The Culture of Translation in Anglo-Saxon England

The Culture of Translation in Anglo-Saxon England

Robert Stanton





Most Old English literature was translated or adapted from Latin: what was translated, and when, reflects cultural development and the increasing respectability of English.
Translation was central to Old English literature as we know it. Most Old English literature, in fact, was either translated or adapted from Latin sources, and this is the first full-length study of Anglo-Saxon translation as a cultural practice. This 'culture of translation' was characterised by changing attitudes towards English: at first a necessary evil, it can be seen developing increasing authority and sophistication. Translation's pedagogical function (already visible in Latin and Old English glosses) flourished in the centralizing translation programme of the ninth-century translator-king Alfred, and English translations of the Bible further confirmed the respectability of English, while Ælfric's late tenth-century translation theory transformed principles of Latin composition into a new and vigorous language for English preaching and teaching texts. The book will integrate the Anglo-Saxon period more fully into the longer history of English translation.ROBERT STANTON is Assistant Professor of English, Boston College, Massachusetts.

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August 2002
9 black and white illustrations
208 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9780859916431
Format: Hardback
BISAC LIT011000, LCO003000
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Valuable book... Stanton's easy familiarity with a multitude of sources and his thorough knowledge of the patristic debates on translation, coupled with his exceedingly thorough and insightful translations, makes this book essential for scholars. MEDIEVAL REVIEW An important contribution to scholarship [that] raises questions about connections between culture and translation practice that anyone working in this field should consider. SPECULUM

Author Bio

Robert Stanton is Assistant Professor at the Department of English, Boston College, MA.