Translating Ancient Greek Drama 1600-1800

Friday, June 24, 2022 - 10:00am to 7:00pm
IAS Common Ground G11, ground floor, South Wing UCL, Gower Street London WC1E 6BT

10.00am-7pm BST - Friday 24th June

IAS Common Ground, G11, ground floor, South Wing, UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom


We are pleased to announce that registration is now open for Translating Ancient Greek Drama in the Early Modern Period (1600-1800) on Eventbrite


09.30-10.15am Registration and Coffee 

10.15-10.30am Welcome from Giovanna Di Martino (UCL & APGRD) and Cécile Dudouyt (Paris 13)

10.30-12.00am: The 17th Century and Greek Tragedy - Chair: Giovanna Di Martino (UCL)

  • Sarah Knight (Leicester): Ghost Kings and Furies
  • Giulia Fiore (Bologna) & Giovanna Casali (Padova): The Seventeenth-Century French Querelle(s) on Imitating Greek drama. Two Case Studies: Oedipus and Alcestis
  • Angelica Vedelago (Independent Researcher, on zoom): ‘Translating’ Sophocles in the Restoration: The ‘Athenian Harp’ resounding in Dryden and Lee’s Oedipus (1679)

12.05-1.35pm: The 17th Century and Aristophanes - Chair: Lucy Nicholas (Warburg)

  • Malika Bastin-Hammou (Grenoble, on zoom): Who's afraid of Praxagora? Translating Aristophanes' Assemblywomen in Early Modern Europe: Tanneguy Le Fèvre's letter to Élie Bouhereau (1665)
  • Francesco Morosi (Pisa): Poor as a Scholar: Thomas Randolph and Penia in Aristophanes’ Wealth
  • Tom Harrison (Queen’s University, Belfast): ‘Speak, sir, some Greek, if you can’: Jonson, Aristophanes, and The Devil Is an Ass

1.35-2.30pm Lunch

2.30-4.00pm: The 18th Century and Greek Tragedy I - Chair: Cécile Dudouyt (Paris 13)

  • Marco Duranti (Verona): ‘The Great Art of Euripides’: The First English Translation of Iphigenia Taurica (1749)
  • Josef Förster (The Centre for Classical Studies at the Institute of Philosophy, CAS): Translating Ancient Greek Drama in the Czech Lands 
  • Francisco Barrenechea (University of Maryland, College Park): Savage Antiquities: Vicente García de la Huerta and the Discussions of Greek Tragedy in the 18th-century Spanish Empire

4.00-4.15pm Coffee/Tea Break

4.15-6.00pm The 18th Century and Greek Tragedy II and Plenary - Chair: Fiona Macintosh (Oxford)

  • Sylvie Mougin (Université de Tours): Traduire les Grecs ou les Latins ? Philhellénisme triomphant et résistance du modèle tragique latin sur la scène européenne du XVIIIe siècle 
  • Giovanna Di Martino (UCL & APGRD), Cécile Dudouyt (Paris 13), Estelle Baudou (APGRD, Dramaturg): New Translational Paradigms and the ‘Rediscovery’ of Aeschylus. Prometheus Bound in Performance

6-7pm Drinks Reception

Scientific Committee

Malika Bastin-Hammou (Grenoble), Giovanna Di Martino (UCL), Cécile Dudouyt (Paris 13), Fiona Macintosh (Oxford).

Support from

The Leventis Foundation, Université Sorbonne Paris Nord, the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama (Oxford), UCL Centre for Early Modern Exchanges, and the University of Grenoble.

Part of the APGRD’s Translating Ancient Drama project, this conference is the fourth event in a series spanning translation in the early modern period (for the previous three, see: Translating Greek tragedy in sixteenth-century EuropeReflections on Translating Greek drama in Early Modern Europe; and Translating Ancient Greek Drama in Europe 1600-1750).


Please address any questions to 


Call for papers (now closed)

Early modern translation theories and practices need to be discussed in relation both to ancient theory and performance, and to early modern theatre theories and practices. This complex nexus requires a cross-cultural, multilingual and collective effort. In the three previous Oxford-Paris conferences, it has become amply evident that it is imperative to distinguish between ‘translation’ and ‘translating’. Whereas translation should be understood as the production of a full-length target text, often (but not necessarily) the work of a scholar, acts of ‘translating’ can be found in texts that are not necessarily conceived of as ‘translations’ nor as explicitly drawing on ancient Greek material. ‘Translating’, in this sense, represents the intertextual reworking of one, or the fragmentary combination of different, ancient Greek and early modern sources in a dynamic and creative way, typically, though not exclusively, by a playwright or poet. 

Both ‘translation’ and ‘translating’ of ancient Greek drama in this period should be understood as acts of interlinguistic and intersemiotic transactions which, in addition to involving two linguistic systems, also encompass a reassessment of both the source’s and target’s contextual and cultural meanings as well as a recodification of the source’s cultural and theatrical conventions. The implications of recodification are brought to the fore when these texts are explored through the lens of their dramaturgical potential: i.e., as translations of dramatic texts and thus (if only ideally) conceived for the stage, but also as themselves dramaturgical acts of understanding and assembling meanings, ancient and modern alike, in a mutual relationship of influence. 

This fourth conference in the series invites submissions which may include, but should not be limited to, the following topics:  

  • The presence of ‘translating’ ancient Greek drama in theatres and other forms of performance, whether courtly, commercial, academic, or private 

  • The translators’ own definition of their work and the circulation of their texts 

  • Translation and translating of ancient Greek drama and their contribution to, place within, the scholarly world 

  • Translation theories and their application to translation practices in performance 

  • Translation and translating in the construction or subversion of national dramatic repertoires and/or social practices 

  • Translation and translating in the superimposition/challenge/resignification of the cultural meanings of the source and target dramatic practices and local forms of theatre  

  • The dramaturgical potential of early modern translation and translating of ancient Greek drama, which can be presented in the form of demonstration-performance papers 

To participate, please send a 250-word abstract and a short biography to by 8th April. Papers should be 20 minutes’ long; demonstration-performance papers can take up to 40 minutes.