Translation and Authority – Authorities in Translation

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The question about the relation between medieval translation practices and authority is a complex and multifaceted one. Depending on one’s decision to focus on the authority of the source-text or of the translated text itself, on the author of the original text, on the translator, or on the user of the translation, it falls apart in several topics to be tackled, such as, just to name a few: To what extent does the authority of the text to be translated affect translational choices? How do translators impose authority on their text? By lending their name to a translation, do they contribute to its authoritative status? After two introductory essays that set the scene for the volume, addressing the above questions from the perspective of translations of authoritative texts into Dutch and French, the focus of the volume shifts to the translators themselves as authorities. A next section deals with the choices of texts to be translated, and the impact these choices have on the translation method. A third part is dedicated to papers that examine the role of the users of the translations. The selection of papers in the present volume gives a good indication of the issues mentioned above, embedded in a fi eld of tension between translations made from a learned language to a vernacular language, translations from one vernacular to another, or even from a vernacular to the Latin language.