DiscussãoAncient History

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Mar 16, 2008, 11:01pm

Can anyone recommend a good translation of Plutarch. The version I have all have rather stilted language & uninspiring prose ...

Mar 17, 2008, 1:46am

The Lives?

Mar 17, 2008, 6:47pm

Yes. I'm sorry I wasn't more specific. Plutarch's Lives. I have the Dryden translation. It is so ponderous. I have read Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and I am making my way way through Xenophon but every time I dip into Plutarch's lives I just want to fall asleep. There must be a better version of this somewhere -- I hope!

Mar 17, 2008, 11:39pm

I shouldn't have spoken up as if I know. I read the Penguin, I think, and the Loeb for Alexander. The Loeb is pretty exact anyway.

Mar 18, 2008, 7:02am

I don't think there's a modern translation. Pity. All long, awkward sentences with flowery prose and clauses everywhere. Takes the pleasure out of it.

Mar 19, 2008, 12:30am

Well, Plutarch wasn't exactly Hemingway either.

Mar 19, 2008, 12:34am

You can certainly find a more modern translation than Dryden, even if not a really modern one. What about the Loebs?

Mar 19, 2008, 6:01am

I looked at the Loeb translation "look inside" at Amazon. No dice.

And if Plutarch was not Hemingway, I'm sure he wasn't so boring to read to his contemporaries. It is possible to take any Greek author and choke him with a winding, clausal translation, which is what they have done to Plutarch. Since Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon do not read this way in the translations I own, I have to blame the translator rather than the original author. Pick up a random Plutarch and see what I mean.