Translating the Greeks

Katerina Stergiopoulou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter traces key moments and motifs in the history of the translation of Greek texts primarily into English. It highlights how Greek translation becomes paradigmatic for translation tout court, informing both translation rhetoric and practice, and then tackles the model cases of Homer and Sappho, the former diachronically, the latter synchronically through several case studies from the first half of the twentieth century. It homes in on modernist writers’ particular understanding of translation as poised between critical scholarship and creative practice in order to argue that poets such as H.D. or Ezra Pound evade or even subvert existing modes of conceptualizing both ‘Greece’ and translation, thus opening the way for the plethora of approaches that characterize Greek translation today. The chapter concludes with a cautionary note as it examines the programmatic resistance to Greek translation displayed by Virginia Woolf and Yorgos Seferis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTranslation
Subtitle of host publicationCrafts, Contexts, Consequences
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781108756846
ISBN (Print)9781108485395
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


  • Ezra Pound
  • Greek translation history
  • H.D.
  • modernism
  • palimpsest
  • Sappho
  • translation
  • translation theory
  • Virginia Woolf
  • William Carlos Williams
  • Yorgos Seferis


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