Contrastive Linguistic and Cultural Backgrounds of the Two Latin Translators of the Life of Antony
Keywords:translation theory, Graeco-Latin bilingualism, hagiography, biblical quotations, late-antique literati, education
The paper focuses on the direct Bible quotations that the anonymous translator and Evagrius of Antioch rendered from Greek into Latin as part of their versions of the Life of Antony, each in his own way. Did the anonymous translator use any of the existing fourth-century Latin translations of the Bible to translate the biblical quotations he found in the Greek original, or did he translate them himself, without recourse to translations already available? Which version of the Bible did he use when translating the biblical quotations, in Latin or in Greek? What does the anonymous translator’s “literal” and “low-register” style tell us about the translator? Was his non-idiomatic Latin a choice, “Christian” Latin, or rather a limitation in translating into Latin as his target language? On the other hand, what does Evagrius’ “high” and stylistically sophisticated and improved Latin tell us about Evagrius? Whom does he write for, and what do his readers expect from him? This paper aims at answering these questions.
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