Talk:Notes on Muscovite Affairs

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Old talk[edit]

I think the more literal "Commentaries/Notes on Muscovite affairs/matters" would be a better translation, Graham - the commentarii are of res muscoviticae - "Muscovite things/matters" - rather than Muscovitici, Muscovites. User:David Parker

I think the Notes on the Muscovites is down to habitual usage. What tends to happen with a lot of these things is that the first translation sticks no matter how wrong it is. So here I give the habitual translation, and I make no attempt to translate it myself.
After further digging, it appears that Notes on the Muscovites was the title given to the English translation in 1577, in which case, they translated badly, but that's what they called it. I will have to dig some more to try and confirm this. If it is the case then I will alter the article to show that it was published in English as this. Graham Chapman
Looks like a bit of a red herring that one. Poe uses Notes on the Muscovites consistently, but the only other references I can find using the same title are copies of Poe. However the English translation is referred to in several places (even by Poe in bibliographies) as Notes on Russia translation of Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii by R. H. Major, London 1851. I'll change to that and see how we go. Graham Chapman
A later translation by by J.B.C. Grundy (edited by Bertold Picard) is titled Description of Moscow and Muscovy, which sounds a bit long-winded but seems far preferable to me, (res muscoviticae can refer to matters of the city of Moscow or the state of Muscovy). I'd have to say, though, that precisely because subsequent translated editions can be so differently titled, I strongly believe the original work's title should be translated literally - it remains, while later editions come and go and pile up under a variety of names. User:David Parker
Hmmm. That would have us referring to it by an English title that no-one else uses. That tends to make things difficult in the history world, I would have thought. How is the reader to track anything down by the English name? How about putting both the English titles down? I saw the later one, but I thought the earlier one should take precedence, but both would do fine.
Here's another thought - why not put the literal translation AND the titles of BOTH the English versions. And add Poe's usage as well. Then, provided it is clear which is which, everybody's happy! Starts to get a bit long-winded, so I guess that leaves the literal translation in the first paragraph, and the titles of the English translation plus Poe's usage plus an explanation describing the difference between the two in a new para after the first paragraph. Also keep in mind that very few readers speak Latin - most just need an acceptable tag to hang things on that can be used for communication, so we risk losing more from confusion than we gain by being strictly accurate. So maybe all this guff needs to be in a footnote for those who are still awake by then. Graham Chapman
Sounds fine by me: the literal translation as a point of information for non-Latinists, and the translated editions (being distinct materials, as I see them - though they're also versions of the same work) for those who may want to trace them: I accept it seems long-winded, but sometimes that's worthwhile for the information: Personally, I think the later editions should be at the end (and who knows, there may be more to follow!). I think the initial translation really is necessary precisely because so few of us are familiar with Latin. Cheers, User:David Parker
OK, David, I've made those changes, see what you think, and feel free to change the literal translation. I'll leave it for comment for a day or two, then I'll change related articles to match. I have to say that, having made the changes, I think it looks better this way, so thanks for the suggestions. Graham Chapman

On czar, I wouldn't characterise it as erroneous prior to the 19th or even 20th century: when Herberstein wrote (and for 300 years afterward), there was no correct transliteration, so czar was as correct as any: it is only the development of the modern "ts" transliteration that has made it incorrect. User:David Parker.

Seems a good point. I'll change it sometime, if someone else doesn't get there first....done, I've reworded it to change the emphasis quite a bit, both here and in the article on Herberstein. See what you think. Graham Chapman