Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
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Abstract: During the seventeenth century the London apothecaries, most of them Puritans, sought to destroy the control the London College of Physicians exercised over the practice of medicine in the capital. Cromwell's success in the Civil War gave the apothecaries the advantage in this fight, and the major weapon they used against the College was translation of the Latin professional literature into English and wide dissemination of the translations, which often included some very unbridled footnotes to embarass the College. The most important of these apothecary-translators was Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654). His practice in both medicine and translation is typical of the Puritan tradition in combining four influences: the philosophy of Francis Bacon, medieval interpretations of Ovid's account of Creation (Metamorphoses I.85), the Platonist flavour of medieval alchemy, and the Bible, particularly as translated by the Calvinists (the " Geneva Bible"). Culpeper was writing for a public that saw no distinction between secular and religious knowledge, and which took from Bacon and Seneca the conviction that polished language could not co-exist with truth. Thus his translation style, taken ultimately from the Puritan pulpit and schoolroom, is unadorned, accurate, and literal in that his versions respect the discourse order and content of the original.Résumé: Pendant le dix-septiéme siécle, les apothicaires londoniens, Puritains pour la plupart, cherchaient a detruire le contrôle qu'exerçait VAcademie de Medecine londonienne sur la pratique medicale dans la capitale. Le succès de Cromwell durant la guerre civile donna dans cette lutte Vavantage aux apothicaires, et l'arme majeure qu'ils utilisèrent contre VAcademie fut la traduction de la littérature professionnelle du latin en anglais ainsi que la vaste dissémination des traductions, qui comptaient souvent quelques notes extrimement débridées afin de decontenancer VAcademie. Le plus important des traducteurs-apothicaires etait Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654). Sa pratique en médecine aussi bien qu'en traduction est caracteristique de la tradition puritaine par le fait qu'elle réunit quatre sources d'influence: la philosophic de Francis Bacon, les interpretations mediivales du recit de la Creation par Ovide (Les Metamorphoses I.85), l'arô-me platonicien de Valchimie mediivale, et la Bible, en particulier dans la traduction des Calvinistes (la "Bible genevoise"). Culpeper écrivait pour un public qui ne faisait aucune distinction entre le savoir seculier et le savoir religieux, et qui puisait chez Bacon et Sénéque la conviction que le langage brillant ne pou-vait co-exister avec la vérité. Ainsi, son style de traduction, finalement emprunte a la chaire et a la classe du Puritain, est dépouillé, fidéle et littéral en ce que ses versions respectent l'ordre et le contenu du discours de l'original.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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