This exhibit, a collaboration between the Special Collections Library and the Papyrology Library, includes papyri and early printed books illustrating how the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems originally composed in the oral tradition, were first written down, edited, and eventually translated into the main European languages. This journey of transmission and interpretation throughout the centuries ends with the first editions of Alexander Pope’s renderings of the poems.
"Few libraries in the world could offer the opportunity to see these unique treasures that teach us about the transmission and reception of the Homeric texts over such an extended period of time, which in the case of our exhibit is from antiquity through the first decades of the eighteenth century,” said Pablo Alvarez, Outreach Librarian and Curator in the Special Collections Library.
Visitors to the exhibit will hear a series of readings from the poems in the original Greek and in several other languages, including Latin, English, Dutch, and Spanish.
The exhibit is part of the LSA Fall 2012 theme semester, Translation. Sponsored by the College of Literature, Science & the Arts and coordinated by the Department of Comparative Literature, the Translation theme semester continues critical and creative reflection on the interplay between languages and considers the many ways in which we translate from one discourse, discipline, medium, or culture to another. In this wider sense, translation is at the heart of the mission of the university.