Johannesburg - As Homer noted, the Trojans love nothing better than a good braai after fending off Achilles and his horde of assegai-wielding Greek impi.
Well, that is according to one retired classics professor who has spent more than 10 years putting Homer's epic poem about the Trojan war into a South African context.
Richard Whitaker says he embarked on the odyssey after coming to the conclusion that existing Eurocentric translations did not resonate with South African students.
"I came to feel that, on the one hand, 'kings', 'princes', 'palaces' and the like were remote from local experience," he said.
Spears became assegai
"On the other hand, there were many elements of the Homeric world, such as payment of bride-price in cattle, and warriors' winning praises in combat, that might resonate with South Africans."
And with that, Troy was transported to the Highveld, commanders become amakhosi, spears became assegai and glens became a kloof.
But Whitaker does acknowledge his project's Achilles heel: Not every South African is familiar with the English, Afrikaans, Portuguese, Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Tswana words that colour South African speech.
For that Whitaker provides a glossary.
Still, the text will seem less archaic to today's audience than older translations, making for a lekker (nice) read.
24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.
With just three weeks to go until “Africa’s biggest music festival”, the organisers of the TribeOne Festival were sending desperate SMSes to the City of Tshwane, pleading for more money. Read More »
I’ve always said that those Debbie Downers who give us all a bad name just needed a good...uhm...bit of loving to put the spring back in their step. Read More »
A quick quickie!
Ready for the Daisies!
Sunnies and beer!
Rocking the Daisies!
Johannesburg CBDHi-Tech Recruitment - Cape TownR15 000 - R20 000 Per Month
East LondonService Solutions Staffing
MidrandDatacentrix (Pty) Ltd
Apartments / FlatsR 1 360 000
HousesR 840 000
HousesR 1 200 000