Bryn Hammond's Reviews > The Secret History of the Mongols

The Secret History of the Mongols by Francis Woodman Cleaves
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

it was amazing
bookshelves: website-widget, secret-history, steppe-history

The translation I'm fondest of: Francis W. Cleaves, who has run afoul of the majority for his attempt at a King James Bible English. He argued that he should be archaic, like his original, and that the King James style was 'singularly consonant' with the matter in hand. Dammit, he was right. Isenbike Togan defends this style, which grants to the oral tradition of history, not just its true dignity but its true weight and strength for people of the time. Cleaves is obscure, but often because he is over-exact.

Sorry, but I find him more in sympathy with the material than other translators - which includes Igor de Rachewiltz. The latter you need too for study, because of its hundreds of pages of notes. Cleaves meant to put out a second volume with his notes, but never did: this volume only has brief footnotes.
2 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Secret History of the Mongols.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

Finished Reading
December 22, 2011 – Shelved
October 26, 2012 – Shelved as: website-widget
May 1, 2013 – Shelved as: secret-history
August 19, 2018 – Shelved as: steppe-history

No comments have been added yet.