July 11, 2010
After a number of comments, I’ve decided to migrate the site to a wiki: http://openprotagoras.wikidot.com/. You can point your RSS readers here: http://openprotagoras.wikidot.com/feed/pages/tags/translationpage/. The main motivation for the move is that the WordPress archives are difficult to use, since the advantages of the three-column side-by-side view are lost, and will get increasingly difficult to use as we get further into the dialogue. Each page of the text is displayed in the same three-column format as before, but instead of the three versions of the text living in separate blog posts, they share a page in the wiki, making navigation much simpler.
Almost all the content currently here (posts & recent comments) is now there, plus some more, in particular, a single page with a running version of just the translation, which will be updated more seldom than individual pages. Comments work just as before (no log-in required). For the most recent pages of the text, I’ve recreated the back and forth of the discussion in the comments section; for older pages, I’ve linked back to the WordPress comments.
I hope you’ll join me in making the move. If you can’t get something to work on the wiki or want to request a feature or just find the whole thing intolerable, please send me an e-mail (d dot jagannathan at gmail dot com).
June 21, 2010
David Hildebrand recently lamented the lack of availability online of good, new translations of ancient works, such as the dialogues of Plato, usually found in Jowett’s rendering. Benjamin Jowett was a great classicist with a sensitivity for philosophical texts as well as an astonishingly prolific translator, and he is one of the main reasons I wanted to study at Balliol. Nevertheless, his Victorian translations of Plato are clearly out of date (cf. also Lamb’s translation for the Loeb series, originally published in 1924 and available on the Perseus Project). We can do better for modern readers, and I believe we can do it freely, without simply converting already published translations into electronic form, something to which publishers would never consent.
Over the next couple of months, I will try to publish daily a Stephanus page’s worth of a rough translation of the Greek text of Plato’s Protagoras. I originally wrote this translation as part of my undergraduate thesis on the dialogue (at the University of Texas at Austin, under the supervision of Paul Woodruff), but I will improve it as I make it available. I would like to extend an open invitation to readers to collaborate and make corrections and improvements in the comments. Some points of difference will no doubt be stylistic, but others will be substantive, and I hope the result will be a translation that is faithful to the text, sensitive to its philosophical content, and readable. At the end, I will make the translation freely available under a suitable open license. Please join me!