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3. The substrate of ancient languages: Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Saxon and their influence on modern languages. The model of the Bible: translations by Aquila, Amphictyon, the Seventy and Saint Jerome, and the Vulgate


c) Consequences of the disputation

The classical world’s debate on the qualities of the different Bible translations had two important consequences: on the one hand, the linguistic world split between upholders of ‘verisimilitude’ and supporters of ‘symbolic allusiveness’, while on the other, every text began to be considered as a ‘counter-text’, or a ‘mythopoetic associator’ for annotations, abridgements and marginal notes, summed up by Borges, according to whom "the world is a big library" and "every book is the rewriting of other books". Thus, if in this last brief period of our civilization the map takes the place of the territory, the responsibility falls on the old disputes between the Bible translators we are discussing here.

The following four literary concepts of the modern world emerge from the four traditions we have identified:

Literature as a practice of symbolic Hermeticism. All of Western poetry, starting from the Trouviéres, is placed in this dimension. Literature as a place of social action and commitment in the present time. The realism of the bourgeois novel, but also Lucian’s Dialogues or Petronius’s Satyricon, derive from this concept. Literature as ‘fabula', a narration that unravels from an always underlying oral counter-text. The idea of the fable as a ‘memory of archetypes’ upheld by Propp derives from the idea of the text as a ‘perpetual commentary’ of the oral tradition. Literature as comte philosophique, from Seneca to Voltaire, as well as a certain romantic idea of the narrative work well-represented by Dostoevsky – the novel as the place of conflict between individual ethics and those of the civilization in which one lives – derives directly from the concept of the Ego as the Universe inherent in Aquila’s Bible.