Award-winning translator Dimitris Maronitis, renowned for his work with Ancient Greek texts, died of cancer at the age of 87, the ANA-MPA news agency reported on Tuesday.
Maronitis was born in Thessaloniki in 1929 and studied at the School of Philosophy of the city’s Aristotle University before pursuing postgraduate studies in Germany on a scholarship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and studying under German classicist Walter Marg.
The scholar went on to teach Ancient Greek from 1963-68 at his alma mater and was later dismissed and subjected to persecution under the 1967-74 military dictatorship, being reinstated at the Aristotle as a full professor after the fall of the junta. He served in this capacity until 1996, also lecturing extensively as a guest professor in Germany, Austria and Cyprus.
Maronitis has written books, monographs and numerous articles on Herodotus, Homer, the ancient lyricists and Modern Greek poetry and prose. He has translated Herodotus, Hesiod and Homer, and won the state essay award in 1981 for “Limits of Lyricism in Odysseas Elytis.”
From 1994 to 2001, Maronitis served as chairman of the Thessaloniki-based Greek Language Center, also doing a brief stint at the helm of the National Theater of Northern Greece.
His novel approach to the interpretation and translation of Ancient Greek texts put him at the forefront of his field and prompted new readings of the classics.
Maronitis's funeral will take place on Thursday at Athens's First Cemetery at 11 a.m.