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Herodotus' HISTORY BOOK 1 (CLIO) Complete

Translated by G. Macaulay.

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Icon of the Christ and New Testament Reader

Ἡ Ἡροδότου διάθεσις ἐν ἅπασιν ἐπιεικής, καὶ τοῖς μὲν ἀγαθοῖς συνηδομένη, τοῖς δὲ κακοῖς συνάλγουσα.—Διον. Ἁλικ..

Μόνος Ἡρόδοτος Ὁμηρικώτατος ἐγένετο.—Λογγῖνος.


Preface of the Translator [edited by Elpenor]

The aim of the translator has been above all things faithfulness—faithfulness to the manner of expression and to the structure of sentences, as well as to the meaning of the Author. At the same time it is conceived that the freedom and variety of Herodotus is not always best reproduced by such severe consistency of rendering as is perhaps desirable in the case of the Epic writers before and the philosophical writers after his time: nor again must his simplicity of thought and occasional quaintness be reproduced in the form of archaisms of language; and that not only because the affectation of an archaic style would necessarily be offensive to the reader, but also because in language Herodotus is not archaic. His style is the "best canon of the Ionic speech," marked, however, not so much by primitive purity as by eclectic variety. At the same time it is characterised largely by the poetic diction of the Epic and Tragic writers; and while the translator is free to employ all the resources of modern English, so far as he has them at his command, he must carefully retain this poetical colouring and by all means avoid the courtier phrase by which the style of Herodotus has too often been made "more noble."

The notes have been confined to a tolerably small compass. Their purpose is, first, in cases where the text is doubtful, to indicate the reading adopted by the translator and any other which may seem to have reasonable probability, but without discussion of the authorities; secondly, where the rendering is not quite literal (and in other cases where it seemed desirable), to quote the words of the original or to give a more literal version; thirdly, to add an alternative version in cases where there seems to be a doubt as to the true meaning; and lastly, to give occasionally a short explanation, or a reference from one passage of the author to another.

For the orthography of proper names reference may be made to the note prefixed to the index. No consistent system has been adopted, and the result will therefore be open to criticism in many details; but the aim has been to avoid on the one hand the pedantry of seriously altering the form of those names which are fairly established in the English language of literature, as distinguished from that of scholarship, and on the other hand the absurdity of looking to Latin rather than to Greek for the orthography of the names which are not so established. There is no intention to put forward any theory about pronunciation.

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Reference address : http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/herodotus/history-1.asp