Friedrich Schiller and Gavriil Derzhavin in Greek: Translations by Christian Friedrich Graefe (1780–1851)

Friedrich Graefe, the first Professor of Greek and Latin at the University of St Petersburg (1819–1851), a full member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, teacher and friend of the famous Russian classicist and reformer S. S. Uvarov, belonged to the first generation of pupils studying in Leipzig under Gottfried Hermann. Following Hermann, Graefe expressed himself and wrote poetry in Latin and Ancient Greek. The list of his published Latin and Greek poetry (Gelegenheits–Schriften) can be found in the Bulletin of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, SPb. — Leipzig, 1852, 303–304. This article offers the first editions with a commentary of Ancient Greek translations by Graefe of the prologue to Friedrich Schiller’s Bride of Messina (Die Braut von Messina oder die feindlichen Brüder) and the poem Modesty, by the Russian poet Gavriil Derzhavin (1743–1816). The article deals with the undated and probably unpublished manuscript which seems to be a small Greek anthology of eleven poems in various metres: iambic trimeter, dactylic hexameter, elegiac distich, Sapphic stanza, and the prose exhortation, written in the hand of Graefe and stored in the Manuscript Department of the Russian National Library in St Petersburg, among the papers of I. V. Pomyalovsky (1845–1906), a professor of classics at St Petersburg University. Graefe must have been encouraged to translate from Schiller by Hermann (who himself translated four parts from Schiller’s Wallenstein trilogy) if not directly, at least by the example of his own translations.

 Elena L. Ermolaeva. Friedrich Schiller and Gavriil Derzhavin in Greek Translations by Christian Friedrich Graefe