Saturday, October 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Loeb!



The Loeb Classical Library turn 100 this year. For those who don't know, the Loeb library has set itself the goal of publishing everything from the Classical world written in Greek or Latin into English, providing on the left page the original Greek or Latin text, and on the right the English translation. Greek texts have green covers, Latin one red. Students of both languages owe a great debt to Loeb. I certainly would never have passed any of my upper-level Latin courses if not for the assistance of these tiny red books.
As Adam Kirsch writes:
 For the Loeb classics are the monument of a book culture that now seems on the wane -- a culture that prized the making and owning of physical books, not just for the pleasure of turning the pages, but from a sense that the book was the natural, predestined vessel of every expression of human thought.
Read the rest of his tribute here: The Other Socrates - The Barnes & Noble Review.
By the way: the "other Socrates" books are very much worth the read, especially Aristophanes' The Clouds, which hints that Socrates is really a bit of a bumbling oligarch intent on gaining personal power, but not quite sure how to go about it. The story is that during the play, when Socrates' character walked on stage, the real Socrates stood up and bowed to him (much as Davy Crockett would do when attending plays about his own life).

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