a translated text

Translating Ancient Drama

The APGRD 'Translating Ancient Drama' project explores the essential role played by translation in the reception of ancient comedy and tragedy. The central aim of the APGRD 'Translating Ancient Drama' project is to research the circulation of ancient dramatic texts through different times, linguistic areas and cultures.

The project will augment and supplement the APGRD's performance database by including translations of ancient plays into a number of European vernacular languages. The information provided will prove an invaluable tool for researchers working in a wide range of disciplines, including Modern Literary Studies, Linguistics, Comparative Literature, Classics, Theatre Studies, History of Scholarship, History of Ideas and History of the Book. It will equally enable examination of parallels and differences in the patterns of the reception of the ancient texts across time and place, including geographical areas beyond Europe through the presence of these vernaculars in the former colonies. At the same time, it will also permit analysis of cross-cultural exchanges, whether by conscious appropriation, shameless recycling and/or literary piracy of translations in other European vernaculars.

French Translations of Ancient Drama

Since 2011, the APGRD has been working on translations of ancient plays into French, with  the generous support of the Mellon Foundation and the University of Oxford's John Fell Fund. The new searchable online database of French translations, which is hosted within the APGRD performance database, records the interconnections between performance reception and the translation of theatrical scripts. Entries provide information about translators and publication histories, and give links to editions of the translations whenever they are available online. The data is also cross-referenced with the existing performance database, indicating when and how a particular translation was performed. This tool provides an unprecedented way of following the history of translation in conjunction with performance history.

The APGRD's 'Translating Ancient Drama' project also hosts seminar series and events, which bring academics of classical reception and translation studies alongside playwrights as well as scholar-translators for the stage. They are thus able to share and foster reflection on the variety of translation practices and the art of translating for the stage.


Seminar series Autumn 2012 Reception and Translation. Speakers: Susan Bassnett (Warwick), Oliver Taplin (Oxford),  Charles Martindale (Bristol), Cécile Dudouyt (Oxford), Henry Stead (Oxford), Stuart Gillespie (Glasgow), Margaret Williamson (Dartmouth), Matthew Reynolds (Oxford)

Colloquium on Translation, Oxford and the Classics, held on 1 December, 2012. Speakers: Stuart Gillespie (Glasgow), Robert Crowe (Bristol), Oliver Taplin (Oxford), Peter McDonald (Oxford), Chris Stray (Glasgow). Panel discussion (chaired by Chris Pelling, Oxford) with Judith Luna (Oxford World's Classics), Simon Winder (Penguin Classics), David Raeburn (Oxford), Rhiannon Ash (Oxford), Peter Brown (Oxford).

Leverhulme Lectures: 


Fiona Macintosh (Principal Investigator)
Cécile Dudouyt (APGRD Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Oxford/ University of Rennes 1)
Laura Monros-Gaspar (Research Associate, University of Valencia)
Sofia Frade (Research Associate, University of Lisbon)
Oliver Taplin (University of Oxford, Advisor)
Alain Viala (University of Oxford, Advisor)
Margaret Williamson (Dartmouth College, USA, Advisor)