This paper analyses the history of the category originality, which is a conditio sine qua non of any authorship. It takes as a starting point Lotmanćsmodels of "aesthetics of identity", characteristic for the Middle Ages, and "aesthetics of difference", which prevailed in the last centuries. It owes a lot also to Mortier's thesis that originality became an artistic criterium already in the period of the Enlightenment, and not only later, in those of Romanticism and Modernism, as we usually think. The changing of the concept of the authorship over the centuries had its consequences also for the changing of the status of translation: in the Middle Ages a translation was always an adaptation as well; the rise of the Author to the throne of the absolute Creator of the artistic world caused the fall of the status of translators, since their activity was seen as secondary. This hierarchic relation lasted until recently, when Postmodernism in literature (Borges) and phenomenology and reception theory (Rezeptionästhetik) rehabilitated translators in the field of literary criticism. The thesis about the death of the Author could be traced implicitly already in Mallarmé's poetics; explicitly it was developed by Valéry. The writer of this article, a poet himself, is convinced that the Postmodern limitation of the arrogance of the Author was necessary, but that repeating Barthes' slogan about the death of the Author is no longer productive: we live in a period when the global economy is based on copyrights, which Capital is trying to steal from their original creators and owners - authors who are alive and kicking.