Newly Recovered English Classical Translations 1600–1800 is a unique resource: a wide-ranging collection of never-before-printed English translations from ancient Greek and Latin verse and drama of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Transcribed and edited from surviving manuscripts, these translations open a window onto a period in which the full richness and diversity of engagement with classical texts through translation is only now becoming apparent. Some 100 identified translators and many more anonymous writers are included, from familiar and sometimes eminent figures to the obscure and unknown.
Newly Recovered English Classical Translations 1600–1800 (NRECT) is an Oxford University Press publication to which this online Annexe may be thought of as an overspill. The primary publication is available online as well as in print (for details see below), and thus all the texts in the entire edition are viewable and searchable online. This 300-page Annexe is made available free to view with the assistance of a grant from the Loeb Classical Library Foundation and by arrangement with Oxford University Press.
NRECT is a compilation of English translations from classical verse and drama which were not printed in their own time, and have not been retrieved from manuscript copies since. In other words, they are entirely unknown to the scholarly world. They make up a very miscellaneous collection, but since this is a selective and not a comprehensive compilation, there has been no attempt to absorb every extant schoolboy exercise, and the average quality of the English verse is high. Many even of these Annexe items would hold their ground against the printed translations of their day, and the historical interest of others often makes up for lack of polish. In all cases, a new piece of evidence emerges about how, why, and to whom ancient verse appealed in this era — and many of these translators left no other record of their engagement with it.
In terms of lines of verse, this Annexe is, on its first release in 2018, about half the size of the primary print edition, but it contains far less than half as many items. This is because it is mainly a home for longer items which could not be accommodated in full, or in some cases at all, in the print edition. Here in the Annexe, each item is provided with a brief headnote, but fuller information is in all cases found in the print edition, which includes a general introduction, individual introductory discussions of each translated author and genre, notes on all manuscripts used, full references for all secondary sources cited (arranged by chapter), and indexes. This is also where information can be found as to the principles on which the texts have been edited and presented.
Cross-references are often given to individual texts in either part. The nine author and genre codes (e.g. OV=Ovid) are the same across both parts. References with a leading ‘X’ (such as ‘XOV3’) refer to items in the Annexe, whereas those with no leading ''X' (such as 'OV03') refer to items in the primary publication.
The print edition is published as follows:
Newly Recovered English Classical Translations 1600–1800, compiled and edited by Stuart Gillespie. Oxford University Press, 2018. ISBN 9780198705574. (See OUP catalogue entry).
The online edition is published as follows: