovered his author: This first and second booke I have wholly translated againe, the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth bookes deferring still imperfect, being all Englished so long since and my late hand (overcome with labour) not yet rested enough to refine them. Nor are the wealthie veines of this holy ground so amply discovered in my first twelve labours as my last, not having competent time nor my profit in his mysteries being so ample as when, driving through his thirteenth and last books, I drew the main depth and saw the round coming of this silver bow of our Phoebus, the cleare scope and contexture of his worke, the full and most beautifull figures of his persons. To those last twelve, then, I must referre you for all the chiefe worth of my cleare discoveries. (p. 43) The figurative language implies that in earlier stages he had not yet discovered (perhaps in the older sense of 'uncovered') the deeper meanings, the rich veins of gold beneath the surface import of the words. In translating the second half, however, he 'drew the main depth'. Reference to 'holy ground' and 'mysteries' need not imply that what Chapman had not fully appreciated previously were allegorized readings. In fact the later version moves away from this tendency and is much more

Robin Sowerby sensitive to the emotional, psychological and dramatic sense of Homer's words. As he explains himself, he comes to a greater appreciation of Homer's artistry. The figurative associations when Chapman writes of'the round coming of this silver bow of our Phoebus' are not wholly clear, but evidently he sees Homer completing his task (and from the bow an arrow is reaching its mark). The key words are 'scope' and 'contexture'. In the OED, scope is defined as 'the goal or terminal point of a race or journey'. This meaning is there illustrated by a quotation from Chapman's Iliad in which Nestor is advising his son Archilochus that artistry in the conduct of a chariot race can overcome the superior horse power of the opposition: He better skild, that rules worse horse, will all observance bend Right on the scope still of a Race, beare neare, know ever when to reine When give reine, as his foe before (well noted in his veine Of manage and his steeds' estate) presents occasion. (XXIII, JOD--3) Among subsequent definitions of the word are: 'end in view'; 'degree of excellence to be aimed at'; 'the object which a writer has in view to express or enforce, the subject, theme or argument chosen for treatment'; 'the reach or tendency of an argument'. The word contexture, literally 'the act or process of weaving together', is figuratively an interwoven structure or fabric, a connected structure or body of a literary composition. The words seem deliberately chosen to tell his readers that in translating the second half Chapman came to a fuller appreciation of the artistic design of the Iliad, in the Aristotelian sense in which the telos or end, the scope, inheres in the contexture, the systasis tiin pragmatiin, the linking up of all the material parts. Only in the light of the 'scope and contexture' does he see the full beauty of Homer's characters. Again, what is implied is an artistic beauty; the characters are beautiful because they are fitted to the design. In 'Chapman's Revisions in his Iliads', which has become the standard account of the matter, Phyllis Bartlett attributes the greater poetic success of the later I6II version not to deepening awareness of the artistry and poetic effect of the original but to Chapman's stylistic maturity, to his greater flexibility in the handling of his chosen poetic medium! Bartlett's starting-point is Chapman's paraphrastical method of translation, and she finds quite rightly that it did not change from beginning to end. Though in I6I I he is sometimes more faithful to the letter ofHomer, at other times he introduces new paraphrastical additions not in the I 598 version. She concludes that he is haphazard in his method and she does not discern any principle consistently governing later changes. More recently,]. C. Briggs in 'Chapman's Seaven Bookes of the 1/iades: Mirror for Essex' has argued


Chapman's Homer

that changes between the I 598 and I 6o8 versions are to be accounted for on the historical grounds of Chapman's identification of Achilles with Essex, to whom the Seaven Bookes were dedicated.3 Achilles, however, features in only two of these books (I and IX), and Briggs has nothing to say about other changes or about the major revision of I6II. It is the contention of the present essay that Chapman's later discovery amounted to a new view not only of Achilles but of the whole 'scope and contexture' of the poem in which he figures, and that this changed sense of the spirit of the original underlies the greater poetic success of the later version in which it is reflected and embodied. Briefly stated, it can be said that Chapman moved a long way (though not completely) from the 'ethical bias' 4 which has often been remarked upon, and which is typical of his time, towards a positive appreciation of a more Aristotelian view. Comparing the two poems in his Poetics, Aristotle remarks on a fundamental difference between the Iliad which has a simple plot and is pathetikon, that is based on emotion and turning on calamity, and the Odyssey which has a complex plot and is ethike, that is turning upon character. 5The I 598 version may justly be described as ethike while the revision of I6I I, completed, Chapman wrote, after 'the first free light of my Author entred and emboldened me' (p. go), embodies the fruits of his later recognition that the Iliad is pathetikon. This distinction is reflected in prefatory remarks to his translation of the Odyssey completed after the Iliad and published in I6I6: The first word of his Iliads is menin, wrath; the first word of his Odysses, andra, Man - contracting in either word his each worke's Proposition. In one, Predominent Perturbation; in the other, overruling Wisedome; in one, the Bodie's fervour and fashion of outward Fortitude to all possible height ofHeroicall Action; in the other, the Mind's inward, constant and unconquered Empire, unbroken, unaltered with any most insolent and tyrannous infliction. 6 Chapman's idealizing Stoical tendency, his natural starting-point in I598, was given full rein in this later version, a thorough-going allegorical rendering of the Odyssey. 7 What is remarkable is the extent to which he subdued this side of himself and yielded to 'Predominant Perturbation' to produce in I6I I a version of the Iliad that transcends the limitations of his own time to become one of the few translations that can mediate Homer to the modern world. For it is not as if Chapman's earlier response to Homer was untypical of his time. On the contrary, it is something of an irony that the epic tradition flowing from Homer had virtually lost contact with its

Robin Sowerby originator. 8 The gulfbetween the English Renaissance and the Greek may be suggested by the account given by Spenser of the scope of The Faerie Queene in his letter to Raleigh of 1589: The general end therefore of all the booke is to fashion a gentleman or noble person in vertuous or gentle discipline ... In which I have followed all the antique Poets historicall, first Homere who in the Persons of Agamemnon and Ulysses hath ensampled a good governour and a vertuous man, the one in his Ilias, the other in his Odysseis; then Virgil, whose like intention was to doe in the person of Aeneas.9 Spenser's chivalric intention follows the romance tradition and expresses what was generally held to be the highest function of the epic form. The Odyssey with its wise hero guided by Athene, Goddess of Wisdom, and the Aeneid with a hero whose chief virtue is pietas, came to the Renaissance with well-established allegorical interpretations and could easily be accommodated to Renaissance norms. But there is no comparable allegorical reading available for the Iliad: the poem hardly fits Renaissance expectations, so that it is not surprizing that Spenser makes no mention of Achilles but tries instead to find his ideal figure in Agamemnon. Yet it takes a considerable stretch of the imagination to find in Agamemnon a 'good governor'. On the contrary, it is basic to the simple design of Homer's plot that Agamemnon is a bad governor. It is his folly that precipitates the quarrel with Achilles which has such ruinous consequences for the Greeks. As if to underline the weakness of leadership in the Greek camp, there follows in Book II Agamemnon's disastrous trial of the army which almost results in the abandonment of the siege. The situation is only retrieved by good government on the part of Odysseus. Spenser's remark does not suggest that the Iliad was very familiar to himself or his readers. Sidney's comments in his Apologie for Poetrie are no more reassuring. Sidney expatiates at considerable length on the exemplary character of Virgil's Aeneas, making direct reference to incidents of the epic as he does so. On Homer he uses the hearsay testimony of Plutarch writing about Alexander the Great: the chief thing he ever was heard to wish for was that Homer had been alive. He well found he received more braverie of minde bye the patterne of Achilles than by hearing the definition of fortitude. ' 0 Of all the ancient testimonies to Homer's merits, none was more famous


Chapman's Homer

or often repeated in the Renaissance than this (there is a more spirited version of it in Chapman's dedication to Essex in 1598). The story that Alexander had carried with him on his conquests a copy of the Iliad prepared by his tutor Aristotle, calling it tes polemikes aretes ephodion ('a portable treasury of all military knowledge and virtue')," and that at the tomb of Achilles he had pronounced the Greek hero fortunate in having such a herald of his fame, satisfied every Renaissance requirement relating to a heroic poem. If not an epic of achievement in itself, like the Aeneid and the Odyssey, the Iliad had provided the inspiration for universal empire. Moreover, Alexander was no barbarian like Tamburlaine but a pupil of the great philosopher who had spread Greek civilization throughout the East, a philosopher-conqueror if not a philosopher-king. As Augustus might be seen to lie behind Aeneas, so Alexander lay ahead of Achilles. The Iliad was vindicated, for it could be seen to comply with the function of epic as it is described by Spenser, the laudatory presentation of exemplary patterns of excellence for future imitation. Though the anecdote seemed to offer a grand illustration of the inspiring and commemorative function of epic, in reality it was no more than a fig-leaf to cover Homer's nakedness. The fortitude of the Homeric Achilles is not in doubt, but clearly the despoiler of Hector's corpse is not an ideal figure in the poem in which he first features. In subsequent literature he is often almost vicious; in Virgil's Aeneid, for example, as the killer of the young Troilus (not mentioned in Homer) he is saevus andferus, savage and wild. A recent study has shown how the Italian epic poets Ariosto, Trissino, Alamanni, and Tasso moralized the 'Achilles pattern' of quarrel and withdrawal, transforming the Homeric into the chivalric ethos, for Achilles in raw and untreated form was seldom viewed sympathetically in the Renaissance. rz Perhaps because of the basic unfamiliarity with all things Greek and because of the strong assumption inherited from the chivalric tradition that an epic celebrated an exemplary heroic ideal, little if anything was made of the hint from Aristotle that the Iliad involves pathos, or of the general but unspecified tradition that Homer was the father of tragedy. That the plot of the Iliad has all the elements identified by Aristotle in his analysis of the best sort of tragedy in the Poetics, i.e. error (hamartia), calamity (pathos), reversal (peripeteia), and recognition (anagnoresis), seems largely to have escaped notice. More commonly known was the strongly moralized account of the Homeric poems in the Roman Horace: Rursus, quid virtus et quid sapientia possit, utile proposuit nobis exemplar Ulixen

Robin Sowerby


(Again, what virtue and wisdom can do, he has put before us in the example of Ulysses). As for the Iliad: quidquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi. seditione, dolis, scelere atque libidine et ira Iliacos intra muros peccatur et extra. (In whatever way the kings go mad, the Greeks reap the consequences. With sedition, trickery, crime, lust, and anger, there is iniquity within and without the walls of Troy). ' 3 This must have sounded in the Renaissance like the argument of the Devil's own epic. To view the Iliad as grounded in a passion, and a destructive passion at that, a mad pernicious rage, went radically against the grain of expectation and desire. It may seem surprizing that the surviving Greek tradition, while offering valuable critical insights on Homer's spirit and style in the writing ofLonginus and Dionysius ofHalicarnassus,'4 has little by way of helpful general comment on the 'scope and contexture' of the Iliad. The later judgement of Pope after his own Homeric labours on the Iliad's interpreters holds good for the sources of those interpreters in the Greek tradition: their Remarks are rather Philosophical, Geographical, Allegorical, or in short rather any thing than Critical and Poetical. rs The one full-length Renaissance commentary on Homer by the French humanist Jean de Sponde put Chapman in touch with the Greek tradition, such as it was, through the Latin annotations that accompany the Greek text in his edition of r583.' 6 Chapman relied heavily on this edition both for its notes and for the literal Latin version which, Spondanus promises in the title, 'easily uncovers the mystic meaning and most profound wisdom, moral and physical, often hiding beneath the fables'. Spondanus' main source is the voluminous Byzantine commentary of Eustathius, Archbishop of Thessalonika, ' 7 from whom he has taken over the traditional allegories, though a main emphasis in his annotations is to draw out the exempla of virtue and vice which he feels are the poem's substance, its sapientiam mora/em. His own ethical bias seeks to torture out of Homer a simple didacticism. Wherever possible Spondanus commends. When Achilles gives up Briseis his praise is eloquent:


Chapman's Homer

It is an outstanding example of patience which it is fitting for honourable men to have so that injuries can be tolerated. (p. I7 note f) On the other hand, when Achilles soon after wishes to see the Greeks being worsted, he castigates his behaviour: Achilles seeks nothing other than to save his own honour at the expence of the Greeks, which is indeed something very little to be praised, and less to be imitated by an honourable man. (p. I9 note h) His comments constantly betray a wariness and unease in relation to the moral content of Homer's text, and this discordance runs throughout the commentary. When in his own commentary of I6II Chapman himself castigates previous commentators, it is difficult not to believe that he has Spondanus particularly in his sights: where all others find discords and dissonances, I prove [Homer] entirely harmonious and proportionate . . . where they mixe their most pitiful castigations with his praises I render him without touch and beyond admiration. (p. 42) The ethical bias of the I 598 translation is thus entirely predictable given the presuppositions of the age and the reworking of the Greek tradition as it is to be found in the commentary of Spondanus. It manifests itself most obviously in Chapman's pointing up of what he considers to be the Achilleian virtues, but this arises quite naturally from the larger conception of the poem of which Achilles is a part. From his language and tone in I 598 it is apparent that Chapman, whether wittingly or unwittingly, accommodated the Iliad to the tradition of chivalric romance. Accordingly, pagan elements in the poem are mitigated with the importation of a distinctly Christian feeling. At the beginning Chryses, priest of Apollo, urges Agamemnon and Menelaus to accept his ransom and free his daughter Chryseis with the phrase 'approving your religious mindes to him' (Seaven Bookes, I, I9), suggesting a less than full-hearted appreciation of the pagan principles which govern relations between men and gods in the Homeric world. In the council, the language of Achilles is more overtly Christian in its overtones:

Robin Sowerby


Atrides, some new error now procures this plague, I feare ... But let us some grave Prophet aske ... Who may report what sinne doth thus the Delphian Archer move To punish us (59, 62, 64-5) Later, when Athene appears to him, Achilles, who in Homer is surprized, is 'stroke with reverend feare' (209). The mitigation of the pagan to a more Christian and chivalric ethos is again apparent when the prophet Calchas ascribes Apollo's anger to divine love: They were not vowes Yet unperformd, nor Hecatombes, but love that Phoebus showes In honor of his prieste disgrast by Agamemnon's will (90-2) Apollo is chivalrously honouring his priest. But this emphasis is quite unHomeric. In the Greek, Agamemnon in dishonouring the priest dishonours the god; it is the god's honour that is impugned and the affronted god sends the plague to show his displeasure and assert his power. At the end of the quarrel, the appeal of Thetis that Zeus as a personal favour to her should exert his power on her son's behalf is transformed by Chapman's language into a reverential prayer to a wise and just god that he should graciously reward the love of her chivalric son: But thou, most prudent Jove, That with just will rewards desires, with glorie grace the love Of my sad sonne (49&-8) The Homeric aspiration to glory is put in a context that moderates its value. These examples suggest the gulf that existed between the archaic pagan world and the values of the Elizabethan Christian poet. The Christian and the chivalric accord ill with the Homeric, the spirit of which is muted as a consequence. This dichotomy may be further illustrated in the climactic moment in Book I when Achilles swears his great oath in the name of his sceptre that a time of reckoning will come when Agamemnon will rue the day he dishonoured the best of the Greeks:


Chapman's Homer

(But I will tell you this and swear a great oath upon it: in the name of this sceptre, which never again will bear leaf nor breath, now that it has left behind the cut stump in the mountains, nor shall it ever blossom again, since the bronze blade stripped bark and leafage, and now at last the sons of the Achaians carry it in their hands in state when they administer the justice of Zeus. And this shall be a great oath before you: some day longing for Achilles will come to the sons of the Achaians, all of them. Then stricken at heart though you be, you will be able to do nothing, when in their numbers before man-slaughtering Hektor they drop and die. And then you will eat out the heart within you in sorrow, that you did no honour to the best of the Achaians.)' 9 But I protest and sweare to thee a great and sacred oath, Even by this scepter which with kings Iawes and religion both Was wont to institute, and held a symbole of the right By parties justice ministred, and stil bewrayes the might Of princes carried in their hands, protecting all the Iawes We all receive from Jupiter - which gives sufficient cause To make thee thinke I meane t'observe what I so deepelie sweare That as it never since it grew did leaves or branches beare, Cut from the hils, and can no more produce delightsome shade, So, since thy most inhumaine wrongs have such a slaughter made Of my affections borne to thee, they never shall renew Those sweet and comfortable flowers with which of late they grew, But when the universall boast shall faint with strong desire Of wrongd Achilles, though thou pyne thou never shalt aspyre Helpe to their miseries from me, when underneath the hand Of bloody Hector cold as death their bodies spred the sand And thou with inwarde hands of griefe shalt teare thy desperate minde That to the most kinde-worthie Greeke thou wert so most unkind. (24D-57)

Chapman amplifies the religious significance of the oath (following

Robin Sowerby


Spondanus' long note on the sceptre as a symbol of justice), stressing the rightness of Achilles' case, and then applies the simile to the personal relationship between Achilles and Agamemnon: the inhumanity of Agamemnon's treatment of him has killed their personal friendship which can never flower again. This application of the simile (again suggested by Spondanus' note on the passage) obscures the main emphasis in Homer on Achilles' alienation from the whole Greek cause. In the final line Chapman has ignored the pointed Homeric stress on loss of honour in the emphatic final phrase ouden etisas which succinctly contains the whole cause of Achilles' affront. Instead, at this climactic moment, concluding what is in the Greek a most bitter speech in which Achilles follows Athene's advice to use sharp words rather than the edge of his sword, he uses the language of chivalric romance: That to the most kinde-worthie Greek thou wert so most unkind. Earlier Achilles had pointed out that the presence of the Greeks at Troy was a kindness to Agamemnon and his cause rather than the result of any animosity they feel to the Trojans: but our kinde armes are lifted to release (Thou sencelesse of all Royaltie) thyne and thy brother's fame (I65--6) Agamemnon has behaved unchivalrously. The chivalric ethos moderates the bitterness of the anger into a plaintive moral reproof. Indeed this directly follows what is Athene's advice in Chapman's version: Forbeare then thy adviselesse sword and rule that part that strives, Reprooving him with words more safe. (217-8) Homer's imperative oneidison (2I I) suggests direct abuse rather than moral reproof. (The idea that Achilles might be in danger is Chapman's addition.) But the overriding ethical interest of Chapman in this moment is seen in Athene's advice 'to rule that striving part' (a most unHomeric notion, for the Greek has simply 'cease from strife'). This is to prepare us for the exemplary restraint of Achilles that will come later when he surrenders Briseis. Throughout the I 598 version, the central Homeric value of time, the force which motivates both men and gods in all their relations and has a range of meanings from 'honour' to 'pride' and 'self-esteem', is masked and subordinated. Honour is, of course, valued in I 598, but it is linked to love rather than pride or self-esteem, to the chivalric rather than to the

Chapman's Homer

Homeric, and to the Christian rather than to the pagan. Chapman's particular ethical interest blurs the clarity with which Homer presents the quarrel that opens the Iliad. In the Greek, Briseis is simply Achilles' prize, his geras, his spoil of war; he would have felt an equal insult to his honour if it had been a horse or a shield that Agamemnon had proposed to take. This archaic code of honour in which the slave girl is merely a material possession, a pawn in a game of power, did not transfer naturally into the Elizabethan world. Our gallant translator complicates the issue by making Achilles feel love for Briseis. This is not altogether unHomeric since in Book IX Achilles does indeed say that he loved the girl (IX, 343). But Chapman goes well beyond Homer in having the hero say of the slave girl that he 'had a will to take her for my wife' (IX, 33 I). 20 In bringing the issue oflove to the fore in Book I, a love that is contrasted with the lustful libido of Agamemnon, Chapman was not alone, for, although Spondanus does not make much of it, Pindarus Thebanus - whose Latin epitome of the Iliad was printed in his edition - specifically has Agamemnon lamenting his lost love (of Chryseis) for which Briseis is to be a consolation. In this epitome, the only medium through which Homer was known in the Middle Ages, Thetis petitions Zeus after the quarrel with the argument that if Agamemnon is allowed violently to take Achilles' beloved, then virtue will have basely fallen before the triumph of the passions. 2 ' Whether or not he took a hint from the epitome, this is very much the line taken by Chapman in Book I. For to envisage Achilles as loving Briseis presents a problem. In giving her up without a fight, might not the hero seem to be unfeeling and lacking in gallantry? The solution is to make Achilles the embodiment of a virtue that transcends the passions. And this he is in his final rebuke to Agamemnon in the quarrel scene that strikes an altogether different moral tone from that of the Greek. The moralizing additions are italicized: Thou mightst esteeme me base And cowardlie to let thee use thy will in my disgrace; To beare such burthens never were my strength and spirites combinde, But to reforme their insolence, and that thy soule should finde Were it not hurt of common good more than mine owne delight.

But I, not soothing Nestor's sute, for right's sake reverence right, Which thou dost servilely commend but violate it quite. And this even in thy intrayles print - l'le not prophane my hand With battell in my lust's defince: a gyrle cannot command My honour and my force like thine, who yet commandes our boast. Slave live he to the world that lives slave to his lusts engrost. But fied it, come, and take the dame; safe go thy violent feete,

Robin Sowerby


But whatsoever else thou findst aborde my sable fleete Dare not to touch without my leave, for feele my life mischance If then thy blacke and lust-burnt bloud flow not upon my Lance. (302-16) Achilles first represents himself as a reformer of wrongs who is born to scatter the proud but who is prevented from doing this by his over-riding concern for the common good. This is incongruent with his scorn for the Greeks and his desire to see them worsted so that Agamemnon will be forced to repent the error of his ways. The unselfish disregard for his 'own delight' and the assertion that he reverences right 'for right's sake' is not quite true to Homeric morality where good behaviour is always intricately bound up with self-assertion and self-interest. His sententious condemnation of Agamemnon's lust and his Stoical disregard for the life of the passions spiritualize Achilles and associate his honour with a set of values alien to Homer. But while adding to Homer, Chapman has also omitted the lines at the opening of the speech in which Achilles says that he will no longer obey the king, despite his concession in the rest of the speech that he is prepared to follow Nestor's advice and accede to Agamemnon's superior power as leader of the Greeks over the question of the girl. The ethical bias, therefore, as well as imposing a morality and a psychology alien to Homer which results in internal inconsistencies, also obscures the political dimension of the quarrel. The climactic expression of Chapman's ethical interest is to be found in the remarkable filling out of the text at the point when Achilles surrenders Briseis: This said, Patroclus well allow'd the patience of his frend, Brought Briseis forth, and to her guides her comforts did commend With utmost kindenesse, which his frend could not for anguish use. Shee wept and lookt upon her love; he sigh't and did refuse. 0 how his wisdome with his power did mightilie contend His love incouraging his power and spirite, that durst descend As far as Hercules for her, yet wisedome all subdude, Wherein a high exploite he showd, and sacred fortitude. (357--64) Here we have the patience of Achilles, kindness to Briseis by Patroclus, love not only of Achilles for Briseis but ofBriseis for him, and an almighty struggle in which the wisdom of Achilles triumphs over his power and spirit. In this struggle both the chivalric (love and kindness) and the Homeric (spirited physical daring) finally yield to the Stoic: patience and 'sacred fortitude'. These values, in this order, constitute the Achilleian

Chapman's Homer

virtues of I598. When in I 6 I I Chapman revised the opening books after the 'first free light' of Homer had 'entred and emboldened' him in the course of translating the second half of the poem, the chivalric and the Stoic were largely abandoned. The departure of Briseis, for example, is rendered simply in I6II: Patroclus did the rite His friend commanded and brought forth Briseis from her tent, Gave her the heralds, and away to th' Achive ships they went. (I, 348-So) The Stoic definition of the qualities necessary for true soldiering given by the earlier Achilles is also disposed of: What souldier can take any spirite to put on (for thy fame) Contempt of violence and death, or in the open field Or secret ambush, when the heyre his hie desert should yeeld Is beforehand condemned to glut thy gulfe of avarice?