Two Worlds, One language: Metrics for the Chorus in Buchanan’s Euripidean translations


  • Francesco Dall'Olio



This article offers the first attempt at a complete analysis of the metrics of the Choral odes in George Buchanan’s Latin translations of Euripides’ Medea and Alcestis. The different solutions adopted by the humanist to render the complex metrics of those pieces in Greek tragedies are evaluated against the background formed by the history of the reception and translation of Greek tragedy in Renaissance Europe, as well as Buchanan’s own life and career. For Medea, it is shown how the adoption of a simplified metrical scheme connects the text to the context of its original scholastic performance at La Guyenne, while the more complex solution adopted in Alcestis is connected to the important changes occurring in the 1550s regarding the critical reading of Greek stasima, especially Adrien Turnèbe’s edition of Sophocles (1553), where the division of the stasima in a strophic system was presented for the first time.

Keywords: George Buchanan; Medea; Alcestis; Neo-Latin drama; translation studies; reception studie