Translation Project

This project will have two phases.

Phase I. In the first phase, you will produce a clean, accurate translation of about 8 OCT pages using only a dictionary and a grammar. Do NOT use commentaries, or any other help aside from lexica and grammatica for this phase. Phase I is due by the Thanksgiving break.

Phase II. For the second phase, you will consult as many commentaries and translations as you want, the more the better, and try your hand at producing a publication-grade translation that elegantly captures the meaning and feel of the Greek. You may if you like also include comments on your choices of translation where the wording seems particularly significant or interesting. (You might want to add a commentary at the back; or put your remarks into footnotes.) Phase II is due by the time of the final exam for the course, and is in lieu of that exam.

You have two choices of a passage to work on:

(1) On narrative and mimesis: 392c7-398b8, from Book 3. This will be part of the materials we will read together after Thanksgiving, so this has the advantage that these are pages we would be reading anyway, and of course they also dovetail closely with the materials in Book 10.

(2) On the tripartite soul: 439a9 – 444a9, from Book 4. This is the core of the famous passage on the tripartite soul, and how that relates to the tripartite political community in Kallipolis. This is material we would not otherwise cover. The passage is not only famous, but has some of the same difficulties for translation (Justice or Morality?) that we dealt with in our readings for Book 1. Far the more challenging passage, but probably also the more interesting from the point of view of translation. If you choose this, you’ll want to read the material immediately preceding it in English, starting at 434d, to get the context for the discussion of thirst that begins the passage to translate.