Tuesday, August 01, 2017
Artemis and Her Conquering Bow
The conquering bow of Artemis be my witness!The translator knows exactly what the Greek says, better than I could ever hope to, but the translation puzzles my over-literal mind. I ask myself, Can an inanimate object bear witness?
τὴν τοξόδαμνον Ἄρτεμιν μαρτύρομαι.
Philip Vellacott's translation is similar:
I swear it by the conquering bow of Artemis.Liddell-Scott-Jones, s.v. μαρτύρομαι: "call to witness, invoke, c. acc. pers., ... esp. of the gods," citing this line.
David Grene's translation seems to me closer to the Greek:
So help me Artemis of the conquering bow!But I myself would opt for a straightforward literal translation:
I call to witness Artemis of the conquering bow.