Welcome to my home page! I am Elizabeth Duke, senior at Marshall University, double major in Latin language and math. I have devoted this page to the senior project, Dirty Latin Poetry: translating Martial's epigrams, I am completing for my scholarship program, the Society of Yeager Scholars.
The Latin poet Martial wrote epigrams--short, usually witty poems that often depend on their last words for creating comic effect (equivalent to joke punch lines). I have translated selected epigrams in three ways: literally, then into more readable prose, and finally, into poems that hopefully communicate to modern American readers an experience similar to what Martial's Roman audience experienced (My Translations).
Along with the translations, my project includes a translation study (My Theories about Translating) that incorporates what I have learned from completing my own translations and from scholars who have written about translation. This study considers the effect that purpose has/should have on translation and the multitude of problems that translators encounter when trying to render poems, which rely on their own languages to produce their effects, into another language.
I hope that high school teachers and undergraduate professors will find this study and site useful when they teach Martial in their Latin classes. Accordingly, this website offers reading guides (Student Guide to Translating Martial) for select Martial epigrams that will hopefully help students first translate Martial literally and then will encourage them to try creating poems from their literal translations.