Monday 12/15

Towards a Modern Greek Lexicon of Untranslatables

Cover Image:

An early Europa regina [Queen Europe] map, ca. sixteenth century, on display at the Comenius Museum, which houses the crypt of Czech scholar Jan Amos Comenius (1592–1670), in Naarden, the Netherlands.

For our latest post in the series “Translation is Impossible. Let’s do it!,” philologist and historian of the modern reception of classics, Alexandra Lianeri shares her preface to the forthcoming Greek-language version of Vocabulaire européen des philosophies: Dictionnaire des intraduisibles, first published in French in 2004 and translated into English as the Dictionary of the Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon in early 2014. Introduced by Alicia Ritson, Research Fellow and co-organizer of the “Temporary Center for Translation”.

While sited at the New Museum from July 16 through October 19, 2014, “Temporary Center for Translation,” among its many activities, featured projects by artists, writers, editors, and translators critically engaged in acts and questions of translation. One of these projects was the Dictionary of Untranslatables (2014), a recently published English-language version of Vocabulaire européen des philosophies: Dictionnaire des intraduisibles by philosopher and philologist Barbara Cassin. Cassin’s overarching project—a project shared by her and the many collaborators of Vocabulaire and Dictionary—is to think philosophy through translation, an undertaking that is set in motion by the work’s focus on untranslatables: terms that don’t find their equivalence in different languages. At stake is the question of how to interpret and render such differences when the very network of related words and concepts allowing meaning to come from each term is itself shaped by highly specific cultural, political, and historical forces. Ultimately, Vocabulaire proceeds with the understanding that translation is a task that is never complete: One just keeps on generatively (not) translating.

At the New Museum, various negotiations made by the editors of and contributors to the Dictionary of Untranslatables—including Emily Apter, Jacques Lezra, and Michael Wood—were highlighted in the exhibition, signaling some of the challenges associated with creating an English-language version of Vocabulaire for a primarily Anglo-American readership. Among these “problems” was the task of working through the inclusion of terms left out of the French original that would have been detrimental omissions—not to mention obvious ones—for an English readership well versed in critical theory as much as philosophy. Alongside these personal editorial correspondences, the Center also made available for browsing the Arabic version of Vocabulaire, in addition to copies of entries for select terms that have or will appear in Brazilian Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, and Ukrainian versions of the text. This Six Degrees post focuses squarely on the forthcoming modern Greek version of Vocabulaire in order to provide further entry into some of the demands that difference directs to us through acts of translation. In sharing “Towards a Modern Greek Lexicon of Untranslatables: On the Syncretic Language of European Philosophy,” the preface to the as-yet-unpublished Greek text, scholar of translation and classics Alexandra Lianeri grapples with the complicated historiography of ancient and modern Greek philosophical languages and their diverse entanglements with the Western philosophical tradition. Her scholarly focus on the specificities of translating between Greek and Western languages over time—a history as intricate and troubled as they come—offers one pathway through the interminable and ever-shifting relationships between languages that engender untranslatables.


From one language to another, the situation is definitely that of scattering and confounding. And yet translation is inscribed in the long litany of ‘despite everything’. Despite fratricides, we campaign for universal fraternity. Despite the heterogeneity of idioms, there are bilinguals, polyglots, interpreters and translators.

—Paul Ricoeur, On Translation

The operation of translation is imbued with a curious paradox. Translations take place even though untranslatability is an essential characteristic of every articulated message. As Ricoeur points out, the situation among languages is one of scattering and distancing, of perplexing and confounding. At the same time, translations have never ceased entering the scenes of history. The paradox of translation lies in this conjunction of the historical and the impossible. On the one hand, theorists of translation renounce the possibility of total equivalence: “Languages being what they are (‘imperfect in that they are many’),” as Gérard Genette writes, means that “no translation can be absolutely faithful.”1 On the other hand, practitioners and readers know well that translations take place despite everything. They take place despite the differences of tongues, including those that divide past and present; despite cultural diversity; despite the grounding of languages in the concrete social conditions of their constitution; and finally, despite all political divisions that reinforce linguistic frontiers.

Barbara Cassin’s Vocabulaire européen des philosophies: Dictionnaire des intraduisibles, first published in French in 2004,2 engages with this paradox by charting the crossing paths of translation in modern European philosophical vocabularies. The book’s point of departure, as Cassin points out, was a reflection on the difficulty—indeed, as the subtitle indicates, the impossibility—of translating in philosophy. This inaugural point affirms Ricoeur’s reflection on the historical presence of translations by recognizing untranslatability as attested in and through translating. Untranslatables, as Cassin suggests in her preface, are not terms that cannot be translated but terms that we never stop (not) translating. In other words, they are terms that enter into historically diversified relations of equivalence and sustain translations that are posited as mutually antagonistic and highly contested.

Vocabulaire, an exercise on how to philosophize in and through translation, both invites and demands translation into different European and non-European languages.3 It invites translation not as a means of cross-linguistic or cross-cultural transfer but as an operation advancing the book’s thesis about language, philosophy, and history. Far from being a philosophical lexicon that merely offers translations of terms into different European languages, Vocabulaire contends that philosophizing is mediated by translation and cannot take place outside its limits. The untranslatability of philosophy thus entails the impossibility of forging a realm of philosophy that remains unaffected by linguistic diversity.

The envisioned modern Greek translation of the book engages with this contention by setting a dual task: It seeks to rewrite Vocabulaire in terms representative of the modern Greek tradition of European philosophy while also confronting the question of the historicity of philosophizing. With regard to the first of these aims, the translation will seek to document and codify the diversified relations of equivalence that have linked modern Greek to European vocabularies of philosophy both diachronically and synchronically. This will first involve building on the different languages already identified as comprising each lemma (that is, the citational form given for a concept) with a list of modern Greek terms that have been used and/or recognized as translations. In addition, it will also entail rewriting the analytical part of the entries to include traditions and modes of philosophizing associated with the specificity of modern Greek vocabularies. For example, in the case of the ancient Greek terms aiōn – chronos, the modern Greek lexicon will add a list of modern translations, such as αιωνιότητα and χρόνος; it will also account for the philosophical elaboration of the two terms beyond Western European thought, as for instance in Byzantine theology by writers, such as Gregory of Nazianzus, seeking to reconcile the Christian evocation of eternity with a continuing interest in the historicity of Christianity.

This investigation in the modern Greek version of Vocabulaire shifts attention to the second task involving a focus on the history of philosophy and the relation between history and philosophy. As with other translations of Cassin’s book, a modern Greek lexicon of untranslatables posits translation as a historically specific site mediating the diversified and antagonistic routes of philosophizing in European languages. Central to this enterprise is the relation between ancient and modern Greek philosophy and language, as formulated against the background of the Greek legacy of European philosophy. The relation in question is bidirectional. It involves the modern Greek translational encounter with antiquity on the one hand, and the European genealogical confrontation with Greek philosophy, on the other. Modern Greek terms deployed as equivalents to ancient ones were formed in and through their relation to European translations of antiquity. This was a relation of imposition and colonialism inscribed into translation but also one of conflict, defiance, and resistance.

Visitors to the Vatican Museum view Raphael’s fresco, The School of Athens, 1509–11. Photo: Jay Bergesen (2009)

Set in the periphery of Enlightenment humanism, modern Greece engaged with a vision of the ancient past configured in terms of a universal paradigm that was imposed on Europe’s cultural and political others—both within and outside of European borders—and denied to them on the grounds of their backwardness and inability to attain the classical/humanist ideal. According to Bengali historian Dipesh Chakrabarty, it was this concomitant establishment of continuity and division that made humanist terms of philosophy and politics functional parts of the West’s imperialist and colonial enterprise. However, the same humanist vision, Chakrabarty suggests, also provided a strong foundation for critiques of oppression, including the reflexive critique of colonial language and practice by traditions posited in Europe’s periphery.4

Modern Greek translations of European philosophical vocabularies, and especially those formulated as translations of Greek antiquity, are imbued with the tensions of relations of power and conflict lying at the heart of European modernity’s confrontation with antiquity. The modern Greek reception of European vocabularies reveals a fascination with imported models attesting to what scholar of Greek literature and culture Gregory Jusdanis has described in more general terms as a “belated modernity”—a process of modernization wherein Greece was put on a path of perpetually catching up with Europe and the European vision of the classical past: “Modern Greeks feel themselves belated in respect to the European and inferior in respect to the classical.” This process, according to Jusdanis, had to do with the conflict between tradition and modernization as regards peripheral modernities. Greek intellectuals, he explains, represented the modern Greeks as heirs of antiquity in order to trace a direct relationship with modern Europe and thus pleaded for acceptance of the modern nation by the West. This appeal, however, had to be reconciled with local traditions, which became the framework for maintaining Greece’s difference within Western European modernity.5

Yet even though modern Greek scholars and translators themselves often posited the European paradigm of translating antiquity as universal, it is necessary to reevaluate our use of the idea of belatedness and the binary scheme of progress and backwardness in relation to Europe’s claims to antiquity. A “belated” modern Greek encounter with the classics and the ensuing relationship between antiquity and modernity can only be recognized as such from the viewpoint of a unified and unifying Western European modernity, which offers the paradigm upon which peripheral modernities are modeled. While this view allows us to recognize the imperialist violence of Western humanist modernity, it presupposes an unconflicted vision of both the project of modernization and the modern European confrontation with antiquity. In other words, it presupposes the translatability of terms that constituted European modernity both in diachrony and in synchrony. But this evocation of translatability can only make sense in the context of the relationship between center and periphery and of the linear temporality of progress toward the modern implied by this relationship.

For scholars of the Greek Enlightenment, European philosophical vocabularies were unified because Europe was transformed into a de-historicized paradigm, dissociated from historical temporalities. Classical studies became the key to the stabilization of European thought and history by reducing the process of modernization to an inaugural classical moment. Yet to what extent can we maintain this opposition between a static European encounter with the Greek past and a modern Greek appropriation of antiquity, one that is constantly in the making? The concept of untranslatables invites us to investigate how conflicts underpinning the presumed belatedness of the modern Greek engagement with antiquity—conflicts between religious and secular readings, between tradition and modernization, and so on—were not absent from what we understand as European modernity and its relationship with antiquity. Moreover, the assumption of philosophy’s untranslatability indicates that translators of ancient European philosophy into modern Greek did not simply copy but rewrote interpretive categories originating in Western European paradigms. This rewriting implies that Greek translators strategically challenged and undermined the professed unity of the European philosophical vision going back to ancient Greece.

the assumption of philosophy’s untranslatability indicates that translators of ancient European philosophy into modern Greek did not simply copy but rewrote interpretive categories originating in Western European paradigms. This rewriting implies that Greek translators strategically challenged and undermined the professed unity of the European philosophical vision going back to ancient Greece.

By focusing on untranslatables as they appear in modern Greek translations of European vocabularies, it is thus possible to highlight the internally differential and conflicting constitution of the European vision of antiquity. Far from affirming the unity of the European source terms, such an enterprise underscores what historian and interdisciplinary scholar James Clifford has described as a process of “inventive syncretism,”6 that is, the refashioning of meaning from diverse cultural sources—in this case the diverse sources of antiquity and national but also sub- and supra-national European modernity. Unlike similar terms, such as cultural pluralism, multiculturalism, hybridity, transnationalism, or creolization, which are usually deployed to denote the reflexive or unconscious mixing of categories and identities as well as the dynamic interchange of symbols and practices, the term syncretism indicates a conflict that is ultimately insoluble.7 In this sense, syncretism has been deployed to account for nineteenth-century Greek nationalism and the confrontation of the modern nation with the mutually oppositional pasts of antiquity and the Byzantine traditions;8 to explore the agonistic symbiosis of elements from diverse traditions that comprised Greek culture;9 and to describe the dialogic and mutually constitutive dimension of neo-Hellenism’s encounters with antiquity against the binary logic of a presumed continuity or separation between ancient and modern Greece.10

By considering syncretism as a corroboration of philosophical untranslatables, the modern Greek Vocabulaire attends to the conflicts, incomplete amalgamations, and contingent exercises of translation that characterize the constitution of modern Greek culture and identity. At the same time, it leads us back to the divided European context of philosophical terms and the conflicting routes of translation that comprised European philosophy and history. Modern Greek philosophy did not translate a unified or unifying European vocabulary, either with regard to antiquity or with regard to modernity. Anthony Pagden, author and professor of political science and history, notes that Europeans have more than a shared past; they have a shared history of antagonisms that not only includes the old struggles for control of Europe or for empires overseas but also the more immediate experience and memory of two world wars.11 How were these antagonisms and conflicts inscribed into translations such as those that produced the very name of Europe? According to Mikael af Malmborg and Bo Stråth, historians and scholars of European studies, “Europe” is a contested concept within and among nations, a concept that must appear in the plural.12 It is also an untranslatable concept going back to the discourse of Greek mythology wherein it appeared as Εὐρώπη, a term that was itself a translation of an untranslatable name originating beyond the limits of “European” languages and history. Moreover, throughout the eighteenth century Εὐρώπη became at once part of Europe’s philosophical and political vocabularies, offering Enlightenment thinkers, such as Immanuel Kant and Alexander von Humboldt, a term for articulating a paradigm for world history that consolidated an imaginary vision of regional unity. How did this concept of Europe compare to the diversity of translations that made Europe a contested concept—in other words, a concept that is to be used in the plural? Which aspects of the ancient heritage were set aside and dissipated to sustain the genealogical link between Greek antiquity and European modernity?

Lower-level aquarium modeled on the lost city of Atlantis. Atlantis Hotel, Nassau. Photo: Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD (2013)

In approaching the history of Greek philosophy in its European contexts, the modern Greek lexicon of untranslatables invites the reader to consider how the ancient Greek legacy of what we call European philosophy has been internally diversified and antagonistic. In Jacques Derrida’s terms, in its Greek name, European philosophy has “always been bastard, hybrid, grafted, multilinear and polyglot.”13 The languages that were constitutive of European philosophy and its history never comprised a singular foundation lending itself to translation. Greek philosophy itself, as American philosopher of phenomenology John Sallis observes, appears to have resisted translation and yet was already implicated in a process of translating and inscribing foreign voices into its writings, for instance, in Plato’s version of the Egyptian account of the story of Atlantis.14 The Roman confrontation with Greece implied a theorization of translation as mediation of difference. As Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, the Romans deployed translation as a means of conquest, leaving out the sense of history and replacing what was past and foreign with what was contemporary; there was no sense of thieving in this act but only a view towards encouraging the best consciousness of the imperium Romanum.15 This “forgetting” of the Greek past, identified by Nietzsche, also sustained Martin Heidegger’s contention that the Greek philosophical legacy was lost in the process of its Roman translation and that therefore the ontological, epistemological, and political identity of Europe goes back to this Roman conquest, rather than to Greek thinking. A Roman origin was, for Heidegger, a rootless identity,16 one attesting to the untranslatability of the Greek original insofar as it rendered essentially problematic the relation between source concepts and concepts that are product of translation.

In Jacques Derrida’s terms, in its Greek name, European philosophy has “always been bastard, hybrid, grafted, multilinear and polyglot.” The languages that were constitutive of European philosophy and its history never comprised a singular foundation lending itself to translation.

The division between the Greek and Roman pasts, as well as the polyglot constitution of Greek philosophy, entered a new site of untranslatability in translations of both traditions into the conceptual framework of Christianity. In the context of medieval Europe, Latin became a “language and literature of translation per excellence.”17 This meant that European scholarship found itself contesting over its Latin texts: over individual choices and cultures of translation.18 So while Christianity claimed to offer a solution for unifying Europe under a new name, this vision was from the outset torn from within by religious, social, and political warfare, while its conflicts were inscribed into the differential and contested use of Latin as a superior language of translation.

The reception of Greek and Roman philosophical vocabularies through Renaissance translations was multiply split: on the one hand by its confrontation with a divided Greek and Roman heritage, and on the other by contemporary polemics over imperial expansion and domination, as well as over political and social conflict within European territories. In the field of political thought, translations of Greek and Roman concepts articulated claims to political domination as conflicts over ideologies of monarchy, theories of resistance to tyranny, republican political ideas, constitutional theories, theories of the state, theories of natural law, and so on.19 What was increasingly recognized as the foundation of European identity and history—the classical past—was further involved through translation, in a competitive culture of commerce that became central to the European identity. As Anthony Grafton, historian of early modern Europe aptly notes, Renaissance translations, such as Valla’s translation of Thucydides, were perceived as offering something of both monetary and intellectual value, without positing the desire for learning and the desire for gain as necessarily contradictory.20 The connection between the classical age and the present commercial one made in this context was one of heritage: Renaissance Europe constructed its commercial identity as a frame of unity that evoked a genealogical and translational link to antiquity.

Europe acquired a new significance in the discourses of the Enlightenment, wherein it was made to fulfill the need for a more neutral designation of a common whole that set aside religious conflict to constitute an unchallenged symbol of human loyalty for its peoples.21 This idea of Europe enabled Enlightenment thinkers to claim the paradigmatic singularity of the Greek and Roman traditions by pronouncing their translatability into modern languages’ equivalents. Yet this claim was simultaneously undermined by the linguistic diversity and culturally specific articulation of translations. Over the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, translation differences—manifested as linguistic and cultural specificities with regard to approaches to antiquity—became key fields for articulating the identity of emerging national communities and states as well as manifestations of power relations and claims to domination, both within and outside European borders.

The eighteenth century marked a shift in the cultures of translation, especially as regards the appropriation and transmission of Greek and Roman philosophical thought. As Israeli historian and writer Fania Oz-Salzberger observes, “for the first time a large group of vernacular cultures was conducting a cosmopolitan conversation without the auspices of a ‘universal language,’ as Latin had previously been.” From a community of mainly Latin-reading scholars and educated laymen, the eighteenth century saw a dramatic expansion of languages and readerships.22 Yet translation also became part of a different framework centered on nationalism and the constitution of identities that articulated relations of cultural and political domination among nations within Europe. The story of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century translations from Greek and Latin is then, at once, a story of cosmopolitan diversity and national competition over the making of European heritage. Both of these stories contain contradictory appeals to the question of translating antiquity, which legitimized and simultaneously undermined European unity. Kant’s conception of Europe’s central role in a cosmopolitan history was sustained by his translation of the Greek concept of “history,” in terms of a thread uniting the classical past and a united European future that posits a paradigm for world history; yet this vision was simultaneously challenged by Kant’s recognition of the impossibility of articulating this thread and the untranslatability of the Greek past in terms of the present.23 By contrast, national appeals to the Greek and Roman legacies produced diversified Enlightenment projects competing over the authorization of translations, the establishment of their distinct vision of antiquity, and the forging of relations of domination and resistance. Along these lines, Stathis Gourgouris, scholar of comparative literature, has argued that the language that translated antiquity into modern Greek vocabularies was mediated by a Western vision of Greece and Rome, which was established as paradigmatic for modernity by positing a presumably definitive interpretation of the ancient heritage.24 And yet, this dominating vision was actively resisted during the nineteenth century by national, supra-national, and local approaches producing alternative translations, challenging existing relations of equivalence, and attesting to multiple antiquities and multiple modernities.25

After the first decades of the twentieth century, a focus on translation as a problem entered theoretical discourses, demonstrating in some instances the impossibility of mastering and transferring the past. Authors such as Walter Benjamin and Jacques Derrida used translation to critique modern conceptions of subjectivity and history.26 Over the same period, translators, including those engaging with texts of antiquity, recognized the impossibility of fully rendering these texts and consciously highlighted the heteroglossia of mediating voices inscribed into translation practices.27

The historiographical perspective laid out here questions the temporal linearity, coherence, and directionality implied by appeals to the singularity of translations of antiquity made in the context of European modernity. In doing so, it shifts attention to the ways translations have sustained the construction of the tripartite periodization of history into ancient, medieval, and modern as a frame for defining Europe, while both articulating and dissipating internal conflicts and divisions. Focusing on untranslatables, the modern Greek version of Vocabulaire thus seeks to explore the diversified routes of appropriation and adaptation of the Greek pasts, as well as pathways through which European languages were polemically linked both to one another and to traditions outside of Europe, as in the case of Arabic translations of Greek philosophy. In doing so it raises questions about the role of translation in constituting “European philosophy”: What assumptions about time and history allow us to mobilize an adjective denoting a territorial and political jurisdiction—European—in order to characterize a mode of reflection—that is, philosophy? How does this mode in turn privilege a certain temporality of European history and a certain understanding of European philosophy? How do European philosophical untranslatables challenge the causal link that a territorial unity coincides with temporal, intellectual, and cultural unities?

Such questions point to a (geo)political understanding of the European philosophical legacy.28 The challenge of translating untranslatables into a peripheral language, such as modern Greek, undermines temporalizations of European history that sustain a spatialization of time, whereby regions both within and outside of Europe are posited along a unifying and progressive line linking an imaginary antiquity and modernity, thereby implying that some regions are advanced, while others lag behind. This premise lies behind eighteenth- and nineteenth-century translations of ancient political concepts, such as equitas, the Roman notion of equity associated with the law, and δημοκρατία, the Greek concept of democracy, whose presumed translatability served to sustain modern meanings presented as neutral interlinguistic transfers. By focusing on the untranslatability of these terms as a form of resistance to translation, it is possible to highlight the contestability of modern equivalents and explore their involvement in political relations of conflict, colonialism, and imperialism. Moreover, by juxtaposing translations into “major” European languages, such as English or French, with translations into “minor” ones, such as modern Greek, it is possible to account for forms of domination and resistance relating to the languages of philosophy and the positing of certain European vocabularies as the paradigmatic reception of the ancient philosophical legacies. What is implied for the idea of Europe by a form of philosophizing grounded in relations of difference and antagonism demarcated by translations? What, for instance, are the implications of the translation of Aristotle’s koinōnia politikē by Cicero and later by Thomas Aquinas as societas civilis? Why does the translation of Aristotle by Leonardo Bruni, the first modern historian, return to these terms replacing medieval renderings, such as communicatio politica or civilis communitas, and why does Bruni also replace polis with civitas?29 How does the modern and contemporary ambivalence with regard to the translation of the concept of the polis into different European languages articulate specific political perspectives on the European past and present?

By positing these questions, the modern Greek translation of Vocabulaire may open up a critical space for reconsidering terms that have played a key role in the self-definition of philosophizing in and through Europe. This involves approaching these terms as conceptual and cultural reserves, whose histories of translations may give rise to innovative notions through which to challenge dominant visions of Europe’s past, present, and future. What would it mean to consider ancient Greek dēmokratia as an untranslatable that—despite its apparent correspondence with terms like “democracy,” “démocratie,” “Demokratie,” or “δημοκρατία,” and so on—could enable new and radical renderings? How could these renderings sustain a critical understanding of the terms through which we speak of the European democratic heritage and the very idea of European people? Such a critique would finally focus on the very context of European modernity as a founding moment of modern Greek philosophy. If European modernity—as a unifying theoretical category operating in the temporal frameworks set by the opposition between center and periphery—were to give way to other transcultural notions of the modern, such as the notion of untranslatability, how could we redefine the modern Greek philosophical vocabulary as a site that not only imports the canonical status of the European tradition but also encapsulates modernity’s self-critique?


For an excellent and entertaining introduction to The Dictionary of Untranslatables, read Adam Gopnick’s New Yorker article “Word Magic” here.

To consider language relationships by more comprehensively attending to their specific differences, Barbara Cassin has recently edited an anthology bringing together all the prefaces from the various language translations of Vocabulaire published to date; in addition, each of these translated texts is represented by one of the new entries unique to its lexicon (in the case of the English-language version, for example, the editors of Dictionary of Untranslatables had created a new expanded entry for GENDER, which was not addressed in depth in the French original). Cassin’s anthology, entitled Philosopher en langues: les intraduisibles en traduction, features each preface and sample entry in the language in which it was written followed by a translation into French.

1 Gérard Genette, Palimpsests: Literature in the Second Degree, trans. Channa Newman and Claude Doubinsky (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997), 214.

2 Barbara Cassin, ed., Vocabulaire européen des philosophies: Dictionnaire des intraduisibles (Paris: Le Robert, Seuil, 2004).

3 See Barbara Cassin, “Philosophising in Languages,” in Nottingham French Studies 49, no. 2 (2010): 17–28.

4 Dipesh Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000), 4–5.

5 Gregory Jusdanis, Belated Modernity and Aesthetic Culture: Inventing National Literature (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1991), 67.

6 James Clifford, The Predicament of Culture. Twentieth Century Ethnography, Literature, and Art (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988), 22–23.

7 Thomas Hylland Eriksen, “Creolization in Anthropological Theory and in Mauritius,” in Creolization: History, Ethnography, Theory, ed. Charles Stewart (Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press, 2007), 153–77.

8 Charles Stewart, “Syncretism as a Dimension of Nationalist Discourse in Modern Greece,” in Syncretism/Anti-Syncretism. The Politics of Religious Synthesis, eds. Charles Stewart and Rosalind Shaw (London; New York: Routledge), 119–35.

9 Vassilis Lambropoulos, “Syncretism as Mixture and as Method,” Journal of Modern Greek Studies 19, no. 2 (2001): 221–35.

10 Dimitris Tziovas, “Beyond the Acropolis: Rethinking Neohellenism,” Journal of Modern Greek Studies 19, no. 2 (2001): 189–220.

11 Anthony Pagden, Introduction to The Idea of Europe. From Antiquity to the European Unity, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 1–32.

12 Mikael af Malmborg and Bo Stråth, “Introduction: The National Meanings of Europe” in The Meaning of Europe: Variety and Contention Within and Among Nations, eds. Mikael af Malmborg and Bo Stråth (Oxford; New York: Berg, 2002), 1.

13 Jacques Derrida, “The Right to Philosophy from a Cosmopolitan Point of View,” in Ethics, Institutions, and the Right to Philosophy, ed. and trans. Peter Pericles Trifonas (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2002), 9.

14 John Sallis, On Translation (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002), 57–61.

15 Friedrich Nietzsche, “Die fröhliche Wissenschaft,” in Translating Literature: The German Tradition, ed. and trans. André Lefevere (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1977), 96.

16 Martin Heidegger, Parmenides, trans. André Schuwer and R. Rojcewicz, (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992), 45.

17 Ralph J. Hexter, “Canonicity,” in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Latin Literature, eds. Ralph J. Hexter and David Townsend (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 25–46.

18 Thomas E. Burman, “The Cultures and Dynamics of Translation into Medieval Latin,” in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Latin Literature, eds. Ralph J. Hexter and David Townsend (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 86–105.

19 Geoffrey P. Baldwin, “The Translation of Political Theory in Early Modern Europe” in Cultural Translation in Early Modern Europe, eds. Peter Burke and R. Po-chia Hsia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 101–24.

20 Anthony Grafton, Commerce with the Classics: Ancient Books and Renaissance Readers (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997), 15.

21 Malmborg and Stråth, 2.

22 Fania Oz-Salzberger, “Enlightenment, National Enlightenments and Translation,” in The Routledge Companion to Eighteenth-Century Philosophy, ed. Aaron Garrett (New York: Routledge, 2014), 49.

23 Immanuel Kant, “Idea for a Universal History from a Cosmopolitan Point of View,” in Classical Readings in Culture and Civilization, eds. Stephen Mennell and John F. Rundell (London; New York: Routledge, 1998), 39–47. See also Alexandra Lianeri, “Unfounding Times: The idea and ideal of ancient history in Western historical thought,” in The Western Time of Ancient History: Historiographical Encounters with the Greek and Roman Pasts, ed. Alexandra Lianeri (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 3–32.

24 Stathis Gourgouris, Dream Nation: Enlightenment, Colonization and the Institution of Modern Greece (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996).

25 See Multiple Antiquities — Multiple Modernities: Ancient Histories in Nineteenth Century European Cultures, eds. Gábor Klaniczay, Michael Werner, and Ottó Gecser (Frankfurt/New York: Campus Verlag, 2011).

26 Walter Benjamin, “The Task of the Translator,” in Illuminations, ed. Hannah Arendt, trans. Harry Zohn (New York: Schocken, 1969), 70-82; Jacques Derrida, The Ear of the Other: Otobiography, Transference, Translation, ed. Christie McDonald (New York: Schocken Books, 1985).

27 See Lawrence Venuti, The Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference (London; New York: Routledge, 2002); and Lawrence Venuti, Translation Changes Everything: Theory and Practice (London/New York: Routledge, 2013).

28 For more on the term “geopolitical” in relation to untranslatables, see Emily Apter, Barbara Cassin, Jacques Lezra, and Michael Wood eds., Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014).

29 See Peter Hallberg and Björn Wittrock, “From koinonìa politikè to societas civilis: Birth, Disappearance and First Renaissance of the Concept,” in The Languages of Civil Society, ed. Peter Wagner (New York: Berghahn Books, 2006), 28–53.

Get Updates

We want to hear from you!

Help us improve our website by taking a 5-minute survey with a chance to win $100!

Take Survey
Back to mobile site