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Title: An ocean untouched and untried : translating Livy in the sixteenth century
Author: Philo, John-Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 6894
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This is a study of the translation and reception of the Roman historian Livy in the sixteenth century in the British Isles. The thesis examines five major translations of Livy's history of Rome, the Ab Urbe Condita, into the English and Scottish vernaculars. The texts considered here span from the earliest extant translation of around 1533 to the first, full-scale translation published in 1600. By taking a broad view across the century, the thesis uncovers the multiple and versatile uses to which Livy was being put and maps out the major trends surrounding his reception. The first chapter examines Livy's initial reception into print in Europe, outlining the attempts of his earliest editors to impose a critical order onto his enormous work. The subsequent chapters consider the respective translations undertaken by John Bellenden, Anthony Cope, William Thomas, William Painter, and Philemon Holland. Each translation is treated as a case study and compared in detail with the Latin original, thereby revealing the changes Livy's history experienced through the process of translation. By locating these translations in the cultural and political contexts from which they emerged, this study reveals how Livy was exploited in some of the most pressing debates of the period, from arguments over women's apparel to questions of faith. The thesis also considers how these translations responded to the most recent developments in European scholarship on the Ab Urbe Condita and on classical history more generally. Livy's contribution to the development of Scottish historiography is also considered, both as a stylistic model and as a rich source of narrative material. Ultimately this thesis demonstrates that Livy played a fundamental though hitherto underexplored role in the development of vernacular literature and historiography in the British Isles.
Supervisor: Norbrook, David ; Poole, William Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Latin literature--Appreciation--Great Britain ; Latin literature--Translations into English ; English literature--Classical influences ; English literature--Early modern ; 1500-1700--History and criticism