A Portrait of Franc Omerza
Franc Omerza (1885-1940) was a high-school teacher, translator, and the mentor of a drama club. After graduating in theology at Ljubljana, he was ordained in 1908. He studied classical philology in Vienna and started teaching Latin and Greek at the Ljubljana Diocesan Classical Gymnasium in 1913. He is important primarily as a translator of ancient literature (the Iliad and a part of the Odyssey, Sophocles' Philoctetes and Oedipus the King, Aeschylus' Oresteia etc.) and the Greek Fathers of the Church. The translations were published in the periodicals Dom in svet and Mentor, the latter edited for a while by Omerza himself. However, he only published three books: the first half of Homer's Iliad and two volumes of selections from the Fathers of the Church. As the mentor of the school drama club, he directed several plays, the most important being the first Slovene performances of Aeschylus' Oresteia and Sophocles' Oedipus the King. It can be assumed from Omerza's correspondence and other contemporary sources that he translated the complete text of Homer's Iliad, although the translation is now lost. This fact has hitherto escaped the historical researches into Slovene literary translation.
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