Friday, January 20, 2023


Translating Horace

Horace, Odes 1.1.25-29 (tr. David Ferry):
If his faithful dogs have startled up a deer
Or if a wild boar has broken through the snare
The hunter waits, forgetful of his bride;
All night at home the bride waits for the hunter.

                   manet sub Iove frigido
venator tenerae coniugis inmemor,
seu visa est catulis cerva fidelibus,
seu rupit teretes Marsus aper plagas.
Hat tip: Eric Thomson, responding to The Despair of Translators, who notes:
sub Iove frigido, tenerae and teretes are left untranslated, Marsus rendered 'wild' and then 'All night at home the bride waits for the hunter' is tacked on at the end; implicit perhaps in the situation but not a single word of it corresponds to the text.

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