Greek/Ancient Greek Translation
I was wondering if you could translate this piece of poetry from Tyrtaus from English back into Ancient Greek for me. The phrase is, "Here is courage, mankind's finest possession, here is the noblest prize that a young man can endeavor to win." Thank you for your help!
There is no need to translate this piece of poetry from English back into Ancient Greek because there is the original Tyrtaeus text that we read in one of his Elegiac Poems where the poet emphasizes the importance of a brave man in battle.
So, here are Tyrtaeus lines whose English adaptation is just “Here is courage, mankind's finest possession, here is the noblest prize that a young man can endeavor to win”:
ἥδ´ἀρετή, τόδ´ ἄεθλον ἐν ἀνθρώποισιν ἄριστον,
κάλλιστόν τε φέρειν γίγνεται ἀνδρὶ νέῳ.
(Fragment Bergk 12,lines 13-14 or Fragment Diehl 9,lines 8-9)
Note that only fragments survive of Tyrtaeus’s work and we can read them in two different German collections, i.e. in T. Bergk, “Poetae Lyrici Graeci” and in G. Diehl, “Anthologia lyrica graeca”: hence the different number of the same fragment.
As for the English translation of this original ancient Greek text, i.e. “Here is courage, mankind's finest possession, here is the noblest prize that a young man can endeavour to win”, it is nothing but an adaptation of the ancient Greek lines, not their literal translation that could sound as follows:
“That is excellence, the highest prize for mankind,
splendid to carry away for a young man”.
Please note that:
-ἥδ´ἀρετή = That is excellence/courage
-τόδ´ ἄεθλον = this the prize
-ἄριστον =the highest
-ἐν ἀνθρώποισιν =for mankind
-κάλλιστόν τε = splendid
-φέρειν = to carry away
-γίγνεται = is
-ἀνδρὶ = for a man
Lastly note that the Greek elegiac poet,Tyrtaeus,flourished c. 650 BC, Sparta [Greece], was author of some elegies on military themes, i.e. “ poems calling young men to arms, which combine exhortations to courage and self-discipline with reminders of past victories and assurances of future success and posthumous glory”.
Hope this can be helpful to you.