The earliest translations of Aristotle's Politics and the creation of political terminology


Eckart Schütrumpf

Wilhelm Fink Verlag (Paderborn), 1. Aufl. 2014, ca. 64 Seiten, Franz. Broschur

This study places the earliest translations of Aristotle’s Politics into the larger context of the approach to translating. Cicero, who had translated Greek prose texts into Latin, rejected a method of rendering verbum pro verbo, word by word, but insisted on faithfulness to sense and form of the original, and this approach was followed by St. Jerome and others. The first translations of Aristotle’s Politics by William of Moerbeke (c. 1215–1286) pursued the principle of verbum pro verbo to its extreme. Nicole Oresme (c. 1323–1382) presented the first translation of Aristotle’s Politics into a vernacular French. Leonardo Bruni (1369–1444) returned in his translation to Latin as the target language, but now the classical Latin of Cicero. The criticism that his polished style ignores the quality of Aristotle’s prose is undeserved.