Daily Life in the Time of Homer

By Emile Mireaux; Iris Sells | Go to book overview

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

La Vte quotidienne au temps d'Hom%re, which is here now offered in a version for the English-speaking world, was published in Paris, in 1914. It may be regarded as an example of that skill in the analysis and interpretation of the documents, of which the French are past masters. It is cool, objective and at the same time sympathetic; and the reader may well be amazed at the richness, the detail and the complexity of the life which is here evoked. A whole world of men and women, with their cares and anxieties, their fears and their hopes, rises from the ashes of the past, lives and moves before our eyes.

Apart from his judicious use of the findings of archaeology, and his references to recent critical and historical studies, Monsieur Mireux quotes frequently from Hesiod's Theogony and Works and Days; and also of course from the Homeric poems themselves. In the version now offered, these passages have been quoted from the following British translations:

The Odyssey of Homer. translated by Sir William Marris, Oxford University Press, 1925.

The Iliad of Homer: translated by Sir William Marris, Oxford University Press, 1934.

Hesiod: The Poems, and Fragments: done into English Prose . . . by A. W. Mair, Oxford, at the Clarendon Press, 1908.

The page references to the above passages are given in footnotes, but I have not always, after the first few instances, repeated the names of the translators.

The choice of English forms for Greek proper names, and especially for technical terms, presents a problem that rarely admits of a logical solution. For proper names I have usually preferred the semi-latinized forms, such as Alcinous and Periander, rather than Alkinoos and Periandros. The ending in -os is however traditional for many Aegean islands. English forms are in many instances optional, and two or even three may be correct. One can write Eupatridai, or Eupatridae, or even Eupatrids. Technical terms are sometimes more easily gallicized than anglicized. Thus Monsieur Mireaux writes of, 'la fille %picl%re' (that is, a daughter who, in the absence of a male heir to her father. was capable of

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