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Translating Writings of Early Scholars in the Ancient Near East, Egypt,…
de Annette Imhausen (Editor), Tanja Pommerening (Editor)
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Dedicated to the study of ancient authors, the volume under scrutiny is a sequel to a volume published by De Gruyter in 2010, Writings of Early Scholars in the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Rome, and Greece. Translating Ancient Scientific Texts, also edited by Imhausen and Pommerening (see BMCR 2011.10.11). Where that volume primarily dealt with signalling problems encountered during the translation of early scholarly texts, the current volume is aimed at providing ways to resolve such problems, notably in texts in the fields of medicine, arithmetics, and astronomy/astrology (“Himmelskunde”). The contributions to the volume are divided in three sections (I, dedicated to the Ancient Near East; II, pertaining to Ancient Egypt; III, dealing with Ancient Greece and Rome), totalling 11 papers of which 5 are in German, and 6 in English. The editors (rightly, in my view) defend the multilingualism of the volume by stating that there are “trotz zunehmender Anglisierung insbesondere in der Ägyptologie, Assyriologie und Klassischen Philologie starke deutsche und französische Traditionen, die sich auch heute noch in entsprechend sprachigen Wissenschaftskulturen abbilden” (v). The volume is thereby simultaneously linked both to the scholarly past and present and indicates its audience: it appears (even clearly more than the 2010 volume) to be aimed at an audience of specialists. In this respect it is noteworthy that contributions in French (or, for that matter, Italian) are missing. Whether that was a choice or a coincidence remains unclear.
Ancient cultures have left written evidence of a variety of scientific texts. But how can/should they be translated? Is it possible to use modern concepts (and terminology) in their translation and which consequences result from this practice? Scholars of various disciplines discuss the practice of translating ancient scientific texts and present examples of these texts and their translations.
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)493.1 — Language Other Languages Non-Semitic Afro-Asiatic languages Egyptian
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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