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Title: Copia verborum: Cicero's Philosophical Translations
Authors: White, Georgina Frances
Advisors: Baraz, Yelena
Wildberg, Christian
Contributors: Classics Department
Keywords: Cicero
Subjects: Classical studies
Classical literature
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation studies Cicero’s translations from Greek within his philosophical texts, with the aim of uncovering the literary and philosophical implications of Cicero’s particular translation choices. The opening chapter considers the methodology by which we might best approach this issue, taking into account Cicero’s own descriptions of his translation project, contemporary Roman approaches to literary translation, as well as contemporary theories of translation. Here it is argued that we must approach Cicero’s translations on three levels, considering the particular vocabulary and syntax selected, the character of the translation produced by these choices, and the intertextual relationship such a translation fosters in respect to its source text. It then turns, in chapter 2, to a consideration of Cicero’s translations of technical, philosophical terminology. Here I suggest, among other things, that Cicero’s use of multiple Latin words to translate a single Greek term is motivated by his desire to reveal complex relationships between various philosophical concepts by employing terminology whose etymological links mirror these conceptual connections. In chapter 3, I discuss the longer passages of translated Greek that are dotted throughout Cicero’s philosophical works. Here I argue that Cicero’s apparent inconsistencies in translation can be explained by the particular philosophical or literary emphasis he wishes to place on particular passages. Finally, in chapter 4, I turn to a consideration of Cicero’s longest translation of Greek philosophy, his Timaeus. Here I show that some of the ways in which Cicero changes the Greek original can be viewed as interpretations or corrections of the original text deriving from the Hellenistic scholarly tradition, and others as reflecting the dramatic context of a new Latin dialogue, modeled after, but not identical to, the Platonic original. In doing so, I consider the political, philosophical, and literary purposes behind this translation, suggesting an answer for the most fundamental question about this text – why did Cicero produce this translation at all?
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Classics

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