The Latin and French antecedents of the Spanish lives of St. Mary Magdalene and St Martha in ms Escorial h.I 13.
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The Spanish Magdalene and Martha lives in MS Escorial h. I. 13 are translations of Old French texts represented by MSS C and F respectively, and not of any other Latin or French source. The C French and D Franco-Provençal versions of the Magdalene life are independent translations of the Latin B text, and the F and C5 French versions of the Martha life are independently executed versions of the Latin E text. There are, however, some puzzling affinities between the Latin and Spanish texts. The shorter Latin Magdalene life A. is the original version, which was elaborated to form the longer Latin life B. The C French translation is shorter than B. but its source is the longer B rather than the shorter A. text, the differences between original and translation being explained by the adaptive translation process. Comparison between the more complete D translation and the simplifying C text shows that the two versions C and D were intended for very different uses. The two-French Martha translations, F and C5 are from Latin originals much closer to the E Latin text than to the Sanctuarium. F is a simplifying translation, intended, like the C Magdalene text, for oral delivery, while, C5 is a more complete rendering, intended for private reading by aristocratic ladies. The Spanish MS could not have contained complete, translations of both the Magdalene and the Martha lives, since the missing, four folios would not have been sufficient for the material involved. The distribution of non-standard linguistic features shows that the two Spanish texts are the work of two different translators. The Spanish translations are both, in general, accurately and competently executed, but the differing numbers of errors, additions, omissions and changes in each confirms that they are the work of two different translators.
AuthorsSmith, John Rees
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