I wasn't entirely happy with any of the translations I found online, so I was forced to attempt my own:

"...crafty Atlas, who knows the full depths of the sea, and holds, himself, the towering pillars which hold apart the earth and sky."
Source: Odyssey 1.52-54]

The A.T. Murray translation on Perseus uses "knows the depths of every sea", while the Shrewing translation on Theoi uses "knows the depths of all the seas", which seems less accurate in that θαλάσσης seems to be singular. Fagles seems to agree with my alternate take, having Atlas "[sound] the deep in all its depths".

I chose crafty because I recall my old Greek professor mentioning this less emphasized association in relation to the Titan, and the LSJ has for ὀλοόφρονος "in Od., crafty, sagacious, of persons, “Ἄτλας” 1.52".

I used "towering" for μακράς because of context, to reinforce the idea of great distance.

Thoughts, corrections, etc., are welcome.

  • 2
    I don't see the objection to Murray's 'knows the depths of every sea'; that's a very accurate translation of θαλάσσης πάσης βένθεα οἶδεν, whereas one could argue that you've changed the meaning of the Greek text somewhat. In fact, the whole Murray translation for the passage that your link opens looks perfectly serviceable to me, if a bit colorless in places (e.g., 'tall' for μακράς instead of your 'towering').
    – cnread
    Aug 6 '17 at 6:47
  • @cnread Yeah, I like Murray quite a bit, and find his translations excellent and precise. Although the Fagles is prized for its contemporary readability, less precision is a tradeoff. Nevertheless, we think of Atlas as stationary, holding up the vault of heaven, as opposed to walking around all the oceans, and I felt restricting the scope might be more useful, if it is supportable.
    – DukeZhou
    Aug 7 '17 at 18:13
  • If people could let me know why they downvoted the question, it would be helpful is posting better questions in future. As there is a tag for "translation-check", I thought the current structure of the post would be sufficient--possibly my assumption is incorrect. Thanks!
    – DukeZhou
    Aug 9 '17 at 18:09

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