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


Eckart Schütrumpf
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This study places the earliest translations of Aristotle’s Politics into the larger context of approaches to translating Greek philosophical texts into Latin since Cicero. The option of rendering verbum pro verbo, word by word, was adopted by William of Moerbeke (c. 1215–1286) but rejected by Leonardo Bruni (1369–1444) whose polished style has been, undeservedly, criticized for ignoring the quality of Aristotle’s prose. Nicole Oresme (c. 1323–1382) presented the first translation of Aristotle’s Politics into a vernacular, French. All translators have contributed to the modern political vocabulary.

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