Translation of Ancient Scientific Texts
In 2005 I started a group dedicated to the study and translation ancient scientific texts in Latin (and also a few in Greek). The group was originally composed by my friends and colleagues Armando Martins, Bernardo Mota, Carlos Sá and Samuel Gessner. Later Helena Avelar and Joaquim Alves Gaspar joined us. I was in charge of this group for some years but now the boss is Bernardo Mota -- a great improvement, as everybody agrees! Translating scientific texts of past ages is no easy task. It requires specific linguistic knowledge and an expertise that takes many years to master. The routine of our group has been the same along the years: we meet once every month and work with a chosen text for about three hours in the morning. We stop for lunch and afterwards one of us (or a guest speaker) gives a seminar on some ancient scientific text. Between meetings we clean up the work we did, make some improvements, work on the diagrams, etc.
We already translated the following Latin texts:
Euclid's Optics (in the Latin version of Zamberto).
Euclid's Catoptrics (in the Latin version of Zamberto).
Theodosius's Spherics (in De Chales 17th cent. version).
Book III of Peurbach and Regiomontanus's Epitome of the Almagest.
Johann Werner's text on Conics (1522).
Book V of Euclid's Elements (from different 16th cent. Latin versions).
Book I of Peurbach and Regiomontanus's Epitome of the Almagest. [in progress]
We also translated bits and pieces of Euclid, Autolycus and Diophantus, from Greek.
We plan to publish some of these translations; others no. I have learned immensely from this effort and from the knowledge of my colleagues -- and it has been great fun. See some information (not updated) here (in Portuguese).
Although I am far from being an expert latinist (a breed of men for which I have the utmost respect), I dared to publish some of my work. My first published translation of a Latin scientific text was Pedro Nunes's short tract on the mechanics of rowing (In problema mechanicum Aristotelis de motu nauigii ex remis). It was published in 2002 (see the books page). I also translated Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius and this was published in 2010 (see books page). While working on Galileo I translated a substantial number of Latin documents from Galileo's process, but haven't published them. I also did some other translations (mostly of astronomical texts) for practice or for private use but I have no immediate plans to inflict them to the general public.