Kaleidoscopic Translation in the Medieval West
The late medieval period saw a puzzling trend in literary composition: back-translation from various European regional vernaculars to Latin. The story that is usually told about Latin is that beginning in the twelfth century, it gradually cedes its place to the vernacular before being recovered by humanists. From 1200 to 1500, however, a variety of texts were translated from Latin to a vernacular and then, strangely, back to Latin –– even as the original Latin source remained available. This presentation will explore one of these retrotranslations, situating it as one element in a kaleidoscope of repeated translation across time and space.
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