Beowulf has been translated many times but the most well known probably Seamus Heaney's publication.
Beowulf: a new verse translation
W.W. Norton & Co., 2001
Beowulf is the conventional title of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature. It survives in a single manuscript known as the Nowell Codex. Its composition by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet is dated between the 8th and the early 11th century.
In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, battles three antagonists: Grendel, who has been attacking the resident warriors of the mead hall of Hroðgar (the king of the Danes), Grendel's mother, and an unnamed dragon. The last battle takes place later in life, Beowulf now being king of the Geats. In the final battle, Beowulf is fatally wounded. After his death his retainers bury him in a tumulus in Geatland.
The events described in the poem take place in the late 5th century, after the Anglo-Saxons had begun migration and settlement in England, and before the beginning of the 7th century, a time when the Saxons were either newly arrived or in close contact with their fellow Germanic kinsmen in Scandinavia and Northern Germany. The poem could have been transmitted in England by people of Geatish origins. It has been suggested that Beowulf was first composed in the 7th century at Rendlesham in East Anglia, as Sutton Hoo also shows close connections with Scandinavia, and also that the East Anglian royal dynasty, the Wuffings, were descendants of the Geatish Wulfings. Others have associated this poem with the court of King Alfred, or with the court of King Canute.
Modern English translations:
Alexander, Michael. Beowulf : A Verse Translation. Penguin Classics;. Rev. ed. London: New York, 2003.
Anderson, Sarah M., Alan Sullivan, and Timothy Murphy. Beowulf. A Longman Cultural Edition;. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2004.
Crossley-Holland, Kevin; Mitchell, Bruce. Beowulf: A New Translation. London: Macmillan, 1968
Donaldson, E. Talbot, and Nicholas Howe. Beowulf : A Prose Translation : Backgrounds and Contexts, Criticism. A Norton Critical Edition. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2002.
Garmonsway, George Norman, et al. Beowulf and Its Analogues. (Revised 1980). ed. London: Dent, 1980.
Gummere, Frances. 'Beowulf'. St Petersburg, Florida:Red and Black Publishers, 2007. ISBN 978-0-979-1813-1-3.
Heaney, Seamus. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001. ISBN 0-393-32097-9
Hudson, Marc. Beowulf. Introduction and notes by Martin Garrett. Ware: Wordsworth Classics, 2007.
Lehmann, Ruth. Beowulf : An Imitative Translation. 1st ed. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1988.
Liuzza, R. M. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. Orchard Park, NY: Broadview Press, 2000.
Osborn, Marijane. Annotated List of Beowulf Translations.
Raffel, Burton. Beowulf. New York: Signet Classic, 1999.
Ringler, Dick. Beowulf: A New Translation For Oral Delivery. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2007. ISBN 978-0-87220-893-3
Swanton, Michael (ed.). Beowulf (Manchester Medieval Studies). Manchester: University, 1997.
Szobody, Michelle L. & Justin Gerard (Illustrator) Beowulf, Book I: Grendel the Ghastly. Greenville, SC: Portland Studios, 2007. ISBN 9780979718304
Wright, David. Beowulf. Panther Books, 1970. ISBN 0-586-03279-7
Another translation from Old Irish into the modern is the Tain
Táin Bó Cúailnge "the driving-off of cows of Cooley", more usually rendered The Cattle Raid of Cooley or The Táin) is a legendary tale from early Irish literature, often considered an epic, although it is written primarily in prose rather than verse. It tells of a war against Ulster by the Connacht queen Medb and her husband Ailill, who intend to steal the stud bull Donn Cuailnge, opposed only by the teenage Ulster hero Cúchulainn. Traditionally set in the 1st century AD in an essentially pre-Christian heroic age, the Táin is the central text of a group of tales known as the Ulster Cycle. It survives in two main written versions or "recensions" in 12th century manuscripts, the first a compilation largely written in Old Irish, the second a more consistent work in Middle Irish.
The first consists of a partial text in the Lebor na hUidre (the "Book of the Dun Cow"), a late 11th/early 12th century manuscript compiled in the monastery at Clonmacnoise, and another partial text of the same version in the 14th century manuscript called the Yellow Book of Lecan. These two sources overlap, and a complete text can be reconstructed by combining them. Many of the episodes are superb, written in the characteristic terse prose of the best Old Irish literature, but others are cryptic summaries, and the whole is rather disjointed. Parts of this recension can be dated from linguistic evidence to the 8th century, and some of the verse passages may be even older.
Thomas Kinsella's The Táin (1969, Oxford University Press) and Ciarán Carson's The Táin (2007, Penguin Classics). Both are based primarily on the first recension with passages added from the second, although they differ slightly in their selection and arrangement of material. Cecile O'Rahilly has published academic editions/translations of both recensions, Táin Bó Cúailnge from the Book of Leinster (1967) and Táin Bó Cúailnge Recension 1 (1976), as well as an edition of the later Stowe Version (1984), a variant version of recension 2 in more modern language, with a few extra passages. Winifred Faraday's The Cattle-Raid of Cualnge (1904) translates the first recension, and Joseph Dunn's The Ancient Irish Epic Tale Táin Bó Cúailnge (1914) translates the second, with passages added from the first recension and the Stowe version.
The Táin: from the Irish epic Táin Bó Cualinge
Thomas Kinsella, Louis Le Brocquy
Oxford University Press, 2002
The tain: a new translation of the Táin Bó Cúailnge
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult (February 21, 2008)
How important is it to have these translations and what do readers gain from the modern translation and what do they lose from the original language