Basing our study on the relevant Bibliography compiled by G. Economou and G. Angelinaras for the period up to 1975, and taking into account developments over the last decades, we observe certain noteworthy changes in the field of translation of ancient tragedy in relation to the past: a plethora of translations, a certain elasticity in the use of the term “translation”, a tendency for translations to be destined for one or a limited number of performances, and a diminished role for the translator within the context of the performance. The most important change, however, relates to the “identity” of the individuals from whom translations are commissioned by the organization pre-eminently involved in performances of ancient dramatic works, namely the National Theatre of Greece. These translators are no longer, as they were in the past, mainly classicists, but more often individuals with no particular background in the classics (stage directors, playwrights, or poets). In order to determine whether this major shift constitutes a positive development in the field of translation, the paper considers passages from two translations commissioned by the National Theatre during the decade 2000-2010. Our inquiry reveals a deficiency in knowledge of ancient Greek in one case and a distortion of the translated text in the other, leading to a brief discussion of the difficulties presented by the texts themselves, and to suggestions for certain preconditions (self-evident to a certain degree) for aspiring translators.
Η μετάφραση της αρχαίας ελληνικής τραγωδίας: Διαπιστώσεις και ερωτήματα