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Translating Ancient Drama

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

The project augments and supplements the APGRD’s performance database by including translations of ancient plays into a number of European vernacular languages. The information provided proves 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 equally enables 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 also permits analysis of cross-cultural exchanges, whether by conscious appropriation, shameless recycling and/or literary piracy of translations in other European vernaculars.

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.

Digital developments

French Translations of Ancient Drama

Find out more about the project's digital developments >> including our searchable online database of French translations and Early Modern Digital Library.

Translating Ancient Greek Drama in the Early Modern Period

Find out for more information about Translating Ancient Greek Drama in the Early Modern Period >> a research strand which began in 2018 and is aimed at understanding the early modern reception of ancient drama from a cross-cultural, multilingual, and transnational perspective. 


To date, we have run three workshops relating to this project:

  • Early Modern Translation Workshop: 16th-century translations of Iphigenia at Aulis in the 21st century (28-19 November 2019)
  • Theatre Translation Workshop on Aeschylus' Agamemnon (2019-2020)
  • Theatre Translation Workshop: War in Fragments (2020)

Further information on our research workshops >>