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Friday, January 20, 2012

Dr Ann Nyland
You're going to wonder how this post has anything to do with horses, but keep reading - it does. Like most of you, I've read many transcripts or movie interpretations of ancient documents such as the Bible and Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. If you're thinking, "The only thing I know about Homer is that he's Bart's dad" then think again. If you've read, heard or seen anything about  Troy, the Trojan War, Agamemnon, Helen of Troy, Achilles (played by Brad Pitt in the latest incarnation), Apollo, Aphrodite, Poseidon,the sirens, the Cyclops, etc. then you know about the Iliad and the Odyssey. Even movies such as Cold Mountain (Jude Law & Nicole Kidman... one of my best friends went to school with Nicole - didn't like her)  and the Coen Brothers Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? are loosely based on the Odyssey. I've read books and seen documentaries which claim this or that ancient Greek or Hebrew document says something important about this or that. All the time I wonder - how do I know that their interpretation, that their translation, gives me the information that the original author was actually writing? How do I know that what they're telling me is the true translation?

It turns out that, through our horses, I know an amazing woman who grew up in an academic household where ancient languages were spoken around the house so that they are as familiar to her as English is to most of us. My 'horsey friend' Ann Nyland, who bred some lovely Arabian horses down Armidale way, is Dr Ann Nyland, one of the leading translators of ancient texts into modern English - and she doesn't have any 'spin' on the translations (i.e. she's not trying to please an employer or satisfy a current trend in thinking) - she is doing an academic translation that gives the most accurate meaning to the original text. If you visit Amazon and just do a search for Dr A. Nyland, be prepared to be blown away by how much this amazing and truly lovely person has produced. AND SHE WRITES HORSE BOOKS.

See, I said this would get back to horses. I've already listed one of her wonderful translations of Xenophon, and I will do so again, as it is definitely the best and truest translation of this ancient horse training text, and I'll put links to some of her others. If you have horses, Ann will have at least one book that should be in your Kindle (or computer or iPad or whatever). I learned a lot from the worming book - this one is particularly good for Australian horse owners and it is a real eye opener. There are over 40 books on Amazon by A. Nyland, including the very popular novels The Dashwood Haunting and The Ghosts of Morpeth, and if you are interested in translations of ancient texts such as the Bible... well, be prepared to be amazed.

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