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Philo, translation, and copyright


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#1 R. Mansfield

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 02:26 PM

I was running a word search today through Philo's works which resulted in a handful of significant hits. As one would expect, I had the Philo-T and Philo-E modules in parallel. The English translation is particularly helpful because Philo's Greek greatly stretches my abilities. A combination of both the BDAG and especially the Liddell & Scott have been very helpful.

But in comparing Spec 2:192 (Laws 2:192 in Philo-E), I felt that even with my inadequate abilities, I could tell that something was missing from Yonge's English translation. The phrase in question was a title Philo gives to God: τοῦ εἰρηνοποιοῦ θεοῦ καὶ εἰρηνοφύλακος. Yonge translates εἰρηνοφύλακος as "giver of peace" (not the best rendering from what I can tell as it should be "guardian of peace" or "peacekeeper"). However, the other word, εἰρηνοποιοῦ ("peacemaker"), is completely absent of any rendering in Yonge.

So I tracked down the Loeb set of Philo's works in the library which contains a completely different translation by F. H. Colson. Here Colson correctly translates both words with the title, "God the peace-maker and peace-keeper."

So, now (of course) I'm skeptical of Yonge's translation entirely. But this makes me wonder how difficult it would be to obtain Colson's translation of Philo for Accordance. I noticed the copyright on the Loeb edition is 1937. How close is that to making Colson's work public domain (someone will have to remind me of the Law)? Colson's translation certainly seems to be a bit better than Yonge's from what I can tell and would be a better option in Accordance in my opinion.

Rick Mansfield

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#2 Ryan Morena

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 09:31 AM

If I'm not mistaken, a work becomes public domain 70 years after the author's death... I could be wrong though.

#3 R. Mansfield

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 01:00 PM

If I'm not mistaken, a work becomes public domain 70 years after the author's death... I could be wrong though.


We might have a bit more to wait then...

Rick Mansfield

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