This lecture considers how ancient drama and poetry has been translated and adapted into new works, with examples that show the variety of people and practices that are involved worldwide, from Africa to Europe, the Middle –East, the Caribbean and the Americas. However it is not enough to appreciate how each generation and culture inscribes new layers of meaning into Greek and Latin texts. It is also necessary to consider how the ancient themes and forms shape modern meaning, making the notion of modern ‘democratic’ appropriation of classical texts a contested issue.
Lorna Hardwick teaches at the Open University, Milton Keynes, where she is a Professor of Classical Studies and Director of the Reception of Classical Texts Research Project. She is the author of many articles and books on Greek cultural history and its reception in modern theatre and literature, including Translating Words, Translating Cultures (2000) and New Surveys in the Classics: Reception Studies (2003).