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Volume 170N of the Greek collection in the Loeb Classical Library, revised edition
Volume 170N of the Greek collection in the Loeb Classical Library, revised edition
Volume 6 of the Latin collection in the Loeb Classical Library, second edition 1988
Volume 6 of the Latin collection in the Loeb Classical Library, second edition 1988

The Loeb Classical Library (LCL; named after James Loeb; /lb/, German: [løːp]) is a series of books originally published by Heinemann in London, but is currently published by Harvard University Press.[1] The library contains important works of ancient Greek and Latin literature designed to make the text accessible to the broadest possible audience by presenting the original Greek or Latin text on each left-hand page, and a fairly literal translation on the facing page. The General Editor is Jeffrey Henderson, holder of the William Goodwin Aurelio Professorship of Greek Language and Literature at Boston University.

History

The Loeb Classical Library was conceived and initially funded by the Jewish-German-American banker and philanthropist James Loeb (1867–1933). The first volumes were edited by Thomas Ethelbert Page, W. H. D. Rouse, and Edward Capps, and published by William Heinemann, Ltd. (London) in 1912, already in their distinctive green (for Greek text) and red (for Latin) hardcover bindings.[2] Since then scores of new titles have been added, and the earliest translations have been revised several times. In recent years, this has included the removal of bowdlerization from earlier editions, which often reversed the gender of the subjects of romantic interest to disguise homosexual references or (in the case of early editions of Longus's Daphnis and Chloe) translated sexually explicit passages from the Ancient Greek into Latin, rather than English.[3]

Since 1934, the library has been co-published with Harvard University.[4] Profit from the editions continues to fund graduate student fellowships at Harvard University.

The Loebs have only a minimal critical apparatus, when compared to other publications of the text. They are intended for the amateur reader of Greek or Latin, and are so nearly ubiquitous as to be instantly recognizable.[5]

In 1917 Virginia Woolf wrote (in The Times Literary Supplement):

The Loeb Library, with its Greek or Latin on one side of the page and its English on the other, came as a gift of freedom. ... The existence of the amateur was recognised by the publication of this Library, and to a great extent made respectable. ... The difficulty of Greek is not sufficiently dwelt upon, chiefly perhaps because the sirens who lure us to these perilous waters are generally scholars [who] have forgotten ... what those difficulties are. But for the ordinary amateur they are very real and very great; and we shall do well to recognise the fact and to make up our minds that we shall never be independent of our Loeb.

Harvard University assumed complete responsibility for the series in 1989 and in recent years four or five new or re-edited volumes have been published annually.

In 2001, Harvard University Press began issuing a second series of books with a similar format. The I Tatti Renaissance Library presents key Renaissance works in Latin with a facing English translation; it is bound similarly to the Loeb Classics, but in a larger format and with blue covers. A third series, the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, was introduced in 2010 covering works in Byzantine Greek, Medieval Latin, and Old English. Volumes have the same format as the I Tatti series, but with a brown cover. The Clay Sanskrit Library, bound in teal cloth, was also modeled on the Loeb Classical Library.

As the command of Latin among generalist historians and archaeologists shrank in the course of the 20th century, professionals came increasingly to rely on these texts designed for amateurs. As Birgitta Hoffmann remarked in 2001 of Tacitus' Agricola, "Unfortunately the first thing that happens in bilingual versions like the Loebs is that most of this apparatus vanishes and, if you use a translation, there is usually no way of knowing that there were problems with the text in the first place."[6]

In 2014, the Loeb Classical Library Foundation and Harvard University Press launched the digital Loeb Classical Library, described as "an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing, virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature."[7][8]

Influence

The Loeb Library serves as the model to be emulated for:

Volumes

The listings of Loeb volumes at online bookstores and library catalogues vary considerably and are often best navigated via ISBN numbers.

Greek

Poetry

Homer
Hesiod
Nonnus
Other epic poetry
Lyric, iambic and elegiac poetry
Other Hellenistic poetry
Greek Anthology

Drama

Aeschylus
Sophocles
Euripides
Aristophanes
Fragments of Old Comedy
Menander

Philosophers

Early Greek Philosophy
Aristotle
Athenaeus
Epictetus
Marcus Aurelius
Philo
Plato
Plotinus
Plutarch
Ptolemy
Sextus Empiricus
Theophrastus
Greek Mathematics (extracts)

Historians

Appian
Arrian
Dio Cassius
Diodorus Siculus
Herodian
Herodotus
Josephus
Manetho
Polybius
Procopius
Thucydides
Xenophon

Attic orators

Aeschines
Demosthenes
Isaeus
Isocrates
Lysias
Minor Attic Orators

Biography

Plutarch
Diogenes Laërtius
Philostratus

Ancient Greek novel

Greek Fathers

Basil
Clement of Alexandria
Eusebius
John Damascene
Apostolic Fathers

(edited by Bart Ehrman, replacing Kirsopp Lake's edition)

Other Greek prose

Aelian
Aelius Aristides
Aeneas Tacticus
Babrius and Phaedrus
Alciphron
Apollodorus
Dio Chrysostom
Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Galen
Hippocrates
Julian
Libanius
Lucian
pseudo-Menander Rhetor and pseudo-Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Pausanias
Philostratus
Philostratus the Elder and Philostratus the Younger
Strabo

Papyri

Latin

Poetry

Ausonius
Catullus
Claudian
Horace
Juvenal and Persius
Lucan
Lucretius
Manilius
Martial
Ovid
Propertius
Sidonius Apollinaris
Silius Italicus
Statius
Valerius Flaccus
Virgil
Minor Latin Poets edited by J. W. Duff

Drama

Plautus
Terence
Seneca the Younger

Philosophy

Boethius
Cicero
Seneca the Younger

History

Ammianus Marcellinus
Bede
Julius Caesar
Curtius
Florus
Livy
Sallust
Tacitus
Velleius Paterculus
The Augustan History, edited by D. Magie

Oratory

Apuleius
Cicero
Quintilian
Seneca the Elder

Biography

Cornelius Nepos
Suetonius
Tacitus

Latin Novel

Apuleius
Petronius

Letters

Cicero
Fronto
Jerome
Pliny the Younger
Seneca the Younger

Church Fathers

Augustine
Prudentius
Tertullian and Marcus Minucius Felix

Other Latin Prose

Cato and Varro
Celsus
Cicero
Columella
Frontinus
Gellius
Macrobius
Pliny
Quintilian
Valerius Maximus
Varro
Vitruvius

Fragmentary Collections

Old Latin, edited by Warmington, E.H.
Fragmentary Republican Latin

References

  1. ^ "Loeb Classical Library | Harvard University Press". Harvard University Press. The Loeb Classical Library® is published and distributed by Harvard University Press.
  2. ^ "CAPPS, Edward". dbcs.rutgers.edu. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  3. ^ "The New Translations". Loeb Classical Library. Retrieved 30 August 2020. A footnote then gave in Latin the real meaning of the Greek line.
  4. ^ Hall, Max (1986). Harvard University Press: A History. Harvard University Press. pp. 64–. ISBN 9780674380806. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  5. ^ Wilson, Emily (August 15, 2006). "Found in Translation". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
  6. ^ Birgitta Hoffmann, "Archaeology versus Tacitus' "Agricola": a first-century worst-case scenario" given to the Theoretical Archaeology Group conference, (Dublin) 15 December 2001.
  7. ^ Loeb Classical Library 1.0, Francesca Annicchiarico, Harvard Magazine, September–October 2014
  8. ^ About the Library | Loeb Classical Library
  9. ^ 西洋古典叢書 第I期
  10. ^ 西洋古典叢書
  11. ^ The I Tatti Renaissance Library
  12. ^ Biblioteka Renesansowa

Sources and external links