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Loeb Classical Library

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Mrz. 17, 2008, 8:36pm

Anybody collect these? I just started. They are amazing little books.


I've been reading Xenophon in a Loeb book & fell in love with them. There are many editions going back to 1909 and there are over 500 volumes. Great fun again, eBay,etc.

Mrz. 17, 2008, 10:00pm

i have the Loeb 'Iliad' (A.T. Murray).
i'm not crazy about that particular translation, but the facing English/Greek printing is outstanding!

i would love to collect these, but they're a bit beyond my budget at the moment.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 17, 2008, 10:07pm

I started collecting them once, and then foolishly stopped when my profs always assigned the OCT instead. I've since seen the error of my ways and returning to acquiring Loebs when I see them reasonably priced, which isn't very often. I only have 20 so far.

Some of the translations are a bit dated, but I really love the fact that they generally follow the Greek/Latin pretty closely.

Mrz. 18, 2008, 7:05am

Used book stores and Ebay are my sources for Loeb Classics. There are several different editions and multiple translations for many of the titles, so you have to be careful when assembling a set of a particular author. In some cases, it doesn't matter much, but more so in others. For instance, the newer translation of Aristophanes has restored all the bawdy profanity of the original Greek, conveniently excised or altered by the original translators.

Mrz. 18, 2008, 9:20am

Loebs are good if you need to quickly skim a text in the Latin or Greek, not to mention their adorableness, but it is true that some of the older ones have archaic translations (I think they're working on revising a lot of the older ones). My students certainly know better than to try bringing them into class, though - no translations allowed! :)

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 20, 2008, 7:03am

My favorite Loebs are the ones where they chose NOT to do a translation on the opposite page.

In particular I'm thinking of thinking of the poems of Catullus. So if you don't read Latin, you don't get the 'naughty bits'. ; }

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 20, 2008, 7:02am

oops. too many copies. now how did that happen?

Mrz. 20, 2008, 10:58am

>6 ThePam:

As I recall, they're often translated into French or Italian. Maybe I'm thinking of Martial.

Cataloging Loebs was one main impetus to LibraryThing. I collect them, and basically buy used whenever I see a book. That means I never know exactly what Aeschylus I have. So I was forever calling up my wife and asking her to check.

Anyway, the crap thing is that I don't have them all in yet. When LibraryThing took off I was only part-way through, and I moved upstairs to take an open apartment as my office. My books got all mixed up—cataloged and not. Clearly I have to delete everything and start over. Yuck.

Mrz. 20, 2008, 12:42pm

Arrgh! That can be so frustrating #8.

I'm in the process of boxing up my books. Originally I was trying to put them into categories... and then I discovered LT. Now I can box them up any which way. HOWEVER, now I have to go back and open up the ones that were boxed so I can make notes on what is actually in them. So I feel your pain.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 20, 2008, 2:25pm

I love Loebs.

I have 44 tagged in my library, all of which are currently in boxes some 3,500 miles away. There will be a tear-jerking reunion later this year, at which point I'll be able to find out what the other 20 or so titles I have are, but can't bring to mind from a distance.

Mrz. 20, 2008, 4:02pm

#6 & 8: I particularly enjoy it when they translate the naughty Latin into Greek, which I guess means that if you're 'educated' enough to know the 'harder' language, you get to read those bits (total bollocks, of course; being a Latinist I defy those who think Greek the better language!)

Mrz. 20, 2008, 4:05pm

#8 tim: I'm trying to convince my small Classics department to start our own joint account on LibraryThing, so that we can see at a glance what we each have on our office shelves, and this too comes from frustration of not knowing who has what Loeb or OCT or Teubner editions. Hopefully soon I'll convince them to do it!

Mrz. 20, 2008, 6:14pm

>11 scaifea:

Oh, pshaw. Latin had about two centuries of good lit., most of it just warmed-over Hellenistic poetry. Greek has a millennium at least! :)

>12 scaifea:

That's exactly the sort of thing LT was designed to do. Did you know they can all have their own accounts and then make a "group" that includes all of them. That way you can search everyone, but you can also keep stuff separate.


Mrz. 20, 2008, 6:35pm

"Oh, pshaw. Latin had about two centuries of good lit., most of it just warmed-over Hellenistic poetry. Greek has a millennium at least! :) "

oooh, strong counterpunch to the body! (lol!)

Mrz. 20, 2008, 7:07pm

There's a good reply, though: Pedicabo et irrumabo vos.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 20, 2008, 7:36pm

do you dare translate?

Mrz. 20, 2008, 7:46pm

That's exactly the sort of thing LT was designed to do. Did you know they can all have their own accounts and then make a "group" that includes all of them. That way you can search everyone, but you can also keep stuff separate.

I think this fails. I want to browse a group catalogue, not just search it.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 21, 2008, 12:44am


Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo,
Aureli pathice et cinaede Furi,
qui me ex versiculis meis putastis,
quod sunt molliculi, parum pudicum.
Nam castum esse decet pium poetam
ipsum, versiculos nihil necesse est;
qui tum denique habent salem ac leporem,
si sunt molliculi ac parum pudici,
et quod pruriat incitare possunt,
non dico pueris, sed his pilosis,
qui duros nequeunt movere lumbos.
Vos, quod milia multa basiorum
legistis, male me marem putatis?
Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo.

--Gaius Valerius Catullus

My somewhat loose translation is as follows:

Fuck you both and suck my dick
Swishy Aurelius and queeny Furius
For thinking me, because my verses
are rather sissy, not quite decent.
Although the true poet should be pure
himself, his poems don't have to be.
Indeed, they have only flavor and charm
if they are sissy and indecent
and when they can incite arousal,
I don't speak of boys, but big hairy guys
who have difficulty moving their limbs.
You, because you've read of my many thousand kisses
believe that I'm not really manly?
Fuck you both and suck my dick.

This is not my translation. I lifted it from the web.


Mrz. 20, 2008, 9:04pm

Amusing Cattalus. That's the kind of stuff that old translation would have white-washed. My spanking new Aristophanes has some great dirty lines in it which I know never appeared in earlier editions.

I only have eight Loeb's so far (sigh!), but I hope to have a couple of hundred one day!

Mrz. 20, 2008, 9:11pm

Nice. Good stuff.

To quibble: I'd say Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo is, I think, not a dismissal but a threat—literally "I will bugger you and rape you orally." (There's something to a language that has an active verb for the latter.) Anyway, it's hard to translate the sexual implications—the implied sexual world—into English. "Swishy" and "queeny," while derogatory, don't have the same perverted, abject flavor of pathicus and cinaedus, pathic and a synonym.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 20, 2008, 9:12pm

If you buy all the Loeb's at once, you get a discount.


Mrz. 20, 2008, 9:13pm

God, I know. Wouldn't that be grand?

Mrz. 20, 2008, 9:14pm

Seven grand, I think.


Mrz. 20, 2008, 9:18pm

I really dislike the word "bugger". It doesn't sound nearly offensive enough.

Mrz. 20, 2008, 9:29pm


Mrz. 20, 2008, 9:34pm

"I really dislike the word "bugger". It doesn't sound nearly offensive enough."

it sure did when my English grandmother used to yell it at me as when i was constantly underfoot...
"Bugger off, or i'll lock you in the coal shed!"

Mrz. 20, 2008, 9:34pm

Yeah, that would be better. Maybe "I'll fuck your ass and face" for the whole line?

Mrz. 20, 2008, 9:37pm

>26 Enodia: That's part of the problem: it's too English. For a North American, translating into British English is almost as bad as translating into some other foreign language; the impact is lessened because it's not a phrase I hear people saying to each other. I didn't have the benefit of an English grandmother :)

Mrz. 20, 2008, 9:49pm

23:And think of the shipping cost.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 20, 2008, 9:51pm

pity, that. she was a great old broad!

and post #27 is closer to the translation i was thinking of... far more graphic and effective.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 21, 2008, 12:45am

I apologize. I think I left the impression that I claimed the translation of Catullus above. It is not my translation; I stole it from somebody on the world wide web. I copied the medial sentence with the rest of the stuff and didn't notice until now.


Mrz. 21, 2008, 1:01am

I love this thread. It's gotta have the highest ratio of filthy-language to the-expectation-of-filthy-language anywhere on LT. I mean, I think we hit an LT record for filthy language. But it's in the ancient history group about a translation series!


Mrz. 21, 2008, 2:01am

Can anyone recommend a dictionary that includes the "naughty" definitions? Is there such a thing for classical Greek? I have Henderson's The Maculate Muse. Any other suggestions?

Thank you,

Mrz. 21, 2008, 2:06am

Mrz. 21, 2008, 6:25am

Here's the example Loeb's web page gives of the different translations: 'As an example, in the new Loeb translation of Women at the ThesmophoriaAristophanes, two characters are discussing the poet Agathon, notorious in Athens for his promiscuous homosexuality:
Euripides: You've never seen him?
Kinsman: Absolutely not, as far as I know.
Euripides: Well, you must have fucked him ...
In an earlier Loeb edition, the final line of this excerpt was translated: "I fear there's much you don't remember, sir." A footnote then gave in Latin the real meaning of the Greek line. '

Mrz. 21, 2008, 8:58am

It's extremely difficult to accurately translate that Catullus poem (esp. the first line) into English - it's not just about sexual content, in fact it's much more about power over others and power over how others perceive you. Anyway, don't get me started - no one wants me to go into lecture-mode!

I heard an interesting story about the author of Latin Sexual Vocabulary, although I can't vouch for it's authenticity: the author is/was (I'm not sure if he's still around at this point) quite prim and proper - the typical Classics prof stereotype, but his students gave him the nickname Dirty Words Adams (his last name) because of this book, and apparently he really hated that. Great book, though.

tim - thanks for the tip about group vs separate accounts - I'll keep bugging them about doing it, since I know they'll love it once it's done.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 22, 2008, 7:21am

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Mrz. 21, 2008, 12:56pm

No, I want the lecture mode.

I agree that it's about power. Ancient sexual relations were all about that--the standard formulation being that modern sex is about who you're with, ancient about "who's doing what to who."

Mrz. 21, 2008, 1:16pm

tim: that's one of the hardest things, I think, to teach students about the ancient world - trying to get them to see that the idea of someone being 'gay' just didn't exist then.

Mrz. 21, 2008, 2:06pm

trying to get them to see that the idea of someone being 'gay' just didn't exist then

That is so true. As far as I have been able ever to uncover, the only truly homosexual man ever recorded in classical history was Augustus' adviser, Maecenas, who preferred only men.

Several years ago, when I was taking a class in Petronius, we read an article which discussed what is actually meant by the pejorative terms "cinnaedus" and "pathicus". The conclusion was that the subjects were passive males, rather than active ones, and not necessarily homosexual.

Mrz. 21, 2008, 2:15pm

As regards Loebs:

While some of the translations may be outdated, they are still a useful set, especially for authors that cannot be found in either OCTs or Teubners, and don't require the additional knowledge of French, in order to access the Budé editions.

Plus, their size makes them handy for travel on bed-time reading. Right now, I am re-reading some of Hesiod's minor works (or, works attributed to him).

Mrz. 21, 2008, 2:27pm

>39 scaifea:-40

I have some problems with the new orthodoxy here, which has, I think, some ideological roots too. The effort to reduce ancient sex to power and the endless noodling about the body get to me.* But the main point is fair enough. As much as I detest the "Alexander was/wasn't gay" argument—it dominates Wikipedia—he's another good candidate. Although not exclusive, his long relationship with a coeval was worth mentioning precisely because it's assumed he wasn't always the doer.

*My favorite anecdote, which, alas, I got at second-hand. Apparently Michigan's Clasisics dept. had a speaker about this topic. His point was that ancient depictions of sexuality--particularly on vases and etc.--were about male desire, not social reality. Fair enough. But anyway, he made this argument that one position in particular showed this--ones where the woman put her legs over the man's shoulder. Since this is physically impossible or uncomfortable, the vases were all about male desire. What? Anyway, this was a window into the guy's sex life, I suppose, and the willingness to see deeper meaning in what was merely a sad lack of sexual experimentation on his part. Apparently two graduate students offered to demonstrate the position on the carpet right there and then.

Mrz. 21, 2008, 3:11pm

#42: What, a Classicist who's sexually naive? Never! (heehee)

Again, the gay/not gay issue is difficult, because it's hard, within class discussion at least, for people to distinguish between the idea of 'would we call him gay?' and 'would the ancients call him gay?' and all the different wormcans both those questions crank open. It's always good for getting students to actually speak up in class, though. And is gets them nearly as riled up as my "Christianity is just a mystery cult" lecture. Hoohoo, *that's* always a fun day...

Mrz. 21, 2008, 3:24pm

Yeah, I might just have to pedicate you if you tried that lecture on me. ;)

Mrz. 21, 2008, 3:31pm

#44: *heehee*

How about the "Jesus and Socrates are the same character" lecture?

Mrz. 21, 2008, 3:45pm

What is that, the Jesus-was-a-wandering-provincial-Jewish-stoic argument?

Mrz. 21, 2008, 4:45pm

Yeah, sort of, I guess. Socrates was a peaceful teacher, who was 'crucified' (arguably unjustly) by those he was trying to help, and after his death he acquired a significant following of his teachings. There are more parallels, but it's Friday afternoon and my brain's tired.

At least it's not: If Socrates had died at the battle of Delos (? fact-check needed here on correct name of battle), Plato would have been a pre-Socratic. Honestly, I've heard that talk given (by a 'famous' Classicist/historian), and it wasn't pretty.

Mrz. 21, 2008, 6:26pm

The Socrates and Jesus parallel occurred to me independently one day for no particular reason, and I concluded that Socrates never gained the same kind of cult following precisely because he didn't claim to be a god and none of his "disciples" claim he rose from the dead. Food for thought.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 22, 2008, 6:06am

The Latin Sexual Vocabulary isn't nearly as exciting as it sounds.

But Catullus is great for dirty stuff, so is Horace!

As for the translation of Latin sexual terminology, sometimes it is just hard to find an English idiom that encapsulates the violence of the act, e.g. irrumabo.

I think the un-translate-ability of some Latin phrases makes it all worthwhile! :)


Mrz. 22, 2008, 4:59pm

By the way, for those of you shopping for new copies of Loeb classics, I have found the best prices consistently on Barnes & Noble online www.barnesandnoble.com -- with the Barnes & Noble membership card, of course. Used and new copies appear on eBay at outrageously inflated prices. I recently seen copies that are still in print new for $20-$24 retail on eBay at $60 and more plus inflated shipping charges . Not sure who buys these but the sellers are getting a kick out of it I'm sure.

Mrz. 22, 2008, 6:05pm

I have a thing for used Loebs.

Mrz. 22, 2008, 8:18pm

well, there's something kind of "romantic" in the book sense with regard to the used Loeb's. My first Loeb's were an old battered twin set of the Iliad -- I just thought they were soooo cool. Now I'm hooked.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 23, 2008, 2:19pm


It's the smell. They smell sooo good. Has to do with paper I imagine.

That and the fact that in the old days, no scholar would have sat hunched over them eating cheetos so there's no orange fingerprints ;

Mrz. 24, 2008, 12:21pm

#53: Haha! My trusty old Chamber Murray Latin dictionary has a streak of orange Cheetos residue on the side from my thumb-flipping-while-snacking over the years.

Mrz. 24, 2008, 1:07pm

You can hold that up as proof positive that you aren't an 'old' scholar.

(btw, chocolate is the worst. At least that's what I assume those dark smudges are. Could be blood I suppose ;)

Mrz. 24, 2008, 1:41pm

My most embarrassing "classics stain": handing back students' papers with wine rings on them. I've managed to avoid that recently, but it happened on more than one occasion when I was teaching as a grad student!

Mrz. 24, 2008, 2:40pm

I wish I had a paper with one of those.

Mrz. 24, 2008, 3:44pm

Man, my Catullus professor in college definitely picked all the boring ones. Of course, she was the type of lady who had probably never even heard of sex, but still...

Mrz. 24, 2008, 4:07pm

Well, Catullus is one of the AP options. I think it's safe to say the anal rape poetry wasn't going to show up on the AP.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 24, 2008, 5:49pm

#57 tim: It generally turned out to be a good thing for the students, since I tend to grade more leniently with a little alcohol in my system...

ETA: message reference, since it seemed confusing to cross over the Catullus conversation and back to the 'stain' conversation (although I'm sure there's a link somewhere to be made between Catullus and stains of some variety - sheesh, did I really just say that? ;) )

Mrz. 24, 2008, 8:16pm

>56 scaifea: Scaifea, I've been had the honour of having coffee stains on more than one of my philosophy papers...

>60 scaifea: Catullus and stains... well, yes I suppose there is a connection of sorts. At least it's not Propertius writing about watching his friend have sex... That's disturbing, especially if you're reading it for class!

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 25, 2008, 9:24am

And I suppose molestation by fish, and gargling with urine are out for AP classes as well.

(Ya know, there'd be alot more interest in classical studies if they didn't sterilize so much of the literature)

Mrz. 25, 2008, 10:21am

-> 59 But this was in a class of maybe 8 people in a fairly liberal college! My high school Latin teacher was much more frank with us. Sounds like I needed more teachers like Scaifea (wine rings and all).

This thread made me go down to the makeshift library in my office and lovingly leaf through the Loebs. Sadly, we don't have any Catullus. I had students catalog all of our journals last summer, and now I'm kicking myself that I didn't just get a LT account and a couple of cuecats for them.

Mrz. 25, 2008, 3:47pm

Now that we are all having a new or renewed love affair with Loeb's, we need to happen upon a cache of used Loeb's at good prices we can all harvest from. Keep your eyes open!

Mrz. 25, 2008, 3:51pm

I'd love it if LT could allow you to catalog by LCL numbers. Just type LCL10 and you'd get the full info. (Of course, it might not get the edition just right.) Then I could catalog the rest of my Loebs just sitting here in front of my shelf, reading the numbers off the spine.

Mrz. 25, 2008, 3:57pm

Mrz. 25, 2008, 4:43pm

tim: Oh, lovely idea!

BTW: I have an extra copy of volume two of Pliny's Letters. It's an old enough edition that it doesn't have an LCL number on the spine, but it corresponds to the newer edition #59, sort of (the old edition contains books 7-10 of the letters and the newer one has books 8-10 and Panegyricus). If anyone's interested in adopting this lovely, slightly worn (with a very slightly warped cover), little loeb, just let me know and I'll send it to you (first-come first-served, of course).

Mrz. 25, 2008, 4:47pm

I have that, alas.

Doesn't it have the LCL inside?

Mrz. 25, 2008, 4:48pm

tim: Not that I can find (although that's not saying a whole lot. It's been a really really long day here).

Mrz. 25, 2008, 5:35pm

scaifea i would be interested in that, if it is still available.

what do i have to do?

Mrz. 25, 2008, 7:45pm

uhh ... I think he said he'd send it to you no charge if you can translate it from latin into greek (lol)

Mrz. 26, 2008, 4:44am


for that i might need a wine ring as well.

Mrz. 26, 2008, 8:45am

Enodia: If you post your address in a comment on my profile, I'll send it along to you.

Garp83: she, not he - hard to tell from my username, I know. And my Greek is rusty enough that I'd really prefer to stick with Pliny in the Latin (I can read Greek, but I'd just prefer not to).

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 26, 2008, 11:06am

I've belatedly come across this thread today - I'm a bit surprised to find it here as it seems more like a thread from Lingua Latina. Loeb editions are very seductive - particularly for minds like mine that get side tracked into the by-ways of classical iterature. I was far too busy reading Procopius, Lucian and Athenaeus when I should have been reading mainstream stuff in high school. :)

The Loeb translation of Procopius (Secret History) was fairly full of Latin translations to spare blushes. Even Longinus' Daphnis and Chloe didn't escape the Latin version treatment for some passages.

The discussion of rendering erotic classical poetry into a modern idiom that reflects the earthiness and power of the original is interesting. The new Loeb Aristophanes versions must have provided the translator with some amusement - I think he's made a good stab at capturing the original double entendres in many passages that present not inconsiderable challenges.

How to do Catullus justice in an English version is a perennial problem. I think it a great shame that the poet W H Auden never tried his hand at a version. Those who have read Auden's suppressed poems can't help but feel that he might well have been inspired by Catullus. He was a competent classicist. Just look at lines like: "He rocked to the shock of my cock" and you almost immediately start scratching around in Catullus to see where he got the idea from.

There is another well-known English classicist poet/playwright - Tony Harrison - who might also be able to do Catullus justice. He did an interesting recreation of Martial's epigrams in his book U.S. Martial - and his inspired play The Trackers of Oxyrrhynchus triumphantly (and shockingly for some) brought Ichneutai to life. See http://www.terrydavies.com/musicanddance/thetrackers.html for what the satyrs looked like in one production. When I saw it some of the audience audibly gasped when the satyrs sprang out of the cases. The Greeks loved it when it was peformed (in English) at Epidaurus.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 26, 2008, 12:13pm

#74 -- re. http://www.terrydavies.com/musicanddance/thetrackers.html

Good grief.

I met Barry Rutter, pictured in the link above, at a conference in Athens in the mid-1990s where his wife Carol Rutter was giving a paper, although sadly he wasn't in that costume. Later, in a restaurant, he somehow cajoled everyone into singing party-piece songs. I seem to recall that they tackled some English folk song or other, and had very fine voices.

I ended up drinking steins of lager with some Swedes in a seedy bar under a overpass, who enlightened me as to the fact that my surname (a corruption from the Swedish) does not in fact mean 'spur of land extending into the sea', which I thought suitably wistful and romantic for a literature PhD, but rather 'plank', which is unquestionably more appropriate.

Mrz. 26, 2008, 4:20pm

re #73: Amber, I am sorry sorry for stripping away your gender from you ... that was rude of me! I was startled when I checked your profile & saw the picture, (OMG I Got it ALL WRONG!) and so relieved when I learned it was your border collie (lol)

anyway, great profile & eclectic reading taste ... and you can read Greek?!! I am not worthy ....

Mrz. 27, 2008, 6:51am

Big sale at my local used bookstore today & he has several hundred Loeb's so ... my family better hide the bill money cuz I'm on my way...

Mrz. 27, 2008, 9:20am

Garp83: LOL! No one has ever mistaken me for Tuppence (the border collie) - most people know that she's *way* smarter than me :)

Good luck with the book sale - let us know what Loebs you pick up!

Mrz. 29, 2008, 2:50pm

I picked up 3 out of 4 of the Loeb Thucydides volumes for a total of $25 at the sale -- sweet! On the way there, I passed a library that was having an huge book sale with everything -- including hard cover histories -- at 50 cents. I spent some time (and $6!) there, as well!

Mrz. 29, 2008, 6:17pm

I'm jealous Garp83! Congrats on spending so little, but getting so much!

Mrz. 29, 2008, 6:58pm

no kidding. i want to move to Garp's neighborhood!

Mrz. 29, 2008, 7:07pm


Big sale at my local used bookstore today & he has several hundred Loeb's

I saw your comment, and I have to ask: where?

Mrz. 30, 2008, 5:06pm

Troubadour bookstore in North Hadley MA -- Western Massachusetts -- it's a great used bookstore all year round, but 35% off sure makes it even better!

Apr. 1, 2008, 10:56pm

Thanks for that.

Raven in N'hampton is on my list of 'must-visit-when-I'm-en-route-to Boston' bookstores, I'll try to take a look at Troubadour sometime soon.

Apr. 2, 2008, 5:17am

Raven is not bad; there are actually several used book stores in Northampton. Prices are a bit inflated throughout. Troubadour has a better depth and a more friendly price structure IMHO. It is also a block away from another used bookstore which is not nearly as great, but while you're in the neighborhood ...

Apr. 7, 2008, 1:59pm

I too went through a period of Loeb hunting. It was a few years ago and I have about 50. I dont know how many because rather than put them all together where admittedly they would look nicer. I keep them with any other texts I have of the same Greek or Latin authors.
One reason I rather went off them is the small amount of text there is on each page. So that if a Latin author writes long sentences (as many do) it is hard to grasp the sense when you only get to the main verb 2 pages further ahead.
BTW I just rememberd that I once attended a series of lectures by a retired school teacher who mentioned that he was the translator of one the Loeb series (?Lucian). I was amazed at this I assumed they had all died at least 50 years ago.

Apr. 7, 2008, 2:52pm

"One reason I rather went off them is the small amount of text there is on each page. So that if a Latin author writes long sentences (as many do) it is hard to grasp the sense when you only get to the main verb 2 pages further ahead."

yeah i can understand that, although it doesn't bother me too much with the Loebs.
however i recently finished the Forgotten Books edition of 'The Argonautica' (R.C. Seaton translation, same as the Loeb). in this one each page is divided into two columns, one in English and the other in Greek. now THAT was frustrating as hell, and i really had a hard time keeping the sense of continuity from page to page.
i will never again buy such a book.

Forgotten Books, if you are reading this... cut that shit out!

Apr. 8, 2008, 3:15pm

I haven't come across The 'Forgotten books' series. It presumably doesn't include 'the Forgotten books of Eden' which was rather dissapointing and makes the old testament apocrypha sound more interesting than it really is.
I was interested to see you are reading the Argonautica. I have only read the Pengiun translation though I do own a parallel Greek /Latin text (also in 2 columns in the Firmin-Didot edition.
Apollonius' Greek is far too difficult for me. The Latin version is o.k. but odd too with weird hyphenated compound words invented as presumably the closest he could get to the Greek but I have never seen these anywhere else.

Apr. 8, 2008, 4:46pm

we (my wife and i) started with the Penguin translation, but it seemed a bit too... sterile?... so we ordered the Seaton from Amazon. i haven't been very impressed with E.V. Rieu in the past (Homer), so it didn't surprise me that his Argonautica wasn't what i hoped for.
i was aware of the criticisms that Seaton's text was a bit ponderous, but that didn't bother me much at the time. however, that combined with the difficult format AND far too many typos made it difficult going by the end.

Apr. 8, 2008, 4:57pm

Your mention of E V Rieu's Homer made me quite nostalgic. It was one of the first boooks I ever bought I still have that copy bought in 1967 (I was 12) Then I thought it odd when he wrote of the fallen heroes 'biting the dust' (this seemed straight out of the wild west) Though when I started to learn some Greek I realised it wasnt too far from a literal translation. I think the Greek is something like 'gnaw the earth' I think Reiu is still held up as a pioneer of popularising ancient literature at a time when people were losing interest.

Apr. 8, 2008, 6:07pm

A few years ago, the library where I work got an entire new set of the Loebs. They're a nightmare to catalog! still trying to sort some of them out 3 years later. (Unfortunately, someone in our acquisitions dept. kept the t-shirt that comes as gift when you buy the whole set...)

The Greek Anthology was subjected to some Greek>Latin translations as well:
"Puerorum, O Diodore, vascula in tres formas cadunt, quarum disce cognomenta. Adhuc enim intactam lalu nuncupa, eam quae turgescere modo incipit coco, quae vero jam ad manum agitatur, dic lacertam ; perfectior autem scis quomodo appellanda sit."

Finally revised to English in the '70s.

> 69
On the old printings, the vol. numbering is sometimes stamped on the back cover, in the lower right corner, but without any gold-leafing so it's hard to see.

> 86
Some of the originally planned volumes did not apear until comparatively recently, so not surprising that some of the translators are still around. Like, they didn't finally complete the 23-vol. set of Aristotle until 1991--the last vol. of the History of Animals, I think.

Apr. 23, 2008, 12:19pm

I like Loebs. My main impetus for buying them is that they have things in translation that you can't find translated anywhere else. My Latin's bad, and my Greek nonexistent, so I wouldn't buy a Loeb for a work for which there's another easily-obtained translation available.

But I'm always happy when I end up "having" to buy a Loeb. They're charming. The small size, the bright red and green covers and dust-jackets, the fact that they're hardback books . . I try to avoid the whole "books as commodity fetish" thing, but Loebs are a seduction in the opposite direction, at least for me.

I remember some years back, Martha Stewart was using entire sets of Loebs purely as decorating accents. If memory serves, she bought her daughter all the Latin translations as a wedding gift purely to serve as a red accent for a certain room. This is gauche, but I figure at least this means more Loebs bought, and more impetus for HUP to continue publishing them.

HUP also has a similar series of translated Latin works from the Renaissance named the I Tatti Renaissance Library. My wife has one, and there are a few I'm considering getting at some point. They're very nice, but I wish they were the same small size as the Loebs. Their size just makes them far less portable.

Apr. 23, 2008, 5:47pm

I discovered whilst cooking that a Loeb fits into my dressing-gown pocket. Loebs are awesome.

Apr. 23, 2008, 5:52pm

Perhaps Martha Stewart should reach up on the shelf, pull off the Loeb vol. 254, and read this on p. 249:

"... let just as many books be acquired as are enough, but none for mere show. ... For it is in the houses of the laziest men that you will see a full collection of orations and history with the boxes piled right up to the ceiling; for by now among cold baths and hot baths a library also is a necessary ornament of a great house. I would readily pardon these men if they were led astray by their excessive zeal for learning. But as it is, these collections of the works of sacred genius with all the portaits that adorn them are bought for show and a decoration of their walls." — Seneca, De tranquillitate animi, IX, 4-7 (in Moral essays, Vol. 2)

Apr. 23, 2008, 7:39pm

I think the attraction of Loebs for me, aside from the aesthetic, is they make finding things so fast. I can skim read the English until I find the comment I'm looking for then go through the original with a fine-tooth comb.

Reading through this thread reminded me of A-levels. Our Latin teacher was ..inspiring. We had wine-stained and smiley-stamped papers and chocolate muffins as standard. Once she went through a whole load of our old text-books (by which I mean c.1920's extract books) finding the dirty bits and reading the German translations that were given before discussing the Latin.
She also enticed people to take Classical Studies by asking them what other subject allowed them to read sex guides, look at porn and debate the ethics of suicide, murder and incest.

Apr. 24, 2008, 2:25am

"Perhaps Martha Stewart should reach up on the shelf, pull off the Loeb vol. 254, and read this on p. 249:"

hey Proclus, nice pull!

Apr. 24, 2008, 8:22am

#94 Proclus: LOL! Good one!
#95 LittteKnife: She sounds like my kind of gal, and it sounds like you had a great Latin experience, and I love to hear those kinds of stories.

Apr. 24, 2008, 11:56am

It's giving me stomach pain to defend Martha Stewart, I think she bought the set for her daughter, who really *did* study classics.

Apr. 24, 2008, 1:11pm

I did not know that. I bet that's what provided Martha with the idea.


""We have had orders, for the entire sets for interior decorating purposes," the professor said. Martha Stewart, for instance, has the entire set. In her magazine a few years ago, they were featured in her daughter's kitchen. There was a section of built-in bookcases in the kitchen with the green Greek Loebs in it, as a decorative touch, and on the end along with all these mixers and coffee makers and ovens and things, there was the Loeb Classical Library. Martin Scorsese bought a set."

I think I remember Loebs being used in layouts in a few more issues of Martha Stewart's Living at the time too. I can just imagine the purchasing decisions this touched off . . .

"Ah, the Greek translations have just the green to accent those curtains in the foyer. Much better than the ghastly light blue of the I Tattis. It's a Good Thing."

Apr. 24, 2008, 6:45pm

>90 PhilipMF:

I think 'bite the dust' also appears in a choral ode in the Agamemnon. I wonder who first translated it that way?

Apr. 28, 2008, 10:22am

>47 scaifea: That would be Delium (at least that's the battle Socrates gained most glory for fighting at)

Apr. 28, 2008, 12:49pm

Donogh: Good call. I knew it started with a 'D' but was too lazy to look it up, and Greek History is definitely not my area of expertise.

Mai 1, 2008, 9:51pm

Barnes & Noble online has many of the Loebs, and they are only $19.20 (new!) if you have a B&N member card. And they even take PayPal payment. Every day I troll the list and fight back the urge to order more ...

Mai 2, 2008, 1:48am

>94 Proclus:. I love Seneca! He's so awesome... There might be some reason why I'm writing my thesis on him... Hmm....

Mai 2, 2008, 4:46pm

Wow. The world needs people who like Seneca. I'm glad you're taking up the charge, not me!

Mai 2, 2008, 6:00pm

Hear, hear! Would that some of our leaders had the wherewithal to get into a nice warm tub and open a vein as noble acknowledgement that they have screwed the pooch.

Mai 4, 2008, 2:36am

>105 timspalding: I'm more than happy too. I feel like the academic tradition has screwed him over a bit and he hasn't yet been fully appreciated.

People should at least pick up a few of his letters to Lucillius (Epistulae Morales), they are wonderful and very very short.

>106 Makifat: That really wasn't his reason for committing suicide. He may have felt severe regret that Nero turned out to be a megalomaniac, but his suicide was the noble thing to do in that circumstance according to Seneca. Just look at how much praise he affords Cato the younger for having the guts to rip out his own guts.... hmm.

Mai 4, 2008, 12:22pm

No, Seneca was many things, but certainly not a screw-up!

Regarding the nobility of the suicide thing, it was pretty clear that Seneca was to die. The question was whether he would chose his own time and method, or have the humiliation of being publically accused and killed like a common criminal. For a person of his rank, the latter was unthinkable, and of course there is the mafia-like compassion of allowing his family to hold onto his considerable wealth, which I assume would have been confiscated if they had had to "come get" him.

I don't know to what extent the first century Romans (particularly those of higher social standing) subscribed to the idea of a "good death", or whether that is a medieval concept. I suppose I should brush up on Stoic ideas and attitudes regarding death.

What's the consensus regarding whether Seneca was involved in a real conspiracy against Nero?

Mai 5, 2008, 5:14pm

It seems that Seneca is enjoying a bit of a comeback at the moment. There's been a resurgence of scholarship on him recently, and a rising number of dissertations being written on a particular topic or author is always a good indication that said topic/author is becoming a 'hot' one again. A good friend of mine finished her diss last year on 'Philosophy and Erotics in Seneca's Epistulae Morales'.

Stevia - mind telling us in particular what you're working on with Seneca (I'm a Seneca fan myself)?

Mai 7, 2008, 3:49am

>108 Makifat: I'm not sure whether or not Seneca was really involved in a plot against Nero. Nero wasn't afraid to have people killed when it suited him.

Also Seneca definately has a concept of a good death. Unfortunately I don't have any of my books on me at the moment, but for a man to be able to scorn life and instrument his own death in spite of fata was a noble thing to do.

>109 scaifea: Scaifea, I'm fully aware that there is a resurgence in Seneca. My supervisior is absolutely chuffed that he's making a come back!

I'm working Senecan philosophy and tragedy through an analysis of the Troades. I love his philosophy and his poetry. I'm one of the few who actually love both!

Mai 7, 2008, 8:21am

Stevia: Sounds like you've found a good niche within a growing field, which is a very good thing - good luck!

Mai 9, 2008, 12:18pm

My favourite 'a bit dated' translation is Herbert Weir Smyth's, starting at line 46 of Agamemnon "Loud rang the battle-cry they uttered in their rage, even as eagles scream, that, in lonely grief for their brood, driven by the oarage of their pinions, wheel high over their eyries, for that they have lost their toil of guarding their nurslings' nest." I found myself turning to the Greek for clarification. Love my Loebs though - they give me the impression that my Greek is much better than it really is.

Mai 9, 2008, 12:23pm

All the Catullus comments are funny. At school in the Swinging Sixties we had an edition in which all the rude poems were printed separately at the back of the book, without translations, of course. I spent many a happy lesson flicking to the back of the book and trying to puzzle them out - without success, as I've since realised that I wouldn't have understood even an English version very well. Innocent days!

Mai 9, 2008, 11:04pm

Re: Catullus (gee, he's getting a good work out on this thread!) For Latin we recently did 29 and 93.

I had fun translating "ista uestra diffututa mentula" (29.13) for the rest of the class.

93 is "Nil nimium studeo, Caesar, tibi uelle placare,
nec scire utrum sis albus an ater homo"

Which I translated as "I am not overly keen to want to be pleasing to you, Caesar,
Nor to know whether you are white man or black man"
Another translator (I'm not sure who now) tried to "capture the spirit". His translation was,

"Caesar, Caesar who?"

Some people take artistic liberties WAY too far!

Mai 10, 2008, 8:28am

Stevia: I love 93 and always have my students read it. There are some potentially sexual overtones in the 'black or white' business, but that's not really what fascinates me about it. I love how biting the insult is here. Instead of writing a lavishly crude and offensive poem about Caesar, he simply says that he doesn't care about him, not even enough to put the effort into the insult, and by doing so, he insults Caesar more so than he does most. Great stuff. I like to tell my students to think about when they'll be going to their 10-year high school reunion, and imagine the look on the face of the person they least liked if they were to say to them, "I'm sorry, I'm afraid I just don't remember you." Pretty sinister and cutting.

Mai 10, 2008, 7:53pm

Scaifea: I don't think we can really say what the 'black and white' actually means. I think it's one of those cultural references lost in the vortex. But I do like the spirit of the poem, particularly because he is talking about the most well-known individual of the time.
It is really great that you teach that poem. I fell in love with it and can recite it now. It's the sheer flippancy that Caesar's not even worth an insult that makes it brilliant.
Unfortunately it's too short to be on my exam :(. Oh well, if I get Lucan on the exam, I'll be a happy student!

Mai 11, 2008, 8:17am

Stevia: In the commentary section of The Student's Catullus, the black/white issue is referred to as possibly being a reference to a Greek way of talking about whether one is the dominant or submissive partner. I'm far from being an expert in Greek sexual terminology, so perhaps Garrison is incorrect...

Mai 11, 2008, 10:05am

Hello all! I'm a new member here. As you can see from my Library, I'm a Loeb fanatic. I have found the Barnes & Noble website to be the best deal. If you're a BN member, the price is a little under $20 and shipping is free if you buy a few at a time.
Like many of the posts I've read here, I love their size, the colors, the ease of use. Another thing that I love about them is the high quality paper. it is much smoother than most books. I love to touch them while i read.....Sorry. Don't get me started!

Anyway, as a layman and a history enthusiast, the Loeb series has made available the primary sources that used to be the sole pervue of the professional scholars.

SO far, i've mostly coloected the historians, but I plan on expanding to the poets, playwrites, and philosophers in the future.

I look forward to exchanging prespectives on this wonderful series.


Mai 12, 2008, 3:01am

Scaifea: That would fit in wonderfully with all of the other rumours about Caesar. Thanks for pointing that out, I'll chase it up!

Mai 15, 2008, 5:08pm

I know a lot more about ancient Greek culture than Roman, but I remember reading in Robin Lane Fox that Roman homosexuality among the upper classes usually only involved slaves, with the slaves of course in the submissive role. Apparently, Caesar was rumoured to have broken this tradition, which was used against him by his political enemies. I find it interesting that the "black or white" comment could refer to that in a slang derogatory way. The Nicomedes comment below is hysterical. Hmmm ... I am probably learning more about Caesar than I ever wanted to know ... I wonder if there was an ancient expression for "TOO MUCH INFORMATION" (lol)

From Wikipedia:

Male lovers In ancient Rome: male homosexuality was common and widespread throughout society, especially amongst the upper classes. However, it was thought to be improper for a freeborn boy or man to be penetrated anally as Caesar was alleged to have been in his youth. For a man or boy to participate in the passive role during anal sex, it generally indicated that they were a slave (the purchase of male slaves for sexual purposes was common in Rome) or one that had earned his freedom. Under Roman law, emancipated slaves may still be required to render certain services, including sexual ones, to their former master.

Roman society viewed the passive role during sex, regardless of gender, to be a sign of submission or inferiority. Indeed, it was said some soldiers sang mockingly of Caesar that, "Caesar may have conquered the Gauls, but Nicomedes conquered Caesar". According to Cicero, Bibulus, Gaius Memmius (whose account may be from firsthand knowledge), and others (mainly Caesar's enemies), he had an affair with Nicomedes III of Bithynia early in his career. The tales were repeated by some Roman politicians as a way to humiliate and degrade him. Caesar himself, according to Cassius Dio, denied the accusations under oath.


Mai 15, 2008, 10:46pm

Hey Garp,
The "Caesar may have Conquered the Gauls, but Nicomedes conquered Caesar" comes from Suetonius's Life of Caesar, 49.4
Here it is in Latin
"Gallias Caesar subegit, Nicomedes Caesarem:
ecce Caesar nunc triumphat qui subegit Gallias,
Nicomedes non triumphat qui subegit Caesarem."

As far as Roman "homosexuality" goes, I find that term anachronistic and it upsets me. But I've got nothing better. I think the real problem wasn't sex between men but the passive/dominant distinction.

Mai 16, 2008, 7:50am

Stevie -- thanx for the primary source! I wish I could read Latin or Greek -- I hope to do something about that soon ...

The problem with the term "homosexual" in this context is that it does not at all reflect the cultural bisexuality that was prevalent in the classical period, which had various sometimes contradictory expressions among the Greek city states and in the Roman World. But you are right -- we have no other word for it, probably because the Christians that crushed the classical world with their own peculiar culture tried to pretend such things didn't exist, a practice we see in Loeb translations -- as discussed earlier in this thread -- until quite recently.

Mai 22, 2008, 6:39pm

Just got a sale flyer in the mail from Harvard University Press with a whole catalog of Loeb titles. It is interesting that they are offering the entire set of 504 volumes for only $9072 -- $18 each -- lol .... Only Martha Stewart can afford that outlay ... You can enjoy discounts not quite as deep if you want just the entire Greek set of 325, which comes to $6240 -- only $19.20 each, or the entire Latin portion of 180 volumes for a similar discount of $3456. I think the standard Barnes & Noble per volume discount is less than that. At any rate, I was just thinking of buying a volume of Catullus so I could further appreciate this thread ....

Jun. 14, 2008, 12:26am

My professor used to joke that if you were reading Latin the dirty parts were given in Greek and if you were reading Greek the dirty parts were given in Latin. All in hope that you only knew one of the languages! Of course all of us intrepid scholars knew how to search for both.

Jun. 25, 2008, 11:36am

They re amazing. I have some, but they are sooo expensive. Found a two part Iliad in a used book store!

Jan. 20, 2009, 10:07pm

Just recently picked up two Aristophanes Loeb editions. Barnes & Noble has a real good price on these with membership $19.20 plus shipping, which is less than the Loeb site and much less than a number of titles new & used on eBay.


Today I got Aristophanes Volume 2 -- Loeb #488 -- "Clouds" - "Wasps" - "Peace".

the complete loeb catalog is at:


I have made a concerted effort to resist buying these but I can't ... seem ... to ...stop ...

Jan. 20, 2009, 11:33pm

Wow, interesting you dug this thread up... just tonight I bought the "Josephus II" one with the first two books of the Jewish Wars, and from xmas gift certificates I picked up Caesar's "Civil War".

Good books! I loooooooove having the original text on the left! Even if I can't quite decipher it, it looks cool and adds an extra "layer" to your reading experience.

Speaking of this, do you know of any other books that are done in the Loeb style (orig language on the left, modern English on the right)? The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf (which is great). I'd love to get like, The Canterbury Tales, Kalevala, or The Epic of Gilgamesh in this style... but then again I suppose "reading" tiny little cuneiform marks would get a bit tedious.. hehe

Jan. 21, 2009, 4:21am

"Speaking of this, do you know of any other books that are done in the Loeb style (orig language on the left, modern English on the right)?"

Forgotten Books does a similar parallel text with their classics, and much cheaper too (my Argonautica was only $10 new!).
however each page is divided into columns with the English translation on the left and the original language on the right. personally i find this to be quite awkward, as the lines of text are too short to get into a decent 'flow'. this seems to be especially annoying when trying to read verse.
i've also found a higher than usual rate of typos, so the old adage "you get what you pay for" seems to hold true here.

really, there is just no beating the Loebs!

Jan. 21, 2009, 5:46am

"Speaking of this, do you know of any other books that are done in the Loeb style (orig language on the left, modern English on the right)?"

You might also want to look at the Islamic Translation Series which includes:
The decisive treatise by Averroes
The Incoherence of the Philosophers by Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali
Middle Commentary on Aristotle's De anima by Averroës
The Metaphysics of The Healing by Avicenna

Unfortunately, they publish very rarely and it may be, for all I know, discontinued.


Jan. 21, 2009, 11:31am

The Mandelbaum "Divine Comedy" does it. E.g., The Divine Comedy I. Inferno.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 4, 2009, 3:44pm

One good way to buy Loebs is from B&N. With a $25 yearly membership, you get 20% off hardbacks. Loebs are $24 a book, but members can get them for $19.20 (so you nearly $5 a book). You get free shipping, but have to pay taxes (you can usually get coupons for 10-20% off to at least cover tax though). If you're serious about collecting and plan on buying more than five a year, it'll save you money.

edited: just saw a similar post by ontheroad (Message 118)

Mrz. 4, 2009, 8:36pm

Scott you are absolutely right! That's where I buy my Loebs, although i wish they packed them more carefully on shipping

Mrz. 4, 2009, 8:51pm

I've been picking them up here and there from Borders, whenever I get the coupons that are 30% off or more.

Still holding out for finding some über cheap at Book Barn in CT this summer :-D

Mrz. 5, 2009, 4:54am

I am dedicated to going to Book Barn as soon as the warm weather hits ...

Mrz. 5, 2009, 10:31am

132 >

There seems to be some quality problems with some Loeb editions. I've gotten some from Amazon and B&N that looked pretty rough for new books (mostly torn covers, but some also noticeably faded and bent or torn pages). Also, some editions have looked like they were mimeographed (poorly mimeographed at that). I once bought some directly from HUP. I figured paying full price (plus S&H) would be worth it if I was guarantied good quality books. Some of the worst copies I got came directly from the source. Best to buy from a store - at least you know what you are getting.

Mrz. 14, 2009, 8:14pm

133, 134

Why wait till summer? The good classical stuff is at the downtown Niantic store and there's no mud running through the floors over there!

I'm still pouting I missed the 30% off winter sale...

Mrz. 14, 2009, 8:23pm

I just ordered another Aristophanes from B&N -- I hope it arrives in good condition. I love my Loebs!

Mrz. 14, 2009, 10:18pm

Sandydog, I have to wait till the summer because I won't be in Connecticut until then ;-)

Mrz. 14, 2009, 10:22pm

I head up to The Cape at the end of June, and I'm planning a major detour to the Barn place!

Mrz. 14, 2009, 10:22pm

We could hold a party there for whoever can make it!

Mrz. 15, 2009, 8:36am

A LibraryThing field trip! I like that idea! Count me in ...

Mrz. 15, 2009, 10:27am

For those of you in the rest of the world, here's the site to this quirky Connecticut, USA used book store.


Bearbeitet: Mai 6, 2009, 11:31pm

Back when I was in university, I used the Loebs for my senior paper on Flavius Josephus. No, I didn't (still don't) read Greek, but the translations were in more modern English, rather easier to read than the florid early 18thC English of Whiston.

The problem with the Loebs is they are too darn small...it takes several volumes for each of Josephus' works. And cheap they are not. I used to have two or three in use at a given time. I sometimes imagined I would learn Greek by comparing the two languages facing...a la Schliemann studying Greco/German copies of the Iliad in order to discover Troy.

Josephus was not much thought of by my professors back in those dark ages, but seems to have been rehabilitated in history circles in the intervening nearly fifty years. Brill Press in Leiden is in progress of publishing the Josepus Project under the aegis of Steve Mason at York (CAN) U. These volumes are not for the average reader, nor even the interested layman, being as they are more notes than text, and geared to the academic. In a brief e-correspondence with Prof. Mason, he told me that the translations would one day be available sans most of the expository, phililogical material, but not until the entire series had been published. I will not live that long at the rate they're going.

Feb. 20, 2010, 8:45pm

I am taking the Teaching Company Course The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World on CD in the car, and Prof. Worthington refers on multiple occasions to The Athenian Constitution. So I got home and checked & lo & behold I have that edition of Aristotle in Loeb, so I promptly read it.

Then I remembered this thread, famous because Tim said: 'I love this thread. It's gotta have the highest ratio of filthy-language to the-expectation-of-filthy-language anywhere on LT. I mean, I think we hit an LT record for filthy language."

I only have 18 Loebs -- 486 to go!

Feb. 20, 2010, 10:06pm

I only have about 10 :'-(

I was surprised to find out that they are STILL adding volumes to the library! At the same time, I was saddened to find that there isn't yet one for Jordanes' De origine actibusque Getarum.

Feb. 20, 2010, 11:27pm

I have 22 - just picked up a Seneca for 5 bucks used last week.

I'm sincerely hoping HUP shows up at Kalamazoo this year. I had a bunch of Loebs on my radar last year and they weren't there - probably saved me some money but I wanted that conf discount. I'm not planning to collect 'em or anything - just quite often they're the best resource. And they look sortta cute on the shelf.

Feb. 21, 2010, 10:31am

Yep they're definitely a good resource to have! Sometimes the older translations are unnecessarily Shakespearean, but the newer ones tend to do a good job at providing a reasonably literal reading of the original.

Feb. 21, 2010, 6:50pm

Took a day trip to Troubadour Books in Hadley MA -- he has about 500 of them, most ex libris, condition varies. I picked up two Plato volumes for $10 each each, not bad ... I use my online access to LT via my Blackberry to confirm what I have & what I need.

Having a beer right now and toasting Tim for inventing LT & -- of course -- for this (almost) forgotten thread ...

Feb. 21, 2010, 7:31pm

Wow, $10 each is pretty good man... Loebs seem to hold their value for whatever reason, even used ones that I've seen are seldom cheaper than 15 bucks. I wish the local stores here even had Loebs, let alone used ones :-)

Oh and I just checked, I actually have 14 of them, not 10 :-D

Feb. 22, 2010, 12:55am

There's something inherently collectible about Loebs, but for me the cost of a complete set of, for example, Herodotus, is prohibitive. I do like to pick them up used if they are in good condition.

Out of curiosity, I counted mine and came up with 31, the oldest being a volume of Lucian dated 1919. Leather binding, rather than the more familiar red/green cloth. The three volumes of Lucian I have are definitely among my favorites. I picked them up years ago when it was difficult to find Lucian in any other edition.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 22, 2010, 6:40am

Does anybody know if it is possible to "make suggestions" to them as to which works to do next? I noticed on the HUP site they talk about the handful they plan on putting out this year, but seriously I would really like to get my hands on a copy of Jordanes with the original late Latin. Maybe they're just trying to stick with the Ciceronian Latin instead, I dunno. But I wish there was a Loeb edition of this, because I really do love having the original language of the left! The more old and grizzled I get, I like having the original text just to kind of check to make sure the translator isn't adding anything crazy (you'd be surprised how often this is an issue)...

Feb. 22, 2010, 6:58am

"Maybe they're just trying to stick with the Ciceronian Latin . . ." *151

I don't know Loeb's policy at present, but over the years they haven't stuck strictly to "Ciceronian" Latin. Perhaps they have even made more allowances for a falling away froma strictly classical standard within Latin than they have within Greek.

Having close to as many Latin titles as they have Greek, though, is a sign of some bias which makes them favor Latin over Greek. One of my professors, Mason Hammond said that even during the period of the Roman Empire, there was about 8 times as much writing in Greek as in Latin!

In the meantime , as a student, I was encountering Jordanes only "at one remove" -- mention of him by modern historians but little actual publication of him, let alone translation.

But of course that included works of which little more than the title has
survived. And of those available to them, many no doubt it would seem to them to be an obscure and even pedantic enterprise.

Feb. 22, 2010, 9:19am

Well make no mistake, Greek was really the language of learning all throughout the Roman period. I mean, Marcus Aurelius, emperor of the Romans, wrote his Meditations in Greek, and his reign was well into the period of Roman dominance.

But still, I wonder if more Latin as opposed to Greek was preserved in the West by scribes during the Medieval period? I have nothing to back that up, but it wouldn't really surprise me.

Back to Jordanes though, I know what you mean. The number of books even about him are extremely limited, so no surprise there are very few translations of his work in English to begin with. Still, I wish Loeb would pick up the ball on this one :-D

Oh by the way... I remember hearing that there were some other Loebs of Medieval works in vulgar Latin and the covers were blue... anybody have any info on this?

Feb. 22, 2010, 10:03am


It's been a couple of years - don't know what the status is of this.

Feb. 22, 2010, 10:43am

I'm sure more Latin was preserved, but this is not refelected in Loeb catalog. As far as Loeb titles, there are many more Greek titles (504) than Latin (325). How do I know this? I have this recurrent fantasy of winning the lottery & buying he whole set for $9072 + $105 shipping & handling . . .

Feb. 22, 2010, 11:20am

For that price, I really think they ought to cover the shipping and handling....:D

Feb. 22, 2010, 11:37am

I thought the same thing!

Feb. 22, 2010, 12:01pm

Jordanes is pretty brief so you might have to combine him with someone - maybe Priscus? Have a "Gothic History" sort of theme.

Personally, I'd like a Loeb Symmachus. Heck, they have Prudentius - might as well have who he was contra-ing about.

Feb. 22, 2010, 2:53pm

Garp83 (155)--That's a steal at $9200.; a mere $11./volume. That's less than half price if each is purchased separately. What's going without food, clothing and shelter for several months compared with having the best classical library in your neighborhood?

I had my order all ready to send. My wife saw it sitting on the desk; threatened to leave me and take me for everything we own if I sent it in. It was a close call, but it would have made the cost much more than 9Thou.

Feb. 22, 2010, 3:36pm

Good article by Mark Griffith (Prof. of Greek Lit. at UC-Berkeley) in Times Literary Supplement of Feb 12 2010 that discusses the Loeb Classical Library as well as the Oxford World's Classics (with a brief mention of the French counterpart to Loeb, the Budé series). In discussing the art of translation, Griffith states: "Between the Scylla of literal word-for-word accuracy ('reliable', but dead) and the Charybdis of radical adaption into a living and lively work of literature or theatre, every translator has to steer a course."

Though the article focuses on recent translations of Aeschylus, it gives a thumbnail history of Loeb. Evidently up until the 1970s, many of its Greek and Latin texts were unreliable and uncritical (often based on old Teubner editions) and the translations also varied greatly in style and accuracy. Griffith writes that among professional Classicists they came to be regarded for the most part with scorn, and students were often forbidden to consult or use them. But he says that in the 1970s editorial standards were significantly raised and Loeb re-established itself on a new course focused on scholarly expertise and reliability resulting in a tremendous upgrade.

(Incidentally, I must once again most strongly recommend to general interest readers the regular reading of the weekly TLS -Times Literary Supplement - which is carried by most larger public libraries and if you're lucky an independent bookstore in your locality (though it is a bit pricey, the cover price is $5.75, and if you get addicted as I am, that's $5.75 per week.). Of course you can also subscribe and get a somewhat lower discounted price - if living in the US, call FULCO (fulfillment company) in New Jersey, 973-627-2427. Don't order it directly from Britain, costs too much.)

Feb. 22, 2010, 8:26pm

oldfolkgc -- great story!!!

Chris -- are there online links to those articles in the Times Literary Supplement?

Bearbeitet: Feb. 23, 2010, 10:43am

Re: Messages 160/161

I checked for Chris469's recommendation online. It is archived at the TOL website, but there is a charge (if one doesn't subscribe to the paper) for access to said archives.


Feb. 23, 2010, 11:55am

yes and even though I'm a paid subscriber (and supposedly have free access to the TLS archive) I've encountered difficulty logging on to view articles in their archive. Very user-unfriendly website. If I could, I'd just cut and paste the whole article into a posted message here, but I can't get at it.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 23, 2010, 3:26pm

Feb. 23, 2010, 3:31pm

Sweet Jesus... I'd love to get my hands on that... but that's pretty steep to start with!

Feb. 23, 2010, 3:41pm

Well, you could get a used one..... FOR EIGHTY-THREE FREAKING DOLLARS!

Feb. 23, 2010, 4:23pm

Pretty steep for a 130-page paperback. Of course I wishlisted it some time back - for some reason.

Feb. 23, 2010, 8:04pm

One volume of Latin texts with facing-page English translation is included in the Arthurian Archives series from Boydell & Brewer ( http://www.boydell.co.uk/ARTAN.HTM ). The volume is hardcover, I think.

Other medieval languages are represented in the series as well. I've been able to acquire a few of the volumes at good prices, and I've recently read the first two Middle Dutch volumes, Dutch Romances. Volume I: Roman van Walewein and Dutch Romances, Volume II: Ferguut. It was fun to be able to try to puzzle through some of the Middle Dutch occasionally. I'm now about halfway through another German Romance, Volume I: Daniel von dem Blühenden Tal, and this translation is pretty readable, too.

Feb. 24, 2010, 3:10am

160> I am an addict of the TLS. It gives me articles and reviews that I otherwise would not have the knowledge to seek out. They are4 part of my unknown unknowns. Reading reviews has opened entirely new subjects for me to explore. When that happens it makes me twelve again and discovering new subjects once more.

Bearbeitet: Feb. 24, 2010, 4:48am

Also interesting for medieval texts : the "Translated Texts for Historians" series by Liverpool UP (but translation only alas...)


Feb. 25, 2010, 9:24am

I just went in and told Amazon I'd like all those expensive paperbacks as Kindle options. Do you think there's any hope...

Feb. 25, 2010, 4:36pm

Absolutely not :-)

Bearbeitet: Apr. 4, 2010, 2:21pm

A Website Which May Interest Many Of You:


Here you'll find (mostly) scholarly journals and articles on the history and archaeology of all areas of the world. The more languages you read, the more useful this site. Much material is in French, German, Spanish, Greek, as well as English, among others. I look for articles relating to the Ancient Near East (as you can tell from the books listed at my library) and I miss a lot owing to lack of facility in other languages.

If you have an abiding passion in these areas you'll thank me with garlands and bon-bons...I'd rather have the candy.

Feb. 27, 2010, 1:58pm

Hey thanks for the link :-)

Mrz. 13, 2010, 4:16pm

Has anyone looked at the new William H. Race translation of the Argonautica? I can't seem to find any reviews or excerpts.


Apr. 3, 2010, 6:10pm

Yes, it's a prose translation. There's a short intro (6 pages) and there're a few collected fragments of Apollonius at the back (13, all but one consisting of a couple of lines). The text is close to Vian's Budé text. Here's a short excerpt:

Αργ. ΙΙΙ.76-83
Thus she spoke, and speechless amazement seized Cypris. She was awestruck to see Hera beseeching her, and then she addressed her with gentle words:

"Mighty goddess, may nothing be more vile to you than Cypris, if indeed, when you desire something, I slight you, either in word or any deed which these hands might perform, week as they are; and let there be no favor in return"

Thus she spake, and speechlessness seized Cypris. And beholding Hera supplicating her she felt awe, and then addressed her with friendly words : "Dread goddess, may no viler thing than Cypris ever be found, if I disregard thy eager desire in word or deed, whatever my weak arms can effect ; and let there be no favour in return".

Incidentally, an American woman has done Seaton's translation of Race for LibriVox- it's rather good, I think, and well worth downloading.

Bearbeitet: Mai 6, 2010, 8:04am

Now that BN.com provides free shipping on single item orders for members, the Loebs can be had for as little as $16.32 each when using a 15% coupon (plus tax).

Here are three current 15% coupon codes for members:
R9X9V3D (exp. 5/17)
X9U8E9V (exp. 5/17)
C8P3Y3J (exp. 5/17)

Finally, if you reach BN.com through bing.com you'll get an additional 8% rebate bringing your final cost per volume down to $15.01 (plus tax).

Bearbeitet: Mai 9, 2010, 2:05am

Regarding Jordanes mentioned above, there is a translation of Mommsen's text put out by Evolution Publishing. It is a reprint of an old Princeton edition. Unfortunately it does not include the Latin, but the lengthy introduction and commentary, for whatever else they are worth, include lots of quotes in Latin. Enough to make me think the absence of a text may be a blessing in disguise. Jordanes' Latin makes Ammianus look like Livy. "Some of his statements are laconic," says Wikipedia, laconically. It would be nice to have the Cassiodorus history on which he relied. One on my wishlist for manuscripts to be found in the wall of an ancient oppidum. Ammianus has 3 Loeb volumes. The Mierow translation can also be found online at romansonline; the link should take you to it. The romansonline Jordanes author page doesn't link to it. romansonline also has an interesting page on "Why not to fly Iberia," should you tire of Jordanes.

ETA: The Latin text of Jordanes can be found online at Iordanis de originis actibusque Getarum, on The Latin Library website. So, those of you who want to tackle Jordanes, knock yourself out!

Mai 9, 2010, 6:06am

#152 - rolandperkins - Greetings to a fellow former student of Prof. Hammond! My high estimation of him as scholar and teacher has done nothing but increase over the (many) years since I was writing the "fortnightly essays" he assigned. And my estimation of him was pretty high then. He was the only one there at the time who had much of an interest in or knowledge of Late Imperial writers and church fathers. He was therefore very popular in the Divinity School, I recall.

Bearbeitet: Mai 16, 2010, 7:28pm

anthonywillard: "Jordanes' Latin makes Ammianus look like Livy."

If Jordanes' historical value made Ammianus look like Livy, I suppose we would have to rank Jordanes with Thucydides...

Mai 16, 2010, 8:08pm


lol! But it took me a couple of minutes to unpack. The grey cells are not what they were.

Unfortunately, my impression is that Jordanes' historical value is more or less on a par with Livy's. Or inferior. On the other hand, Livy beats Thucydides all hollow when it comes to Latin style. Or style period, in my opinion, but I know I should endeavor to improve my taste in this regard. Ammianus just chugs along . . . the Stephen Ambrose of late antiquity.

Bearbeitet: Mai 16, 2010, 9:06pm

I don't see why you should have to alter your taste! Style is style and substance is substance - but substance to nourish which audience? Livy's writings certainly nourished a Roman audience. I originally wrote historiography rather than historical value but realized that my oblique praise of Ammianus didn't quite work with that: Livy is a great historiographer, just not sine ira et studio.

I must read Jordanes - one day... Still, the Stephen Ambrose (just looked him up on Wikipedia, as his fame and consequent notoriety isn't great on this side of the Great Water) slur doesn't really work so well in the ancient world (let alone the late antique one) where no-one is really transparent about their sources (well, Eusebius perhaps).

Jun. 13, 2010, 2:35pm

Tim, how about us making a book of the best from Loeb?

When I was in Tokyo, I read a dozen or so Loeb classics in a bookstore and was amazed to find Plutarch's Morals was full of gems such as the reasons a Mare's tail is not as good as a stallions for music-making (she stalls on it) or Lucretius on various theories about thunder though he also made it clear that he took all such with a grain of salt and, yes, un censored Martial -- a selection of which was the first Occidental work translated into Japanese by the Jesuits! -- with what I would call the dozens (not necessarily the most recent -- does Loeb ever redo?) with the insulted party split from anus to navel and, my favorite a hen who clucked from both ends, so to speak (Tim, as you HAVE Loeb, could you please tell me if her name was Galena or what exactly?). And I bought Herodotus and you may find what I quoted in Topsy-turvy 1585 -- and if I had the time and energy, I would take his Babylonian street medicine idea onto the web (the closest thing is "patientslikeme," which is not de rigor).

Had I known that the ancients did not only write boring stuff about battles -- what I read in middle school Latin -- I might read Greek and Latin today! Has anyone made a two or three hundred page selection of the stuff in Loeb that any bright reader would be excited by? Ideally, I would have months to read through it all myself, but circumstances will probably not permit it, so I consider a collaborative editing effort . . . People who find various things could get the first shot at introducing them -- i get dibs on Herodotus's topsy-turvyism on Egypt which I could compare to Al Biruni on India vs the Occident including what we now call the Middle East, Babylonian marriage . . . --

I guess I havew written too much already.
For all I know, someone has already written a best of Loebs for laymen . . .

Jun. 13, 2010, 2:53pm

Keigu -- Loeb has one actually, but i haven't seen it so I don't know how good it is:

A Loeb Classical Library Reader

Jun. 13, 2010, 2:55pm

On 183:

(1) "-- does Loeb ever redo?"

(2) "Had I known that the ancients did not only write boring stuff about battles . . . I might read Greek and Latin today!"

(3) "For all I know, someone has already written a best of Loebs for laymen . . ."

(1) Yes. Notably Aristophanes, and Sophocles. My 2-vol. ed. of S. is labelled "New translation"
(by Hugh Lloyd-Jones), 1994. I get the idea from LTʻs citations that there is a still newer tr. -- or ed. --different arrangement, anyway. I havenʻt checked up on Martial, as to new translation; the one I know of translated some of the more explicit passages into Italian (borrowing in principle, some of the other Loebʻs idea of translating such into Latin (where the original is Greek).

(2) YES!

(3) Not that I know of, but it sounds like a good idea. And good idea, as you say, to check with Tim.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 2, 2010, 8:50am

(1) There's quite a lot of re-writing of Loebs going on as Loeb has become more academically serious over the last half century. So there are shiny new versions of Quintilian (D. A. Russell) and Athenaeus (S. Douglas Olson), Menander (by Arnott) and Euripides (Kovacs). Most are to a very high standard. The translations are not meant as literary but rather as scholarly translations, however, and vary. Personally I think Arnott's Menander translation is the best about, but think that Aristophanes was better as a work of literature in B. B. Rogers' translation which preceeded Jeffery Henderson's new Loeb. Ok, Rogers bowdlerized (heavily in the Lysistrata), is outdated in scholarship, but he is comically lyrical, if in the style of the 1860s and 70s when he wrote. Rogers' translation was adopted for the Loebs after the original translator died before getting substantially into the job, so unusually for Loeb they used an existing text.

The other place where the Loebs have improved is in the Greek or Latin texts, currently at a very high standard of scholarship. Older texts vary, but often scholarship has lef the older texts behind. Not in the case of the Procopius, where Haury's text was used (OK, the current Teubner text has additional corrections by Wirth), but in general the individual texts should always be used with a little caution - if you have the opportunity to do so, always read the original academic reviews in the Classical Review or other journals. If you have the opportunity, I say, as many of these are only available on subscription - i.e. easily available to students and academics but problematic to everyone else.

Jul. 2, 2010, 8:37am

To Shikari (186)

Interesting that B. B. Rogers was of the 1860s-70s -- a "music hall" style, maybe? (Iʻm not even sure
of when or what that was). Anyway, I had bee going with a vague idea of Rogersʻs being just somewhere before my time -- the early 20th c., perhaps, and didnʻt know that he was that far back. And I didnʻt know about the translator who had just got started. (I did know the "B.B." was for "Benjamin Bickley". Touchstones doesnʻt seem to have picked him up as "B.B. ...". They give, in their inimitable style, a "John B., Jr. Rogers".)

The Euripides almost HAD to be an improvement, as the old Loeb Euripides (Arthur Way) was one of their two worst, 2nd only to Storrsʻs Sophocles.

Jul. 2, 2010, 9:09am

Yes, I'd say comic opera rather than music hall, though I also know little about the music hall. Still, it's often reminiscent of W. S. Gilbert, and indeed Gilbert was writing and publishing in periodicals what would become the Bab Ballads at just the time B. B. Rogers was working on his first translations.

Jul. 2, 2010, 10:19pm

Do you think the Rogers is the best English translation of Aristophanes available, or simply better than the new Loeb version?

I see praise lavished on the new Loeb version, but the only critical criterion ever evinced is that it includes the naughty parts. I have never seen a convincing Aristophanes translation, and for me his Greek is too hard (informal?) to read, easily enough to enjoy the comedy anyway.

Jul. 3, 2010, 9:06am

Well I bought it for the "naughty parts" LOL

Bearbeitet: Jul. 3, 2010, 11:27am

Anthonywillard, I think Rogers wrote the best verse translations, but they are very dated in scholarship and bowdlerized. In addition, the language is probably too old-fashioned for many people, though it must have been strikingly modern when written. For me he captures the spirit of Aristophanes better than anyone.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 3, 2010, 6:17pm

191 Shikari: Thanks. I guess I had better get both versions. I am discouraged with the one I have now (Penguin). And improve my Attic. As for Lysistrata, IMO it can use a little bowdlerizing. (Sub-Edwardian that I am.)

Also I am glad you recommended the new Loeb Menander. I will put it on my list. I am very fond of Menander, what little there is. I wish you papyrologists would dig up more. At least his vestigia are preserved in Terence.

@190 Garp83: I didn't want to imply you shouldn't have the naughty parts, after all - LOL! I just wanted to know if this translation had other strong points besides being unbowdlerized.

A Loeb translation should be complete and accurate and not leave out stuff. A performance translation has to go with what the market will bear. Today the market finds the bawdy language in Aristophanes pretty tame. In 50 years, who knows? The Regency was a lot more down-to-earth than the Victorians, who were embarrassed by things their grandmothers would say!

Bearbeitet: Jul. 4, 2010, 8:59am

If you want to read Roger's translations, Anthony, I recommend the older editions published by G. Bell & Sons before the Great War (ideal for the aspirant Edwardian). They have his Greek text, commentaries and more textual notes (as well as being much more attractive than Loebs). Bell also did some English-only editions: I recommend the bi-lingual ones, though. They are published as individual plays. Naturally the new Loeb has a much better text and is more precise. Here's part of Alan H. Sommerstein's review of Henderson's first volume of the Loeb translation.

Now at last Aristophanes begins to join the completed Sophocles and the progressing Euripides and Menander, with a Loeb text and translation to which undergraduates and non-specialists may safely make rapid reference, produced by a scholar who has proved himself over many years an outstanding interpreter of Aristophanic comedy and who in the next volume will be publishing his third translation of Lysistrata (cf. Aristophanes' Lysistrata (Cambridge, MA, 1988) and Three Plays by Aristophanes: Staging Women (New York and London, 1996)).


To some extent the translation falls between several stools-as perhaps any translation of Ar. must that aspires to be both reliable and readable. H. makes a serious attempt to capture the various distinctive registers of language that Ar. uses (and that he often jumbles in a wild medley), but what was presumably extremely funny in Greek can often be merely weird in English. Virtually always his renderings are based on a sound understanding of the Greek, and at many points they display admirable vis comica. Some of his best touches, alas, will be hidden from most readers: few are likely to perceive, for instance, that in Wasps 928 ('one copse can't support two robbers'), in addition to the evident pun on 'cops/robbers', there is another on 'robbers' and 'robins', that this is faithful both to the proverb which Ar. is adapting (τρέφει μία λόχμη δύο εριθάκους) and to biological fact (the robin being one of the most rigidly 'territorial' of all birds), and that the pun is actually an improvement on Ar. himself, who could do no better than replace εριθάκους by the totally dissimilar word κλέπτα.

Modesty is one thing, however, and obscurity is another. I am not sure that H. has always put himself in the position of typical Loeb users, who will not be Aristophanic specialists, may (these days) have a rather shaky command of Greek, and may take the translation as authoritative. For these users, more notes explaining the literal sense, where H. has (normally for good reason) departed from it, would be very welcome. In general, indeed, the annotation is very thin, considering the density in Ar. of crucial allusions to matters the average user is unlikely to know about (or is at risk of being misled about-e.g. the wildly exaggerated claim at Wasps 707 that there were a thousand tribute-paying cities). Many phrases are signalled by inverted commas (in text or translation or both) as being quoted or adapted from other poetry, but much too often the curiosity thus aroused is left unsatisfied. Stage directions, too, could with advantage be more numerous. In the passage where Philokleon is tricked into acquitting Labes (Wasps 982-1002), H. has only three inconsequential stage directions, making much of the script quite hard to understand; my translation (Aris & Phillips, 1983) and Pascal Thiercy's (in Aristophane: Theatre complet (Paris, 1997)) each contain thirteen stage directions in this passage. Sometimes even entrances and exits are forgotten: Xanthias is rightly sent off at Wasps 843, and then in 899-904 we find him and the two dogs all present although there has been no direction for their entrance.


The completion of this edition will be eagerly awaited.

I wouldn't take the slightly negative tone of some of the review here as a strong reason not to use the new Loeb - this is, after all, an academic review and is overall strongly positive.

Jul. 4, 2010, 9:50am

@193 shikari: Thanks again! I will look for the Bell editions.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 7, 2010, 3:10pm

If I may interject here - I don't know why I keep reading this thread. I don't even read Greek or Latin properly. I just love beautiful little books, and I love listening to you nutty classicists.

Jul. 7, 2010, 4:12pm

@195 "nutty classicists" A bit redundant, don't you think?

Jul. 7, 2010, 4:37pm

@ 195 & 196: Oh, I don't know. I dimly recall a childhood spent among baseball enthusiasts. More recently, BMW fanatics. Not to say they might not have also have been classicists! LOL!

Jul. 7, 2010, 5:23pm

To Anthony, Beelze, and Cynara (195-197)

I donʻt know* either, Anthony. I can think of at least 3 or 4 of my Classics professors who were sane, even though they didnʻt have much else going for them.

*"I donʻt know..." Euphemism for "The foregoing* (in this case Cynara and Beelzebubba)is/are wrong!"

Bearbeitet: Jul. 7, 2010, 9:31pm

@195: But, Cynara, that's the point of Loebs! If we could all read perfect Greek and Latin, we'd all read OCTs and Teubners. I've just started Christopher Stray's The Living Word: W.H.D. Rouse and the Crisis of Classics in Edwardian England (Bristol Classical Press, 1992), which opens:

The format of the Loeb Classical Library--text and translation on facing pages, with a minimum of annotation--is now something widely taken for granted. In 1911, when T.E. Page and W.H.D. Rouse began their editorial work, it was not. ... Teubner had early established a lead with plain texts, Charles Cannan of Oxford University Press ... followed with the Oxford Classical Texts, which began to appear in 1898. At the same time, the Home University Library, which OUP took over in 1906, [began to cater] for the adult learner.The Loebs bridged the gap between these two spheres, offering an accurate plain text for scholarly use on the left-hand page, a readable and accurate translation on the right. In thus acknowledging a readership interested in, but not wholly competent to read, classical literature, the Loebs reflected contemporary changes in education and society. They form part of a transitional period in the history of the Classics, between an age when elite education could almost be equated with classical learning, and the present age, when the subject has been marginalised to such an extent that recent government proposals for a national curriculum do not even mention it.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 8, 2010, 5:31pm

When I took German in college--3 or 4 manys years ago-- the readers we used had two stories that stuck with me; one was "The Man Without a Shadow" and the other was about Heinrich Schliemann, the discoverer of ancient Troy. While it may be an apocryphal story, we learned (by translating the story) that HS taught himself Greek by reading a German translation of the Iliad and comparing it with a Greek version of same. We can all more easily emulate Herr Schliemann by using the Loebs.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 8, 2010, 6:44pm

An extraordinarily difficult and time-consuming way to learn Greek badly. If you're looking for a nutty classicist, Schliemann is a prime example. ;=)

Jul. 8, 2010, 9:45pm


If Tarzan was autodidact enough to teach himself to read, speak, and, presumably, write English from the picture books marooned with his infant self, it should have been a cinch for Schliemann with Greek-German alphabet chart handy. I know somebody will say there really was no Tarzan...spoil sport!

Schliemann, by digging willy-nilly, destroying everything in his path to Troy, and looting the artifacts for his wife"s pleasure, has set back a true (or at least more scientific understanding) of the site.


Bearbeitet: Jul. 8, 2010, 11:28pm

Schliemann had a reputation for ruining excavation sites. Yet he is quite likely the world's most famous archaeologist. It must be the vision thing. His wife looked marvelous in the jewelry.

He actually did learn Greek, as well as English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Swedish, Italian, Latin, Russian, Arabic, and Turkish and of course German. (According to Wikipedia, where else?)

Nathaniel Bowditch claimed to have learned 26 or so languages by reading the New Testament in each of them. But could he read a daily newspaper?

Sir Arthur Evans could spout classical poetry for hours. But he never learned Minoan. And neither have we. Has the New Testament been translated into Epic Greek?

Jul. 9, 2010, 1:36am

Wow I can't imagine that story about Schliemann learning Greek that way is true.... it would have to take about 5x as long to learn that way!

Jul. 9, 2010, 1:54am

"Bowditch. . . learned 26 or so languages by reading the New testament..." (203)

Yes, that way was introduced to us some time in the 1950s by Prof. Joshua Whatmough*. But I had already heard of it. He said the Bible was a good
book to use for this purpose "because you already know what the English of it is" -- which if said today would probably be assumed to be a witty sarcasm. He didnʻt say to use an English Bible concurrently, but I suppose the possibility of that was understood.

At first I thought the Schliemann "system" (200) was a variation on Whatmoughʻs (not original to him) "Bible System". Quite different, though, when you think over what it would entail So, Anthony is right (201) that it would be "extraordinarily difficult and time consuming".

*A classicist who taught "Comparative Philology" at Harvard. He later re-named his department "Linguistics" without changing its content too much.

Jul. 9, 2010, 12:49pm

First , thank you, Garp3, for informing me of the Reader. I cannot afford to buy books at present, so I hope some of it is readable on line. Basically, I wonder what dictated the choices. I cannot imagine Plutarch on why stallion tails make better fiddle bows than mare tails will be there, but i would guess Herodotus on Eygypt (his Topsy Turvy stuff) would be included . . .

And I agree with Cynara on the delight in finding people so alive, even concerning a dead Language. I find it interesting that the closest thing to it – the same delightful intellectual energy may be found in the Ancient Chinese group. Unfortunately for me, my specialty is Japanese, and it seems to draw trendy pop culture groupies (maybe I exaggerate a little, but even university courses tend to go that way).

Re. the obscene stuff, for the conservative maybe new translations can leave the Latin of a predecessor in the text and translate the original in a note which you would be free to black out. I must admit to being astounded at material akin to the worst of dirty dozens in Martial. The shock at reading it as I stood in the Japanese bookstore was something like when I heard a rap song describing all sorts of sexual acts not only graphically but grossly as I ate in a Japanese restuarant with parents and kids of all ages – if they knew what was on that tape, i imagine all the boys, at least, would study their English with renewed energy -- I wonder if the Jesuits who made it there first book published in Japan had the pleasure of reading through that stuff to excise it or if it came to them already censored. Even with excuses about the use of obscenity as a tool for memorization, I cannot imagine them reading it.

Be that as it may, for all who do not mind soft-obscenity, I would love for you to peek at what i did with Lesbia who ought not rise or sit because of wedgies in chapter 19 (“wedged between her symplegades, or let’s stand up for wonderful translations from Latin*) of my Dolphin In the Woods (after Horace) which you can view 100% at Google Books.

*That is the name of the chapter in the ordinal table of contents. Above the chapter, itself, it is called, “Pangur Ban Finds Lesbia – from white cat & jack to calipygosity and back” --- the relevant magterial is on page 186-8.

And I wonder

1) What do you think of my version? Is it as awful as I think it is?
2) Does anyone know who the translator is for the example from the Swedish or Danish website?
3) Is anyone in touch with Wind or Salemi, whom I quote as they were found in “Maledicta” to which i subscribed maybe 25 years ago?

As far as I know, no one has bought a copy of this book I published a half year ago, and the first input I got (just yesterday night) came from a woman staying at my mom’s to care for her cat when she is away. She called me just to say how much she loved my rhyming and rectangular (ala Hofstadter) translations of a Chinese poem counseling mercy for mosquitos and flies. She read them to me and wondered who translated them and I could not recall, so I looked in my book and, loh and behold, it was me! It is easy to beat all translators of poetry from Chinese but the marvelous Professor Crump, but I am afraid I failed to match Wind or Salemi, though I may have matched them with the poems they inspired about a Brazilian Lambada dancer in Tokyo found in the chapter notes.

Also. I found one interesting translation in a Penguin book of Japanese verse that I felt was good as it seemed l translated in the style of one used to “our” classics. It (Making Fun of a Thin Man) was alive! The translators are Geoffrey Brownas and Anthony Thwaite. Are either known to classical translation buffs? (my book is old minus a preface etc). Sorry for such a long entry only partly about Loeb.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 10, 2010, 8:33am


>Schliemann, by digging willy-nilly, destroying everything in his
>path to Troy, and looting the artifacts for his wife"s pleasure,
>has set back a true (or at least more scientific understanding)
>of the site.

I wonder whether that really matters. His example was what kicked archaeology off. And if you really think his work set back a "more scientific understanding" of the site, bear in mind that every dig, if delayed by a hundred years, would give a "more scientific understanding" of the particular site. We can only excavate in our own time and in the context of our own period's knowledge. As for Troy, it's just one site among thousands.

Schliemann's getting his beautiful wife to model the jewels was a rather good idea, helping Schliemann get publicity to raise funds for excavation. And they are still there to be seen, apparently in Moscow.

Jul. 10, 2010, 8:59am

Yeah I believe the Trojan treasures were among the things looted by the Soviets who took them back to Moscow with some sort of rationale of "protecting European cultural heritage". Because obviously the best place to go for that is Moscow....

Bearbeitet: Jul. 10, 2010, 7:15pm

This conversation about Schliemann occurred in another thread some time previously.

It is basically a mixed bag when we talk about him. Schliemann, love him or hate him, was a giant in the history of archaeology and the rediscovery of the classical world and we must credit him for that. He was brilliant. He was persistent. He was colorful.

It is not entirely true that he was such a pioneer that he was unaware of the appropriate way to excavate to avoid the kind of destruction he wrought, which is the story put out by his apologists. He was rich and he was the driving force, but Frank Calvert -- a real archaeologist -- was actually responsible for the real excavations at Hissarlik. Calvert eventually had a messy falling out with Schliemann due to the catastrophic destruction that occurred at the dig in Schliemann's stubborn zeal, destruction Calvert suspected and we now know for sure irrevocably erased the period of the Trojan War that Schliemann was determined to bring to light.

Schliemann was also a slippery character who was often unethical -- not only by our standards but by the standards of his own day, as well. This is not to say that we can overlook the fact that Schliemann was a monumental figure in the creation of modern archaeology, but any warts and all appraisal must acknowledge that the man was literally covered with "warts."

Jul. 10, 2010, 4:15pm

Schliemann happened to come along at a time when there was great skepticism about the reality-- not just of the Heroic Trojan War Age, but of many classical figures. There was a German school of thought which believed that all the traditional lawgivers were mythical, except Moses and Solon.(The exceptions for them were made because we
do have purported writings by them -- fragmentary in the case of Solon and not generally accepted as Mosaic (the Pentateuch) in the case of Moses. ) And I read in Martin Buberʻs Moses: Revelation and Covenant that even Moses has been considered fictional by some scholars.

If Schliemann thought that this hyper-cerebral trend might and could be reversed, I agree with him, in principle. This of course would not mean that he got all the details right.

Calvert is new to me. It sounds like he has been unjustly overlooked.

Jul. 10, 2010, 6:39pm

Well after all Moses may indeed by mythical. There certainly is scant evidence for such a person, although the fact that he has an Egyptian rather than a Hebrew name leads me to suspect that the biblical narrative may be based upon some factual element even if most of it can hardly be more than an idealized myth.

As for Calvert and more on Troy, I highly recommend the recent scholarly work "Troy and Homer" by Latacz fill in the blanks.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 10, 2010, 7:05pm

Shikari @ #207. That was not my point at all. My point was that he did not excavate in an orderly manner which would have preserved the context of the materials which he found. Too, we would, perhaps, have a greater understanding and knowledge of Troy as a city had he done so. Perhaps in addition to the Greece/Troy interaction, we might have have information about the relationship of Troy and the rest of Anatolia and the ANE in general. But, of course, that was of no interest to Schliemann.

rolandperkins @#210 Thanks for the reference to Frank Perkins. Troy not being one of my main interests, I was unaware of him. A terrific, fairly recent popular overview of Troy archaeology can be found at:



Jul. 10, 2010, 7:30pm

No, I got what you said, oldfolkgc, but as I remember it, scientific stratigraphy was a development of the 1880s...

Jul. 10, 2010, 8:46pm

On Moses status, from the NOVA episode "The Bible's Buried Secrets":

"Q: Questions about whether or not events in the Bible really happened evoke strong passions. As a biblical scholar, how do you see the issue of historical authenticity in terms of the earliest biblical accounts—the ones for which there is little archeological evidence?

Carol Meyers: Too often in modern western thinking we see things in terms of black and white, history or fiction, with nothing in between. But there are other ways of understanding how people have recorded events of their past. There's something called mnemohistory, or memory history, that I find particularly useful in thinking about biblical materials. It's not like the history that individuals may have of their own families, which tends to survive only a generation or two. Rather, it's a kind of collective cultural memory.

When a group of people experience things that are extremely important to their existence as a group, they often maintain collective memories of these events over generations. And these memories are probably augmented and elaborated and maybe even ritualized as a way of maintaining their relevance.

We can understand how mnemohistory works by looking at how it operates in more recent periods. We see this, for instance, in legends about figures in American history—George Washington is a wonderful example. Legends have something historic in them but yet are developed and expanded. I think that some of the accounts of the ancestors in the book of Genesis are similar. They are exciting, important, attention-grabbing, message-bearing narratives that are developed around characters who may have played an important role in the lives of the pre-Israelite ancestors.

Q: Let's turn to one of the most vivid figures in the Bible, Moses. Who is the Moses of the Bible, and could there have been such a person?

Meyers: The Moses of the Bible is larger than life. The Moses of the Bible is a diplomat negotiating with the pharaoh; he is a lawgiver bringing the Ten Commandments, the Covenant, down from Sinai. The Moses of the Bible is a military man leading the Israelites in battles. He's the one who organizes Israel's judiciary. He's also the prophet par excellence and a quasi-priestly figure involved in offering sacrifices and setting up the priestly complex, the tabernacle. There's virtually nothing in terms of national leadership that Moses doesn't do. And, of course, he's also a person, a family man.

Now, no one individual could possibly have done all that. So the tales are a kind of aggrandizement. He is also associated with miracles—the memorable story of being found in a basket in the Nile and being saved, miraculously, to grow up in the pharaoh's household. And he dies somewhere in the mountains of Moab. Only God knows where he's buried; God is said to have buried him. This is highly unusual and, again, accords him a special place.

"It's possible that a charismatic leader, a Moses, rallied people and urged them to make the difficult and traumatic and dangerous journey."

Q: What spurs the transformation of a real person into such a legendary figure?

Meyers: We can see the Moses narratives as the products of a period of trauma. We see this at other times and places. Think about our own American history. In the difficult period of the Revolutionary War, there's a lot of trauma and turmoil. Should people fight for freedom and risk losing everything? Or should they remain dominated by European colonial powers? And one man, George Washington, emerges as a superhero, the one in whom people could put their faith, who would take them to new terrain, who would lead them to independence. If you look at the biographies of George Washington that were written before 1855, you would think he was a demigod. The mythology about him is incredible.

In some ways, we have that kind of material about Moses. The hype about him is a way of expressing the fact that people could trust his judgment. They could trust that there would be success in this highly risky venture of leaving a place where they at least had food and water and going to a place where they might not have enough food and water. But they were apparently convinced it was worth the risk, if they might eventually be able to determine the course of their own lives and to escape the tyranny of Egyptian control."


Jul. 10, 2010, 8:51pm

Thank you Stellar! That sums it up so well!

Jul. 11, 2010, 12:11am

Meyers fudges the historicity of Moses while assuming the historicity of his context, as reported in Exodus. The significance of the Exodus text is unitary, unless the text itself is a patchwork.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 11, 2010, 12:36am

"Meyers fudges the historicity of Moses while assuming the historicity of his context, ..." (216)

Martin Buberʻs Moses reverses this, or such is my impression: assumes the historicity of Moses, and is complicated and sometimes vague about the context. But he does make it clear that the Biblical authorsʻ idea of "history vs. legend" was far from our ideas of those.

"Well after all Moses may indeed be mythical. . ." (211)
I think Martin Buber or even Sigmund Freud who was about 160 degrees removed from Buber on this topic, would shoot this supposition down: Moses was real, they agree, whatever you think was the form of his biography,

Bearbeitet: Jul. 11, 2010, 2:53am

>216 anthonywillard:

"The significance of the Exodus text is unitary, unless the text itself is a patchwork."

I think most biblical scholars (as opposed to true believers in the Bible as the literal word of God) do consider the text of Exodus to be patchwork, in the sense of having contributions from at least two authors separated in time, and at least one editor who fused the narratives. I'm no expert, but that has been my understanding.

"Meyers fudges the historicity of Moses while assuming the historicity of his context, as reported in Exodus. "

I see the point, but am not so sure I agree. One could think the context likely, while having doubts about the details of the character Moses. On the other hand, the quote may not reflect the complete views of the author, who was not trying so much to make a point about the context as about the process by which real persons become transformed into subjects of myth and legend.

Jul. 11, 2010, 8:21am

There is to my knowledge no evidence for the historicity of Moses -- unless you consider the Exodus narrative itself to be such evidence and I would reject that. I do not see how either Buber or Freud could provide such evidence, regardless of their own personal beliefs. While there is no reason to assume the Hebrew scriptures would simply make stuff up, we can perhaps feel more confident that their Iron Age narrative (David & Solomon) is more likely to reflect "real" persons than the earlier narrative dated to a shadowy past. Moses may very well have been a real person or he may be someone like the Spartan Lycurgus who was perhaps more legend than fact. I think Stellar's Meyers quotes make good sense, but wherever we go with this it can only be a matter of best guesses for all but the faithful who will take Moses as the scriptures deals him out.

Jul. 11, 2010, 2:01pm

218 stellarexplorer: No, no, I didn't mean the author was making a point about the context, she was just assuming the factuality of the context, such as "the fact that people could trust his judgment. They could trust that there would be success in this highly risky venture of leaving a place where they at least had food and water and going to a place where they might not have enough food and water. But they were apparently convinced it was worth the risk, if they might eventually be able to determine the course of their own lives and to escape the tyranny of Egyptian control." This is a reasonable literary interpretation of the text, but assumes the historicity of the narrative about the people in order to justify Dr. Meyers's understanding of how Moses was mythologized. Yet the so-called mythical view of Moses is part of the same text. This is begging the question. If the part of the text about Moses is mythologized it is reasonable to suspect that the whole text is mythologized (unless the Moses statements were made by one author at one time and the people statements were made by another author at another time.)

Jul. 11, 2010, 2:29pm

>220 anthonywillard: I see your point, but I read it differently, as more speculative in the service of a more general point. Keep in mind, this is in interview format, not a carefully crafted written piece. I took it to mean more "Suppose people felt they could trust his judgment...." Then follows an example of the kind of process that leads to mythologizing a long-departed leader. The fact of or belief in this particular context is besides the point.

Jul. 12, 2010, 7:21pm

@ 221 stellarexplorer: In other words, it is a possibility that a figure could be mythologized in this way. Yes, I see what you are getting at. In this case I tend to think that Moses was indeed mythologized but that the whole Exodus narrative is mostly or entirely mythological as well. IMHO. I am not a biblical scholar. Not even an amateur one.

Jul. 12, 2010, 10:57pm

>222 anthonywillard: Phew! Sorry I wasn't clearer to begin with.

It's an interesting subject, and a large one. There are pieces of evidence that demonstrate that slaves were brought to Egypt from abroad, and a few documents that talk of the flight of some disgruntled (surprise!) slaves. Traders from the eastern Med went to Egypt. Some believe Canaanites occasionally fled to Egypt during times of drought or famine.

I am no expert either, but there is a view that appears to be gaining adherents that there may have been an Exodus of a much smaller number of former slaves -- tens or hundreds rather than the thousands in the bible -- who met up with peripheral Canaanites, hill dwellers, disaffected people perhaps who resented the authority of the Canaanite cities and power structures, pastoralists, people anxious to hear a new story. A monotheistic story, one promising freedom from tyranny and a believable God, may have found a ready audience.

But I wasn't there either. Presumably one awaits either more evidence, or a time machine.

Jul. 13, 2010, 1:42am

223 OK stellarexplorer, here's the plan: you take the time machine and bring back the evidence for me to peruse!

Jul. 13, 2010, 1:59am

a much smaller number of former slaves -- tens or hundreds . . . who met up with peripheral
Canaanites . . ."

This reminded me of a delightful sub-heading used by Immanuel Velikovsky (who like Freud was an amateur historian, and the arch-rival of Freud on this topic. Velikovsky of course has his own chronology while the others weʻve been discusisng more or less use the conventional chronology.

V. argues to the affect: But if the Hyksos* were on their way INTo Egypt right when the Israelites were on their way OUT, they would have met.
Sure enough, his next sub-heading is:
Who ousted the Hyksos and restored the native Egyptin pharaohs, according to Velikovsky? A mercenary leader named Saul, otherwise known from I Samuel of the Bible. This is all perfectly possible chronologically-- provided you accept Velikovskyʻs chronology. Of course, as V. reminds us, you couldnʻt expect the Egyptians to NAME a foreigner who liberated them.

*The Hyksos were probably Semites, who ruled Egypt briefly as Pharaohs. (Briefly, in Egyptian history means " a couple of centuries or so")/

Jul. 13, 2010, 2:28am

>225 rolandperkins: LOL

Sadly, my brother's father-in-law, a fixture at family gatherings, is a devoted follower of good old I.V. He regularly tries to corner me with V's brilliant deductions, and, naturally, is unimpressed by my feeble resistance...

Bearbeitet: Jul. 13, 2010, 6:14am

222: there's only one time machine, anthonywillard, and that's Exodus. The movement of a few people over the desert, after all the accretions and distortions of half a millennium of oral tradition, would be impossible to trace. It's hard enough to trace early Islamic history after a mere century and a half of oral tradition, and there we do have verifiable movement of tens of thousands of men! While I don't like the term 'mythologization' which is very polemical in these circumstances, the result is still more story than history, and terribly powerful as a result (both in Exodus and the Sirāt al-Nabī).

Shlomo Sand has some interesting things to say on the subject in his Invention of the Jewish People, though I certainly wouldn't regard him as an authority.

@226 stellarexplorer: My father too was a keen I.V. follower. I'm not going to say 'sadly' - he learned a lot about the ancient world, bolstered his faith and got me interested in the ancient Near East into the bargain through his researches. That's quite a payoff, I reckon.

Jul. 13, 2010, 10:37am

>227 shikari: I am glad for the benefits your father reaped, shikari. I must stick with sadly however, or even "to my great irritation", as in my case, the guy doesn't know when to stop bludgeoning others with it. Oh well.

Jul. 13, 2010, 12:12pm

I have an Egyptologist friend who says that the real fun is when you get a geologist and an Egyptologist in the same room discussing Velikovsky.

The Egyptologist will blandly accept V's geology and infuriate the geologist, and the geologist won't see the fuss about V's Egyptology, and give the Egyptologist an aneurism.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 13, 2010, 6:08pm

227 shikari: Well, I do not want to offend, so I will be more cautious with the myth- words. After all, I got a little ruffled in the feathers when the lady applied them to George Washington.

You did leave me with a couple of questions, however. First, why do you say that an account is "terribly powerful" as a result of being a story rather than history? That to me is counterintuitive but intriguing.

Second, though I think sirat refers to biographies of the Prophet, what is the significance of al-Nabi? I could not find this in any of my usual reference sources.

Third, do you know what font I could use on Windows to make long marks over vowels? I see you can do it but I don't know if you are using Windows.

Fourth, though the reviews of the Shlomo Sand book make it look very interesting, you (and they) seem to have some doubts about it. Is it a good introduction to the topic for someone who knows no more than what's in the Bible (and is likely to read no more than one book about it)?

And it looks like I should inform my self about Velikovsky, a new one to me.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 14, 2010, 12:52am

@230 anthonywillard: I wrote a long piece on the Blackberry and lost it all, so I'll try again on the laptop.

Why "terribly powerful" as a story rather than history? I'd not really thought this through when I wrote, but this is roughly what I meant. A communal narrative ('story') has its power through common ownership, through the sense of commonality that it fosters, regardless of whether it is a fact-based account ('history') or not. Thus the narrative ('myth') of Brutus--Aeneas' son or grandson--founding Britain and naming it after himself underpinned a common British identity under the Tudors. Thus the narrative ('history') of the Potato Famine fosters a sense of common Irishness among diaspora Irish. Thus the trials of the Prophet and the fledgling Muslim umma as learned from the Sīrāt al-Nabī ('oral history') gives context and meaning to the Qur'ān and a sense of identity to Muslims. Thus the narrative of George Washington and the War of Independence ('history') helps give a sense of national identity to Americans. In these narratives, the relationship between 'history' and 'story', the two senses of ιστορία, historia or histoire, is determined by warrant. For post-Enlightenment communities, and in particular nations, such communal tales need the warrant of the discipline of history. In older communities, religious or cultural warrant is needed (hence Arabs in North Arabia claiming Ishmael, and thus Abraham, as the founding common ancestor, and Britons claiming Brutus, and thus Aeneas, as theirs). But more commonly ancient ancestral tradition was the key warrant, and narrative with this warrant was as powerful as a historically-underwritten communal narrative today. Thus the power of the Exodus narrative was both in its nature as a common narrative and in its warrant of ancient tradition.

In part this is the problem that Shlomo Sand faces: the historiography of the 'Jewish nation' has mixed warrants. Ancestral tradition talks of the diaspora as a second exile forced by Vespasian and Hadrian, and understates historical conversion to Judaism. And secular Zionism presents Jews as a homogeneous ethnic group, while the reality is more complex. Sand is at his strongest when discussing the complexities of contemporary Israeli Jewish historiography (this is, after all, the subject of the book and he himself in an appendix says people misunderstand the book if they think it's a history of the Jews). I wouldn't like to use his work as an authority for the alternative narratives he introduces, but his book's not a bad place to start looking for further reading. But he certainly shows how the national narratives that have helped form Jewish - and more particularly Israeli - identity are problematic in terms of historical warrant.

Sīrāt al-Nabī (sing. sīrat al-Nabī) is the full name of the 'biographies of the Prophet', Arabic nabī being equivalent to the Hebrew nāvī('), 'prophet'. Sīrah on its own simply means 'biography', 'life' (in the sense of history).

I produce my macrons (long marks) using a custom keyboard layout. It's based on US International, but extended and using the UK layout where it differs from the US one. Probably not too useful to you, but perhaps I could produce you an American version. I still use XP, though, and my keyboard layout may not be compatible with Vista or Windows 7.

Velikovsky had two main theses: first, the miracles of the Pentateuch (the flood, the parting of the Red Sea, the sun standing still to let Joshua destroy the Amorites, etc.) could be explained by cosmic catastrophes (this has been dubbed Catastrophism, and the argument reversed to use Biblical and other ancient records to argue for catastrophes), and second the absence of the Israelites from the Egyptian records was a result of a mistaken chronology derived from misinterpretation of Manetho's Egyptian king-list, in which (Velikovsky postulates) whole dynasties are doublets, pharaohs appearing twice under different reginal names. Naturally these initial theses have been vastly extended, and not all Velikovskians subscribe to both. I hope this is accurate - if there's a defender of the theories here, perhaps he or she could correct any mistakes I've made.

Jul. 14, 2010, 12:25am

Particularly fanciful, and favorite of the family member mentioned above, is IV's notion that catastrophes that have befallen Earth are due to collisions with celestial bodies, including the planets in our solar system. These have, in his account, occurred within the time frame of human memory.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 14, 2010, 12:46am

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Jul. 14, 2010, 12:53am

Ok, let's say "close contacts" with celestial bodies of a sort inconsistent with known celestial mechanics.

Jul. 14, 2010, 6:23am

There is a random reference to V in the wonderful 1970's version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" by Veronica Cartwright in the mud baths scene. She calls Velikovsky "required reading."

This is btw one of my top ten favorite movies of all time.

Nancy Bellicec: "Why do we always expect metal ships?"
Jack Bellicec: "I never expect metal ships . . ."

Jul. 15, 2010, 8:03am

Garp (219): As soon as Stellar posted that interview, the first figure I thought of was Lycurgus! I find the Bible overall to be a fascinating collection of stories, but it is disconcerting to me that while most serious historians will admit that Lycurgus is a mostly (if not entirely) legendary figure created through oral history to provide justification amongst the Spartans for the way their society operated.... there are probably millions of people who will argue with you until they are blue in the face that Moses was 100% real, and that all of the exploits accorded to him in Exodus are true.

That's the difference between history and "faith", I guess, and though the two often overlap (I'm sure there are tons of Americans who swear by the Washington cherry tree story), it is troubling to me when people try to "prove" that certain events that began as legendary history and are now accepted based on faith actually happened.

Jul. 15, 2010, 8:09am

But what about those people who pray to Lycurgus every night? LOL

Jul. 15, 2010, 8:18am

Like they pray to Moses, Garp83?????

Jul. 15, 2010, 9:16am

I'm still waiting for Horemheb to acknowledge my nightly sacrifices.

Jul. 15, 2010, 9:27am

#238 just joshing (no pun intended) shikiri, no offense intended ... I realize it was very much a mixed metaphor but I was only on my second cup of coffee at the time ...

it is crazy though that Josh & I do think scarily alike sometimes -- the Moses/Lycurgas comparison jumped to both of our minds somewhat simultaneously, hundreds of miles away ...

As Josh said, however, it is strictly a matter of faith -- and we are all obligated to respect that even as we do not need to be persuaded of the historicity of a character simply because he occurs in a religious text ...

Again, I mean no offense to you or Moses ...

Jul. 15, 2010, 9:41am

No offence taken, Garp83, oral history fascinates me and the comparison was good (but I was amused by the idea of praying to Moses). As to Feicht's blue-faced antagonists, it comes down to the clash of warrants I was going on about in #231. Personally I see no point of evangelizing for or against historicity in any sense. Unless I were in a history class...

Jul. 15, 2010, 10:51am

Not being a Judeo-Christian personally, I'm curious: does anyone actually pray to figures like Moses from the Old Testament? I'm a bit rusty on my Judeo-Christian lore, but I seem to remember (from my *gasp*...Catholic school days!!) that certain other figures were prayed to in what I would regard as a polytheistic manner; the Virgin Mary, various patron saints, etc. In fact I got in big trouble in like 4th grade or something for innocently asking something to the effect of why we act like we only have one God when that one has 3 gods in it, not to mention the dozens of other people we were supposed to pray to.

But that said, I can't remember being told to pray to Moses :-) Which is kind of funny, in a way, since (at least in legend) he was largely responsible for the fact that there even is Judeo-Christianity.

Jul. 15, 2010, 12:05pm

Feicht, I'm not a believer, but I believe what you're inquiring about is the doctrine of Intercession. Here's the Wikipedia entry to get you started if you want to look into it further - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intercession_of_the_saints

Jul. 15, 2010, 2:37pm

Thanks for the link, Chris. The bit about the Hebrews was especially interesting :-)

Jul. 15, 2010, 3:35pm

". . .does anyone actually pray to figures like Moses from the Old Testament . . . a polytheistic manner (to) the Virgin Mary, various patron saints, etc. . . ." (242)

The approach to Moses in the other two great monotheistic religions is very different from the
Catholic Churchʻs approach to veneration and praying to the Blessed Virgin and the saints. Moses is honored in Islam as a "Major Prophet". There are 28 of those, of whom the last 3 are Yahya (John the Baptist), Isa (Jesus) and Muhammad. Even Isaac is a "major prophet", even though the split between Jews and Arabs is
supposed to date from Isaacʻs being the recognized heir of Abraham, while Abrahamʻs other son Ishmael became the ancestor of the Arabs. The feeling about Moses in mainstream Christianity is similar to the Muslim feeling, without the emphasis on a succession of prophets.

In the Bahaʻi Faith, the Succession of Prophets (or "manifestations of God" as the Bahaʻis would call them) clashed with the Muslim doctrine that there can be no further prophets after Muhammad, but , for Bahaʻis this Succession is so important that it led to a separation from Islam, and a still continuing persecution by Islamists, esp. by Shiʻa Muslims in Iran, its country of origin.

Intercession, which is the basis of praying TO
prophets, saints, or even manifestations of God, is quite a different issue. The Catholic Church may be the last upholder of it. But to my mind the Church is downgrading the concept of sainthood by haivng such characters as even the devious Pope Pius XII get near to being canonized. Iʻve even heard of a deal in the Vatican, where John XXIII -- a v ery god candidate-- could not be considered for sainthood except in a "package deal" where he and his predecessor, Pius XII would both be canonized.

No doubt the Church is having second thoughts about the legacy of Vatican II, even though the present pope was, with Swiss theologian Hans Kung, one of the two main formulators of it.

Bearbeitet: Jul. 15, 2010, 4:51pm

Come on, rolandperkins, one of the criticisms of Sufism by the more orthodox Muslims is precisely prayer for intercession by pirs, 'saints'. Many Orthodox Christians share the practice too, don't they? People have prayed to Hassidic tsaddiqim. It's never really been a simple matter, and most religions seem to slip into such practice, even is they don't embrace it as formally as Buddhism. Even Zoroastrianism has had aspirant saoshyants (messiahs) - many former Zoroastrians believed the Bāb was the saoshyant.


Bearbeitet: Jul. 15, 2010, 5:05pm

". . .intercession by pirs. ... People have prayed to Hassidic tsaddiqim.

I didnʻt say that NO Muslims invoke intercession, or that NO Jews pray to tsaddiqim.
I was just saying that Feichtʻs (242) suggestion of praying to Moses was a very different issue from the veneration of Moses outside of Judaism.

Thanks, however, for I didnʻt know of the specific Sufi or Hassidic practices you mention. And yes, though I havenʻt researched the Orthodox Christian* attitude, I would assume
that it allows for not only veneration of the Blessed Virgin and the saints, but prayer for intercession, too.

Interesting, too, about "aspirant saoshyants" in Zoroastrianism. But I wouldnʻt call a Bahaʻi
a "former Zoroastrian", (since the Bahaʻi Faith emerged directly out of Islam) --any more than I would call a contemporary Catholic a "former" Jew" or a "former Dionysiac pagan". I do know that some Iranians are interested in the pre-Islamic religion of the country: An Iranian-Ameircan woman asked for a copy of the Zoroastrian section in my translation of Claude Emmanuel Pastoretʻs Zoroastre, Confucius et Mahomet.

*In fact, though not an academic expert on Orthodoxy, I am a member of a Lutheran congregation, which I would call a sort of
"Northern Orthodoxy".

Jul. 15, 2010, 6:02pm

@ 238-245:

"And after six days Jesus takes unto him Peter and James, and John his brother, and brings them up into a high mountain apart: 2 And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine as the sun: and his garments became white as snow. 3 And behold there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him. " --Matthew 17:1-3.

That is Moses's personal appearance in the New Testament. So if Jesus was on speaking terms with him, he must be OK. His feast day in both Roman and Eastern Churches is September 4. There is no specific liturgy for him in the West, but his feast may be celebrated using a common liturgy. I don't know whether or not there is any Eastern liturgy. He is named in the Roman Martyrology for September 4, which means he may be prayed to, he is included in the general invocation of Patriarchs and Prophets in the Roman (liturgical) Litany of the Saints. He is invoked extra-liturgically by name (e.g. http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/litany22.htm)

Bottom line: yes, there are instances of people praying to Moses.

Jul. 15, 2010, 6:12pm

Hmmm, Babism did emerge 'from Islam' but was popular both with Iranian Jews and Zoroastrians, as was Baha'ism (there was large-scale Jewish conversion as well as Zoroastrian, as I learned at a colloquium last week) which claims to inherit and fulfil all messianic faiths. Sadly I know next to nothing about either faith, but the large number of converts from the religious minorities wasn't, I think, for Islamic reasons but because they appealed to their own traditions. My source on the Bāb as saoshyant was Mary Boyce, so fairly unimpeachable.

Jul. 15, 2010, 6:37pm

I am Jewish, and at various times of my life have been a member of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform (not Reformed) congregations. I have been around Chassidic (ultra-Orthodox, if you will) Jews, on and off, for most of my life, but nnever a part of that group.

No normative Jewish group prays to any entity save God. They pray not to or through Moses, Aaron, Maimonides or any other Jewish sage or leader. No prayer of petition or otherwise ends with such as, "We ask this in Moses' name."

Does this mean that no Jewish individual or isolated group has ever prayed to other than God? Perhaps some have, but I think this generally would be considered heresy. There are some in the Lubavitch movement who believe the late Rebbe Schneerson is the Messiah coming (some thought he was the Messiah come), but I don't believe he is prayed to as a God, nor do I know whether intercessionary prayers are made through him. Other Chassidic movements do not hold those beliefs. Perhaps someone with a more intimate knowledge of Chassidic movements can provide a more authoritative answer.


Jul. 15, 2010, 7:06pm

Man, this thread has taken a fascinating turn! :-D

Jul. 15, 2010, 7:27pm

I'm looking at the older literature, John. It could be that I've misunderstood it (I'm not Jewish) but a lot of reported tales seem to have what seems like praying to me. It's asking for intercession with God, certainly not praying to someone as a god. But was the Chassidic movement ultra-orthodox? It might seem so now, and certainly were ultra-pious, but they were--if I've understood it correctly--in the early days a very disparate and heterodox movement as well. Still, take my statement with a big caveat for now.

Jul. 15, 2010, 10:29pm

A vote of support here for John's post. I too am Jewish, and have been exposed to many of its forms. I could not have stated the situation more clearly than he did. I believe than even if a particular movement can be found within Judaism that might endorse some form of intercession or prayer to an individual, this would be a glaring exception. It is contrary to basic Jewish principles to pray to any but God.

John uses the word "heresy"; I will add idolatry. It is considered idolatry to establish anything as a mediator between man and God.

Quoting from that esteemed Wikipedia:

"In short, the proper Jewish definition of idolatry is to do an act of worship toward any created thing, to believe that a particular created thing is an independent power, or to make something a mediator between ourselves and the Almighty. These laws are codified in the Mishneh Torah, mainly in the section called Hilkhot Avodat Kokhavim (Avodah Zarah) - The Laws of Strange Worship (Idolatry). It is considered a great insult to God to worship one of His creations instead of Him or together with Him. According to the Noahide Laws, the 7 laws which Jews believe to be binding on the non-Jewish world, the non-Israelite nations are also Forbidden to worship anything other than the Absolute Creator. One can find this in Hilkhot Melakhim u'Milhhamotehem (Laws of Kings and their Wars) chapter 9 in the Mishneh Torah. Judaism holds that any beliefs or practices which significantly interferes with a Jew's relationship with God may, at some point, be deemed idolatry."


Bearbeitet: Jul. 16, 2010, 1:09am

Interesting discussion at http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/562222/jewish/Is-it-okay-to-ask-a-...

It concludes that "a Jew is not permitted an intermediary. There must be nothing between the Jew and G‑d.

Nevertheless, as previously established, it is permissible for a Jew to ask another Jew to be an intermediary between him and G‑d."

Including a tzaddik who has passed away. It doesn't mention Moses.

Chabad is a Lubavitcher website, and as someone else mentioned above, the relationship between that intriguing group and Orthodox Judaism is not alway clear to me.

Jul. 18, 2010, 8:11pm

I just picked up my very first Loebs... two volumes of Cicero's letters.

God bless thrift store bargains: $2.99 each, in near fine condition!

Jul. 18, 2010, 8:59pm

Wow!!!! I'd step over my own Grandma to get a deal like that.

Though I'd prefer not to... of course ;-D

Jul. 18, 2010, 9:21pm

Congrats jbberube!! And Feicht, I almost knocked your grandmother over on that last book sale -- I'm so sorry ...but I think she understood ...

Jul. 18, 2010, 10:14pm

She is a former librarian, she totally gets it :-D

Dez. 9, 2010, 10:28pm

I asked a question about this in the Common Knowledge thread, but this might be a better place for it:

With the introduction of the 'Publisher's Series' field, Loebs are no longer in the 'Series' field under common knowledge. But if you click the link to see the publisher's series for the Loeb, you get a bunch of works that aren't actually Loebs, because the CK section doesn't seem to differentiate between editions of authors.

So, for example, the Penguin Classics version of Petronius has two publisher's series entries - one for the Penguin series, the other for the Loeb series. If you change it, to remove the Loeb, the Loeb publisher's series distinction is also removed from the Loeb edition of Petronius, since LT thinks it's the same book. Does this make sense so far?

Anyway, the question is, does anybody know how to fix this? So that the Penguin version will be part of the Penguin publisher's series only, and the Loeb edition will be part of the Loeb publisher's series only? I would guess that 'disambiguation' would have something to do with it, but I'm not familiar enough with the more complex workings of the site to figure out what to do with that.

Bearbeitet: Dez. 10, 2010, 7:04am

This, unfortunately, isn't a fixable problem. LT doesn't really think they are the same book, but the same "work". In fact, this is the very reason why a separate "publisher's series" field was created. Anything showing up there really only means that there is some edition of the "work" published in that series.

Some of the Loebs are very specific of course, but many do also have "Penguin Classics", "Everyman's Library", etc, counterparts.

Personally I think anything containg the original text(s), such as the Loebs, should be treated under the "dead language exception rule". That would help a bit - but still wouldn't avoid seeing them combined with other dead language editions of these "works" (Teubner, Reclam, whatever). Anyway, consensus seems to be only to do so with monolingual dead language texts, alas.

Dez. 11, 2010, 2:25am

I am not conversant with the discussion of this classificatory question, and I can see the urge to group Loebs with Loebs. But personally, I think for connecting to the libraries and interests of others, I'd rather have my ancient texts be linked to other ancient texts regardless of publisher or publication series. But, as always, that's just me.

Dez. 11, 2010, 11:12am

Well as much as I love LT I still use Book Collectorz software as well because it permits me to collect the same titles in different editions and sorts them as different books.

Dez. 11, 2010, 5:21pm

But you can list different editions here on LT too, just not as different "works".

Dez. 11, 2010, 10:38pm

There's a conflict between some LT categories, such as "Work" and "Series" and to some extent also with Common Knowledge, for example the "Dedication" field, which can differ between editions of some works, or "Publisher's editors". I think there's another board for this but I'm not sure which one.

Dez. 11, 2010, 10:45pm

Personally I think anything containg the original text(s), such as the Loebs, should be treated under the "dead language exception rule". That would help a bit - but still wouldn't avoid seeing them combined with other dead language editions of these "works" (Teubner, Reclam, whatever). Anyway, consensus seems to be only to do so with monolingual dead language texts, alas.

The problem is, it's not clear one way or the other. I have bilingual editions of Persius, Catullus and Beowulf, and I have the Loeb Homeric Hymns on my wishlist, but I don't read a drop of Latin, Old English, or Ancient Greek. I suppose once he gets inclusion worked out, we can have a work of ancient language, a work of modern languages, and a work of bilingual language that includes both.

Dez. 12, 2010, 5:39am

> 264:


> 265:

I know. There currently simply no way to deal with this that would satisfy both. I have my personal view. But I wouldn't dream of imposing it.

Dez. 12, 2010, 5:56am

@266 > Thanks Barking, I will continue by reading those.

Feb. 6, 2011, 6:51pm

As of right now, I just have Sidonius. Anyone interested in fifth-century Roman affairs would like it. The Panegyric on Majorian is one of its highlights. I find it interesting that Sidonius can praise the man that was most likely involved in the murder of his own father-in-law, Avitus.

Feb. 8, 2011, 8:14pm

Damn, didn't know there was a Sidonius in the Loeb series. Off to Blackwells in the morning!

Feb. 8, 2011, 8:14pm

Diese Nachricht wurde vom Autor gelöscht.

Aug. 2, 2011, 7:39am

blackwell's has 2 loeb's for 25£ according to their website.


Aug. 4, 2011, 2:28pm


The above site will lead you to downloads (primarily as pdf) of selected Loeb titles. Many of these--primarily from the early 20th cent--are free, having been replaced by more recent translations.

Aug. 5, 2011, 12:20am

#272: They're not free because they've been replaced; anything published before 1923 is public domain in the US, and for technical reasons I think all the Loebs up to WWII are public domain in the US.

Aug. 5, 2011, 7:43am

>273 prosfilaes:

The lack of copyright on some? I think they were re-copyrighted when the US joined Berne.

Aug. 5, 2011, 2:07pm


Don't look a gift horse in the mouth! They ARE free because they cost you nothing. Many books that are out of copyright are not free. Homer has been out of copyright for centuries, but try, at your local bookstore, to get a free copy of early translations because they've been updated or outdated by Lattimore or Fagles.

Somebody has taken the time to scan those Loeb works into PDF or text files. You can read them online, you can print them to hard copy, save them to other media, however you know how to manipulate them. Somebody(ies) have taken their time and effort to get them online, and Mr. Donnelly (I am not he) took time to make them easily available to us. If they are of no value to you because they're old...don't bother with them.

I just wish that here were some free Josephus there.

Aug. 5, 2011, 11:30pm

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth! They ARE free because they cost you nothing.

I think you misinterpreted. "They're not free because they've been replaced" meant "the fact that they have been replaced is not the reason they are free".

Aug. 6, 2011, 8:21am

What's the accepted pronunciation of 'Loeb'?

I've always assumed 'leeb' but I'm struggling to remember an instance of hearing the name spoken.

Aug. 6, 2011, 10:51am


Point taken.

Aug. 6, 2011, 12:29pm

isn't it like the sound in Goethe?

Aug. 6, 2011, 5:31pm

I want to say that it is as 'lobe,' but I can't recall any authority for that. Should we call Harvard University Press?


Aug. 6, 2011, 5:52pm

#274: Books published before 1923 are considered by everyone but the Ninth Circuit to be out of copyright in the US.* When the US joined Berne, nothing went back into copyright until the US enacted the URAA, at which point non-US books published after 1922 were returned to copyright as if they had been renewed. Non-US, in this case, means that at least one author (and I assume the classical authors are irrelevant for this) isn't American and that it wasn't published in the US with 30 days of first publication. Since the 191x Loeb's I'm looking at list both New York and London on the title page, I'll assume they were published in the US within that 30 days, and thus are considered US works not eligible for returning to copyright.

* http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm#Footnote_12

Aug. 10, 2011, 12:51pm

Pronounced lobe.

Aug. 10, 2011, 1:25pm

Several assumptions:

#279 - I assumed the name was German and should be pronounced as in Goethe; but I also assumed that the original Loeb was an American and the pronunciation might, hence, have become different.

#280, #282 - Having looked at Mr. messpots' profile, I'm going to assume him as an authority. 'Lobe' it is from now on.

Bearbeitet: Aug. 16, 2011, 4:07am

279, 280-283:

I can remember pronouncing Loeb "as in Goethe" many
decades ago (not that Iʻm an expert on German phonetics).
But then I was overwhelmed by the unanimous "lobe" pronunciation, which I now use.

Aug. 14, 2011, 12:27pm

Technically as German it should be pronounced "Löb", that is to say, roughly the way a Bostonian would say "Lerb". But I have never heard it pronounced any other way than "Lobe".

As for the books themselves, I feel the need to point out how hard it is to find them at "bargain" prices. Even used, they still go for at least $15. I feel like the best way to pick them up for cheap is to happen upon a bunch of them at a yard sale or something. But what are the odds of that happening? :-)

Aug. 14, 2011, 1:18pm

"But what are the odds of that happening?"

Depends. How many yard sales do you go to, and in what kinds of neighborhoods? I'm thinking estate sales in a college town might be the way to go.

(Only half kidding.)

Bearbeitet: Aug. 15, 2011, 3:30am

"how hard it is to find (Loeb titles)...at ʻ bargainʻ prices..."

Right, Feicht. Or, in my situation, at ANY prices now that Borders has gone out of business.
The Waikele and the ward Warehouse stores here used to have small collections, all sold as brand new books; I think they had reached a price of $20 + per volume.

Aug. 14, 2011, 8:23pm

Borders here used to sell Loebs starting at $40 (aud). The only way to get them for cheap was either second hand when they appeared (~$20) or direct from HUP when the dollar was strong.

Aug. 14, 2011, 10:31pm

>288 binders:

That's crazy.

Aug. 16, 2011, 12:01am

Yikes, yeah that's a bit excessive.

Aug. 16, 2011, 10:41am

>288 binders: Harvard U Press short discounts all the Loebs

Aug. 16, 2011, 12:37pm

It looks like they are all $24 from HUPress, even the oldest of them:


Aug. 16, 2011, 2:00pm

Don't know if this is still the case, but they used to offer a 30% discount if you bought all 500+ volumes, plus a free t-shirt!

Aug. 16, 2011, 3:58pm

A non-classicist, but eclectic reader, the Honolulu City and County archivist, Anne Pulfrey gave me a brochure listing all the Loeb titles of that time
(the 1990s and no doubt out-dated now?) Even at that the number "500+" (#293) is higher
than I would have expected

Bearbeitet: Aug. 17, 2011, 6:14am

Yes, Loeb is pronounced Lobe as that's how the founder's family pronounce their name.

But I'm a bit alarmed to note that my collection is now in three figures... The centenary offer of 2 for £25 has led me astray! That and some very good recent releases, in paticular Ian Storey's three volumes of Fragments of Old Comedy (don't expect fragments of Aristophanes as they are in the recent series of Loeb Aristophanes). A friend has noted (and had confirmed by the author) that it is exclusively Attic comedy that is meant. The first volume is dominated by fragments of Cratinus, the second by Eupolis ant the last by Plato (the comic poet, not the philosopher). And three volumes of Galen are due out in September or October!

Nov. 26, 2012, 7:34pm

245 public-domain Loebs in one convenient place:


(As pdfs)

Happy Holidays!

Nov. 27, 2012, 2:26pm

Thanks, I just had need of another translator in a section of the Argonautica. Cleared everything up!

Nov. 28, 2012, 3:40am

> 277, etc.: It had never even occurred to me to pronounce it "lobe". But that's probably because I'm Dutch, which makes Germany next-door, so we're accustomed to their pronunciation. Can't confirm Feicht in #285 though, since I have no idea how a Bostonian would say "lerb" ;-)

Anyway, now that I actually think about it: as it's an American Loeb, "lobe" makes sense. I'll probably not try it when ordering at a local bookstore though. It would get me blank stares.

Nov. 28, 2012, 5:28am

#296 Bob -- thanks!

Nov. 28, 2012, 5:29am

Well as that was over a year ago, I now have to modify my statement that I'd never heard anyone say it any way other than "Lobe", because Professor Nicholson here at UMN definitely pronounces it like it's a German word. So either Brits say it that way, or he is striving for strict linguistic accuracy :-D

Bearbeitet: Nov. 28, 2012, 5:53am

I've never heard a British classicist say anything other than "Lerb". (With the -r- not sounded, as in British and Bostonian English.)

Nov. 28, 2012, 7:44am

#301 - Ah. I'm still trying to get my head round thinking 'Lobe' instead of 'Leeb'. Now, as a Brit, I suppose I'd better start training the old brain to think 'Lerb'. Being a nitpicker is getting to be a full-time occupation!

Nov. 30, 2012, 10:07pm

I'm a Brit too, alaudacorax, and say Lobe now. Come on, be more correct than some professors! I heard the Lobe explanation from Peter Saxel who's been in charge of the Classics section at Blackwells bookshop in Oxford for around four decades, and have had it confirmed elsewhere.

Dez. 1, 2012, 1:32pm

Is there anyone out there with an entire colection of Loeb's that they no longer have space for but want to see in a good home where they will be kept together as a set and cherished forever and are willing to give them free and clear to said recipient?

I keep waiting to see an ad like this somewhere ...

Dez. 1, 2012, 1:37pm

>304 Garp83: haha, it'll never happen

Dez. 1, 2012, 2:22pm

I can dream can't I? LOL

Bearbeitet: Dez. 1, 2012, 7:23pm

Thanks Bob for posting that link. I took what Josephus was available from the site. Somewhere above, I noted that I used some of these volumes for my term paper for the History & Historians class at UCLA a full 50 years ago--Winter semester 1962. While old, these Loebs beat the heck out of 18th Cent. Whiston.

Jan. 21, 2013, 2:18pm

New edition/translation of Plato's Republic just out in the Loebs. Translated by Chris Emlyn-Jones & William Preddy, replacing the old Paul Shorey translation.

Apr. 29, 2013, 9:53am

This just came across on Facebook, via the APA: http://www.edonnelly.com/loebs.html (He's gathered together downloadable public domain versions of the Loeb Classical Library -- as he punningly calls them, "Downloebables").

Feb. 7, 2014, 5:48pm

Feb. 7, 2014, 7:05pm

So instead of displaying 523 beautiful volumes in bookcases all you need to now is an iPad?

Mrz. 26, 2015, 8:34am

Loeb III torrent

Lotsa new Loebs for your lobes! Many of these new discoveries came from two perspicacious readers of “latin4everyone” , ZL in Croatia and Solon in Brazil. We have been collaborating on these over many months.

Demonoid: http://www.demonoid.pw/files/details/3174378/74370192/

KickAssTorrents: https://kickass.to/loeb-classical-library-iii-432-520-still-incomplete-t10408736...

IsoHunt: https://isohunt.to/torrent_details/13461267/Loeb-Classical-Library-III-432-520-S...

Torrent hash: c7e547acd11e8d029ee76b8051de0cc19080f08c

TAGS: Loeb,classics,classical,Latin,Greek,Rome,Athens


LCL readers should be aware Harvard University Press has finally released all 520 Loeb volumes as digital files in September 2014. Theirs are prettier than ours and likely searchable (even in Greek!). In order to access the digital content, one must purchase a pricey subscription. However, the real downside is that the texts are not downloadable so they are not available for ready access unless, that is, you keep paying and paying and paying.

However, we believe all such works of classical knowledge, spreading understanding of the modern world through a thorough examination of our past, should be free. Roman and Greek authors, of course, are in no position to receive royalties! Nor are their far-descendants readily determined.

It may be argued that the translators of each work deserve a share of sales. However, most Loeb volumes are actually reformatted books which were originally published before the turn of the century (that’s the 20th century!). The vast majority of Loeb volumes were first published pre-war (that’s World War II!).

While this is not true of the newer translations since digitisation, many of us loyal Loeb readers liked the antiquated character of the translated texts. If the new translations have been modernised or, worse, made political correct so that, Goddess forbid, we don’t offend anybody, that does us all a great disservice. You be the judge.

It’s very hard to make an argument that any but the most recent LCL translations deserve to pay royalties to their translators (the rest are long dead!). It may come as no surprise that, of all the eminent Loeb translators, I can find only two among the living. One of them has replied to me that he received only a one-time payment and discount on LCL purchases! In fact, at least one Loeb translator, William Watts, translated St. Augustine’s Confessions in 1631! This, again, begs the question, to whom, then, is Harvard University Press paying royalties by arguing copyright.

We think the entire Loeb Classical Library catalogue should be non-profit, freely available for everyone.

The government and capitalist concept of copy”right” is far removed from reality. US copyright law “protects” a work for 90 years after the death of the creator. (For corporate authorship, 120 years!) This is, of course, risible in the case of classical knowledge. (Who pays Plutarch?!?) But even for modern works, we don’t think anyone’s grandchildren deserve profit from grandpa’s good luck!

If you want a fall-on-the-floor, laughing-out-loud experience, check out what U.S. government functionaries get paid for: http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm.

This intolerable situation has kept everyone in abject confusion for far too long. Essential and wonderful works which are not profitable are pulped and allowed to go out-of-print, making them unavailable to the rest of us. Online repositories are afraid to make books publicly available lest they be charged and fined.

It is indefensible for even public repositories with agreements to scan major libraries such as Google Books and others to restrict public access.

“Hoc opus, hic labor est.” Loeb III is a salvo across the bows of the USS Copyright. FREE THE LOEBS!

More Loebs, please! We’re still not satisfied!

Mrz. 26, 2015, 9:59am

Skirting the broad issues of what should be...

>312 facthailand:
If the new translations have been modernised or, worse, made political correct so that, Goddess forbid, we don’t offend anybody, that does us all a great disservice.

A number of the original Loebs left text untranslated when it was considered inappropriate for students, text that the new translations have translated; that is, the original Loebs were censored so they didn't offend anybody. More controversially, many new translators are listening with an ear to homosexual undertones; the debates on how accurate that may be in various cases may rage, but in some cases they're certainly hearing things the earlier translators were deaf to.

US copyright law “protects” a work for 90 years after the death of the creator.

No. US law is 70 years after death, and at the current time that only applies to works first published after 2002.

check out what U.S. government functionaries get paid for: http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm.

That has nothing to do with government functionaries. That was designed by politicians; it was mostly grown from a 28 year + 28 year renewal system to a system conformant with international copyright law of life+70. Pretty much every exception in those lists is based on an idea of fairness, of trying to change things without ripping out the rug from under people who were depending on the old rules.

Mrz. 26, 2015, 10:44am

There is a value to intellectual property. Now I don't know what that value should be. For example, Epiphanius' Panarion, a pretty important source, is only available in English through a very high priced Brill edition and the amount there bothers me. I don't find myself as incensed with $24 Loebs.

It's a slippery slope to transition from arguing for a free translated source to arguing that, say, the heirs of Charles Dickens don't deserve to continue to receive income from Great Expectations because of its value as literature. (NOTE: I don't actually know who receives royalties from Dickens' works, I'm using this as an example)

Mrz. 26, 2015, 12:19pm

>314 cemanuel: (NOTE: I don't actually know who receives royalties from Dickens' works, I'm using this as an example)

No one. With a few twisted exceptions, works published before 1923 by authors who died more than 100 years ago are in the public domain world-wide. The heirs of Dickens did nothing to produce Great Expectations, and nobody writes to make royalties for descendants 100 years down the road.

On the flip side, there is clearly value to you to have an English language version of Panarion, and thus we give copyright to translators. If there was no copyright, it's unlikely there would be that translation. The original text of Panarion is still in the public domain, and you are free to make your own translation, hire someone to do it, or feed it into an automatic translator.

Mrz. 26, 2015, 6:52pm

Let's not overlook the monetary value of the formatting of a text for digital download. You don't just wave a wand over a print book and get a good ebook out of it. People deserve to get paid for their labor and expertise. A public domain edition may still have copyrightable parts to it, including cover art, new introductions or even the book design. It's not just mean ol' publishers; there are actual people with actual jobs who lose when stuff is pirated.

Mrz. 27, 2015, 12:46am

Until HUP decide to make them available free of charge, i'll keep paying for those i want, or just struggle through them in the original from free online digital sources.

Bearbeitet: Mrz. 28, 2015, 7:11am

>315 prosfilaes: No one. With a few twisted exceptions, works published before 1923 by authors who died more than 100 years ago are in the public domain world-wide. The heirs of Dickens did nothing to produce Great Expectations, and nobody writes to make royalties for descendants 100 years down the road.

Dickens was English. 1923 has nothing to do with him, but I take your point.

On the flip side, there is clearly value to you to have an English language version of Panarion, and thus we give copyright to translators. If there was no copyright, it's unlikely there would be that translation. The original text of Panarion is still in the public domain, and you are free to make your own translation, hire someone to do it, or feed it into an automatic translator.

The value to me might be as high as $50. It certainly isn't $500. However I'm not worried about me but grad students who might need it as a reference but their school library decided not to buy it because of the price.

Mrz. 28, 2015, 9:34am

>318 cemanuel: Dickens was English.

Doesn't matter. In the US, the US copyright laws rule, which means that books published before 1923 are PD in the US, no matter when their authors died. (For example, The Secret Adversary, by an author who died in 1976, is PD in the US and can be found online from sites offering US PD works.)

The value to me might be as high as $50. It certainly isn't $500.

You're not out anything, though. You're not worse off then if they had never translated it at all.

Apr. 3, 2015, 8:47am

> 319 Doesn't matter. In the US, the US copyright laws rule, which means that books published before 1923 are PD in the US, no matter when their authors died.

Nope. Dickens published his books in England. I forget the precise treaty (Berne Convention?) and it isn't important enough for me to hunt it down, but the US signed it agreeing to recognize copyright law in other countries, including the UK.

IF Dickens stuff was PD in England then 1923 would start to matter - maybe, there's a lot of case law about specifics - but the US does not ignore all laws of all other countries, including those related to copyright. We may be arrogant but we aren't quite that arrogant.

Apr. 3, 2015, 9:55am

>320 cemanuel: the US signed it agreeing to recognize copyright law in other countries, including the UK.

The Berne Convention requires the US to treat foreign authors the same way that it treats US authors. British authors get the same terms in the US they would get if they were US authors, not the same terms they do at home. See http://copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm for all the details about how long copyright lasts in the US; note that it's basically the same for foreign authors and US authors, with the exceptions being that foreign authors got some bureaucratic rules retroactively waived for them.

Apr. 3, 2015, 10:22am

> 321 The Berne Convention requires the US to treat foreign authors the same way that it treats US authors.

Sure does - whether Dickens was British or American the copyright laws of the nation where his stuff was first published would apply. Ergo, UK copyright applies.

British authors get the same terms in the US they would get if they were US authors, not the same terms they do at home.

Technically true but irrelevant to what we're talking about as one of the core provisions of Berne is that copyright from the country of origin (where a work was first published) applies. Dickens' stuff was first published in the UK. Terms in the US are largely irrelevant (except it's very possible most or all of it was already PD).

One of the core provisions of the agreement was that signatories agreed to recognize the copyright laws of other signatories based on country of origin. If an author's work was first published in the UK, UK copyright applies.

Of course as with a lot of agreements, case law impacting interpretation has been ongoing.

Apr. 3, 2015, 11:52am

>322 cemanuel: Did you look at the link I pointed to?

One of the core provisions of the agreement was that signatories agreed to recognize the copyright laws of other signatories based on country of origin. If an author's work was first published in the UK, UK copyright applies.

Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works of September 9, 1886, ... and amended on September 28, 1979, Article 5 says

"(1) Authors shall enjoy, in respect of works for which they are protected under this Convention, in countries of the Union other than the country of origin, the rights which their respective laws do now or may hereafter grant to their nationals, as well as the rights specially granted by this Convention.

(2) ... Consequently, apart from the provisions of this Convention, the extent of protection, as well as the means of redress afforded to the author to protect his rights, shall be governed exclusively by the laws of the country where protection is claimed.

(3) Protection in the country of origin is governed by domestic law. However, when the author is not a national of the country of origin of the work for which he is protected under this Convention, he shall enjoy in that country the same rights as national authors."

Note that Bridgeman Art Library, Ltd. v. Corel Corp., 36 F. Supp. 2d 191 holds that UK copyright does not apply and that Bridgeman held or did not hold copyright in its photographs in the US by US law alone.

Apr. 3, 2015, 5:48pm

> 323 Did you look at the link I pointed to?

Sure did and it was about US copyright law which only applies to works first published in the US, not to Charles Dickens who first published his stuff in the UK (technically England then but UK law applies today).

Thank you for providing a quote which states exactly what I said in my previous post - that based on Berne, the law of the country of origin is in effect. If something was not first published in the US, but in another signatory country, US copyright law does not apply.

I'm going to sum this up because I doubt there's anything more to be gained by this:

I said, in post 318, Dickens was English. 1923 has nothing to do with him. You took issue with this.

My reasoning was technically flawed as the reason 1923 has nothing to do with Dickens is that his books and other works were first published in England however that date still has nothing to do with him. British copyright law does and the US recognizes this as a signatory of Berne (though your link did say that a US citizen whose work was published prior to 1923 in a foreign country is in US public domain but this still doesn't apply to Dickens who was English).

Doesn't mean Dickens' stuff isn't PD. It probably is, but based on England/UK law, not because of 1923. The exception to this would be if something of his was registered in the US prior to 1923. To be honest, I have no idea if anything was. It's certainly possible but I'm not going to dig around to find out.

Apr. 3, 2015, 9:06pm

>324 cemanuel: it was about US copyright law which only applies to works first published in the US,

That makes sense, because I always label sections "Works First Published Outside the U.S. by Foreign Nationals" when I'm only talking about things first published in the US.

that based on Berne, the law of the country of origin is in effect

That's not what "Authors shall enjoy, in respect of works for which they are protected under this Convention, in countries of the Union other than the country of origin, the rights which their respective laws do now or may hereafter grant to their nationals" says.

Look, go teach your grandmother to suck eggs. I've done this for a decade; I'm familiar with every major case on the subject, I've read through Title 17, I know the history of US copyright law.

You want to tell Project Gutenberg the rule they've been using for twenty years is wrong (cf. their FAQ.) How about the US Copyright Office, who publishes a Circular 38b that says "A French short story that was first published without copyright notice in 1935 will be treated as if it had both been published with a proper notice and properly renewed, meaning that its restored copyright will expire on December 31, 2030 (95 years after the U. S. copyright would have come into existence)."

Apr. 4, 2015, 5:04pm

I'd like to refer all the way back to post #200. 5 years ago - we really are classicists. That is a blink of the eye to us. :-) Oldfolk kg tells the story of how Heinrich Schliemann learned his Greek. I'd like to tell you the story of my bartender friend, Woody. He's about 32 years old; been slopping beer and other potent potables since he graduated from a two-year course in "hospitality" about 7 years ago. For some reason, he has a fondness for the Greek myths, Homeric Tales and classic tragedies and comedies of Attica. He thought he might be missing something in the translation so he bought a Greek grammar and taught himself Attic Greek. Then he turned his attention to Koine Greek which was like falling off a log for him. I introduced him to Vergil and Ovid, and he decided to teach himself classic Latin with the help of my very old Allen and Greenough grammar. It took him about a year but he has the proficiency to read most of the Greek plays, the New Testament, Horace and Seneca in their original languages. I'm quite fond of him and have given him most of my classics books including Werner Jaeger's Paidea. Obviously, he is quite gifted when it comes to languages - he also knows modern Italian, but his memory also extends to such trivia as baseball, football, English soccer, English history of the Tudor period. I have offered to pay all his expenses to compete on "Jeopardy". My only recompense would be 10% of his winnings. I figure the pleasure I will receive out of watching him compete (I hope) will far exceed any payment by him to me.

Apr. 21, 2016, 5:37pm

There's another point here, surely: a treatise by Aristotle might have taken him a couple of days to write. A critical text of the same text may well take the editor years to prepare at great cost, and the same may go for a translation. Copyright doesn't only protect the original author's work but the often far greater labour of those who edit and translate it. But it's astonishing what is available copyright-free. That Brill translation of Epiphanius (latest Brill edition 2010) may not be available, but Oehler's edition with accompanying Latin translation is freely available, as is Dindorf's edition.

But, seriously, Harvard's individual subscription ($150 first year, $65 every succeeding year) is excellent value. If I didn't own getting on for half the library in paper already (I didn't know I owned so many volumes) I'd definitely get a sub ($65 is, I'm sure, less than the cost of the new paper volumes published each year). I'd be interested to know how much a public library and school sub is. The sad thing, though, is that this electronic library probably knells the impending death of the paper books (which I very much prefer).

Apr. 24, 2016, 7:39am

So do you read them on the iPad or computer? I'm not sure I would go for this but yes the subscription price is indeed quite attractive. I've looked at the new Kindle but at that price I think I would rather buy books and with the iPad I am not sure I would like the backlit screen. It would I guess tire my eyes. though I must say that I do love those little volumes and they look beautiful on the shelf.

Bearbeitet: Apr. 24, 2016, 3:01pm

Personally, iPad. It just depends how comfortable you find reading on computers, I suppose, but tablets are more natural, I think. I can read a facing page spread using my iPad series 1, but you'd really want a retina screen for comfortable reading. Again, with the iOS 5 of the iPad, I can't cut and paste, where with iOS 9 on my iPhone 4S I can at least do that (though I can only really look at either the English or Greek at one time due to the screen size - perhaps an iPhone 6 would work better). Oh, I've not noticed this before, that with iOS 9 I can read the Greek text using a reader view.

('1. 1KὍτι μὲν οὐ τὴν κοινὴν μόνον ἁπάντων ἀνθρώπων φύσιν, ὦ Γλαύκων, ἐπίστασθαι χρὴ τὸν ἰατρόν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὴν ἰδίαν ἑκάστου, πάλαι τε πρὸς Ἱπποκράτους ὀρθῶς εἴρηται καὶ ἡμῖν δ’ ἐπ’ αὐτῶν, ὡς οἶσθα, τῶν ἔργων τῆς τέχνης ἱκανῶς ἐσπούδασται. ': cut and paste from Galen's Method of Medicine, Jan. 2016).

I'm using a university connection, while I still have it (I expect to lose that next week, sadly). Many younger people will have alumnus access, I suppose.

Dez. 30, 2016, 1:28pm

I have a collection of 11 Loeb titles for sale at a nominal price plus postage. I am downsizing and weeding my classical collection. Titles include:
Cicero De Officiis (2 copies); De Finibus; De Senectute, De Amicitia, De Divitiatione; Lucretius De Rerum Natura; Suetonius II; Horace Satires Epistles Ars Poetica; Odes and Epodes; Catullus, Tibullus, Pervigilium Veneris; Ovid Heroides, Amores; Martial Epigrams I, II. $5 per volume.
Contact Diann at stratford.chase@gmail.com.

Dez. 21, 2017, 10:14pm

I collect Loeb. The last one I got was Polybius. I read excerpts when I took a classics survey course many years ago at the university. I've heard mixed reviews as far as translation goes based on graduate students teaching the courses.

Jun. 9, 2019, 4:30pm

Revisiting this thread and still have love for Loeb. How is everyone coming along with their collections and if you’re in the UK please do share the best places to buy them

Bearbeitet: Jun. 22, 2019, 6:52pm

>332 ironjaw: If you're in London, try Judd Books in Judd Street who do the best-priced Loebs in London.

As for me, I don't exactly collect them, but I do have about 250 in my classics library. They're good value for single work authors but problematic for more prolific authors. For example, Hippocrates, represented for decades by three-odd volumes, now has nine or so with more to come (it's actually now complete at eleven volumes, I find). Galen, the most prolific surviving author of antiquity, used to be represented by a single volume to which a three-Loeb-volume work has recently been added. But the cost of publishing and buying everything Galen wrote in Loeb would be astronomic. The French Belles Lettres edition was projected (I think) at something like 37 volumes, which would translate to fifty or sixty Loebs.

I find that I only buy works like Livy's history (14 volumes) or Plutarch's Moralia (18 volumes) in Loeb when I can track down cheap ex-lib sets, where Procopius' history (5 volumes) I could just justify when I was working on the author.

What's your favourite Loeb so far, Ironjaw?

Bearbeitet: Jan. 12, 2020, 4:02pm

I've been a fan of Loebs and have wanted to own a complete set ever since I saw my first copy. Despite their shortcomings, they are a lovely collection of books for amateur readers of latin and greek texts. Content aside, I love the size, layout, typography, and (of course) the distinctive red and green covers. I also fell in love with the idea of having most of the classics together in one collection so that I never had to go looking for a specific book. But it was just a dream that I never seriously thought of fulfilling. I couldn't justify buying a complete set new from HUP, and it would probably take a lifetime of searching to buy them second-hand. Eventually I stumbled upon a near complete set being sold from a private collection, in near mint condition, at a price that was too good to pass up. I'm just a few dozen short of the full 542 or so now in the library (as of 2019). Here's a few photos of what I currently have:


Although all of mine are recent prints (the original owner acquired them new in the mid to late 2000s), there are a few I'd like to replace with the new translations. So that will be my project over the next few years: filling in the few I'm missing and substituting a select few for the newer translations.

Jan. 13, 2020, 5:10am

I applaud you, sir. This is, if not, the greatest achievement of a man (or woman) can achieve

Jan. 13, 2020, 5:23am

>333 shikari:

Thank you for your comments. I will indeed check out Judd. I’ve only read Cicero’s De Officiis so haven’t taken up any further loebs as I was thinking next years to study Latin and Greek once and for all and go all in with these wonderful little books.