translatio studii et imperii: the notion (hope?) that both culture and the ambitions of empire were being carried over in the translation of texts (a notion enacted by Vergil himself).

William Caxton‘s Eneydos (1490) is technically the first English Aeneid, although it based on a French paraphrase; Gavin Douglas‘ Scots The XIII buiks o Eneados (c. 1513) includes a Prologue that offers “directions for reading.” Other translations from from Douglas to Denham are surveyed by Robin SowerbyEvelyn W. Adkins examines “translations of Book VI by Gavin Douglas, Thomas Phaer, John Dryden, C. Day Lewis, Robert Fitzgerald, Allen Mandelbaum, and Stanley Lombardo.” Sheldon Brammell has a study of “the English translations of the Aeneid from 1555 to 1646″; in a recent article, he argues that Marlowe‘s play is “the one, and only, extensive example of a ‘pessimistic’ reading of Virgil’s epic from the English Renaissance.”

In 2011, the Folger Shakespeare Library hosted a conference on “Early Modern Translation: Theory, History, Practice“; in 2009, Oxford’s Center for Early Modern Studies held a colloquium on “The Culture of Translation in Early Modern England and France.”


Strasbourg woodcut, c. 1502

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