- A Tudor Translator at Work: John Osborne's Manuscript Translations of Demosthenes's Against Leptines (1582) and Aeschines's On the Embassy (1583)
- Huntington Library Quarterly
- University of Pennsylvania Press
- Volume 80, Number 2, Summer 2017
- pp. 257-275
- View Citation
- Additional Information
This essay examines John Osborne's manuscript translations of Demosthenes's oration Against Leptines and Aeschines's speech On the Embassy, both dedicated to Sir Christopher Hatton. Presented by one mp to another, these translations demonstrate the interest in Greek oratory and its political uses in early modern England. Osborne's manuscripts are also highly unusual in showing a Tudor translator of the classics at work. The main focus of this essay is on the corrections and changes in the two surviving manuscripts of the translation of Against Leptines (Add. MS 10059, British Library, and MS Anglais 60, Bibliothèque nationale de France). The essay argues that Osborne's departures from his source texts evidence a deeper concern to reproduce the political efficacy of Demosthenes's and Aeschines's speeches in Elizabethan England. The essay thus throws new light on both early modern translation practice and the use of manuscript texts to bind together communities through the exchange of material that is designed to appeal to a communal identity.