Translation of high prestige texts such as Virgil's poems has had a significant role in creating literary language in European vernaculars and hence has sometimes served nationalistic agendas. In my paper, I shall first examine some examples of the appropriation of cultural authority for the 'writing of empire' through translation of Virgil, for example into French and Russian; I'll then talk more briefly about the Aeneid in Portuguese, Welsh and Ukrainian, the last of which yields a bizarre situation. Finally, I shall explore issues of transnational identity that arise in the phenomenon of translations into Hebrew (nineteenth century) and Esperanto (twentieth century).
Susanna Braund is Professor of Latin Poetry and its Reception in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies of the University of British Columbia. In addition, she currently holds a Killam Research Fellowship awarded her by the Canada Council on the Arts. This will be a very good opportunity to learn about Susanna's current research project as Killam Fellow, “Virgil Translated,” an inquiry of unusually wide scope into the different ways in which later cultures reacted to and appropriated Virgil’s poems in the process of translating them.