Susanna Braund

Canada Research Chair in Latin Poetry and its Reception

Tier 1 - 2017-11-01
Renewed: 2014-03-01
The University of British Columbia
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council


Coming to Canada From

Stanford University, USA

Research involves

Analyzing how translations of Latin poetry illuminate the eras that produced them and the ancient texts themselves.

Research relevance

The research is contributing to a lively international dialogue about western intellectual history.

Translations: Illuminations of Present and Past

Most of us who read Latin poetry, read it in translation. For authors like Virgil and Horace and Ovid, there are many translations to choose from. For other Roman poets, such as the early Christian poets, however, there aren't that many available, because these poets are currently unfashionable. Canada Research Chair Susanna Braund and her interdisciplinary research team at the University of British Columbia are trying to understand why this is so.

In every era, there have been widely differing patterns of translation activity. Seneca's bloody revenge tragedies, for example, were all the rage in England and France and Spain in the 16th and early 17th centuries, and then totally neglected until the late 20th century. What does this say about changing European sensibilities?

Braund wants to know which Latin texts were translated into which languages, where, when, by whom, for whom, and why. To answer these questions, she and her team are gathering data from a multitude of sources about translations into English and European languages as well as into Russian, modern Greek, and Hebrew.