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.
Ian Gabriel's thriller Four Corners has achieved a double win at the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, where it competed with films from the USA and around the world. Read More »
Cape Town might hog all the headlines and attract A-list Hollywood glitterati to swan around its scenic filming locations, but Joburg is quietly and emphatically staking its claim as SA’s true film capital. Read More »
Guns N' Roses guitarist!
New music video!
Great gig pics!
Watch it here!
See the line-up!
JohannesburgWorxs 4 UR8 000 - R10 000 Per Month
DurbanWorxs 4 U
Cape TownTeleresources Cape TownR5 000 Per Month
HousesR 4 000 000
TownhousesR 655 000
HousesR 2 000 000