Article

The Cultures and Dynamics of Translation into Medieval Latin

Thomas E. Burman

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Latin Literature

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195394016
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195394016.013.0005

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Cultures and Dynamics of Translation into Medieval Latin

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  • Classical Studies
  • Classical Reception
  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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Medieval European scholars often found themselves worrying over the reliability of their Latin texts. As Latin sought to establish itself in the Mediterranean basin as a language of learning and sophistication alongside the more prestigious Greek and Arabic languages, and eventually against the rapidly developing European vernaculars, more and more texts from those languages were, almost necessarily, translated into Latin and absorbed into the canon of works at the core of Latin education. Medieval Latin civilization continued to be dependent on the Greeks and would later become profoundly reliant on Arab civilization. But while the Arabic-to-Latin translation movement would, indeed, have never existed without the confi dent, ambitious, and—literally—expansive culture of the Twelfth-Century Renaissance. The simultaneous overpowering and giving in to Greek and Arab culture in the twelfth-century translation movement was, therefore, profoundly transformative, its conquering surrender issuing in strikingly new cultural forms. This transforming potential of translation can be seen in many ways in the Latin Middle Ages.

Keywords: Medieval European scholars; Latin texts; Mediterranean basin; Greek languages; Arabic languages

Article.  9999 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Reception ; Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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