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Dries de Crom wins prize for best published Dutch article on the Near East

Published: 20th May 2022 Last updated: 20th May 2022

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Dr. Dries de Crom has received the Cuijpers-Opdenakker 2022 Annual Prize for the best published scientific article written at a Dutch university. It is a prize of the Netherlands Institute for the Near East. The article is titled: A Polysystemic Perspective on Hebrew-Greek Translation. The prize was presented on May 14 at the Rijksmuseum of Antiquities in Leiden.

The article was published in the Journal of Ancient Judaism in 20202 and concerns multilingualism in the Hellenistic world. Multilingualism also implies that hierarchical relationships exist between these languages and literatures. For example, in the Hellenistic world, Greek literature occupied a culturally dominant position. Other literary systems were forced to take position against Greek texts and literary conventions, adopting and using them, transforming them, or rejecting them. Against this background, a centuries-long tradition of translating Hebrew texts into Greek emerged.

The article studies the position of these translations within the system of Hellenistic literature. It raises questions about the interaction of languages and cultures, cultural hierarchies and how translations reflect and can influence these hierarchies.

The Annual Prize Cuijpers-Opdenakker entails a cash prize (€500) and the obligation to transform the article into a form of scholarly communication. The article leads to questions about our own world: are hierarchies between languages and cultures also noticeable in our society?