Thoreau's activity as a translator was firmly grounded in his classical education at Harvard; his coursework there included eight terms of Latin and eight of Greek. But the impetus for the seven literary translations collected in this volume was far broader. The shape of a particular translation is governed not only by the translator's knowledge and sensitivity, but also by contemporary assumptions about the proper method and function of translating. Thoreau's translations display the literalism sanctioned by Transcendentalist theories of translation, which posited a purer connection between the word and the nature of the thing it named in ancient and primitive languages than in English. The influence of the original language in a faithful translation, seen in both content and style, was considered positive and invigorating and is apparent in Thoreau's work.
- The Prometheus Bound.
- The Seven Against Thebes.
- Fragments of Pindar.
- Pindaric Odes From HM 13204
- The Transmigrations of the Seven Brahmans.