Hi! Does the Loeb-series include original language?

Testudo Rex

New Member
Hi everyone! I have a small question on my mind, and I have a feeling someone here may know the answer. The Loeb Classical Works-series, when I look at those on their website, on every edition it says "translated by...". Does this mean that they are all translated into english, or is it a version where the original language is parallell to the translation, so that you get both? :)

Edit: Or maybe they have editions with only the original language that I have not managed to find?
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
All Loebs past and present are parallel texts. You get Greek or Latin on the left and English on the right. The introduction and footnotes will be in English.
 

AoM

nulli numeri
Edit: Or maybe they have editions with only the original language that I have not managed to find?
If you want just the Latin, I'd recommend the Oxford Classical Texts.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
If you want just the Latin, I'd recommend the Oxford Classical Texts.
I'm not sure why anyone would want just the Latin. I consult the OCT series for one reason: they are critical editions, i.e. they have an apparatus criticus at the foot of each page.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
I find it difficult to read parallel texts in any language. It's hard to have the self-discipline to read continuously and not compare. I don't think I'm alone in this.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
I find it difficult to read parallel texts in any language. It's hard to have the self-discipline to read continuously and not compare. I don't think I'm alone in this.
I agree (as you know). I find Loebs more irritating than useful.
 

Etaoin Shrdlu

Civis Illustris
Is comparing a bad thing?
It depends what you're after. But particularly with something that one is reading for its literary qualities, I'd have thought one would initially want to try to experience the work, or at least significant passages, as a coherent whole insofar as possible before looking to check oneself and see how others had taken it. Even with something like a text that one is reading for purely factual reasons, it's possible that one's view of a problematic passage might be overly influenced by seeing how a different person had interpreted it before one had come to one's own conclusion.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
I myself have no use for translations. I consult them only very occasionally, and that can be done on the net. I don't need a book containing both the original and a translation, since I'm mainly interested in the original and can understand it on my own. I can see the interest there is in a parallel translation for people in earlier learning stages, though, but on the other hand I think it's better to do one's utmost to understand a passage by oneself before consulting a translation, and there's danger of being tempted to give up too soon when you've got the translation right there before your nose. I guess self-discipline is key then.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
I find Loebs more irritating than useful.
Which leaves it open for us to conclude that you may in fact find them very useful. Anyone using them wisely does, in my experience, even if for ideological or other reasons they find them irritating.
particularly with something that one is reading for its literary qualities, I'd have thought one would initially want to try to experience the work, or at least significant passages, as a coherent whole insofar as possible before looking to check oneself and see how others had taken it.
That's more or less how I approach them.

One other benefit I've not mentioned elsewhere is avoidance of the tedious necessity of consulting a dictionary to find out that an unfamiliar word you've just encountered in Pliny's Natural History, for example, is a species of alpine vetch rather than a kind of bryophyte or not even a plant at all. Of course, if people find it less irritating than instantly knowing what a rare word means to consult a dictionary or to remain in doubt about it until they do so then I would be the last person to deny that this is their real preference even if I can't think of any good reason why it would be.

I guess self-discipline is key then.
And very easy to muster.

I can see the interest there is in a parallel translation for people in earlier learning stages.
I've already said elsewhere that I didn't even see one for the first seven years of learning Latin.
 

Callaina

Feles Curiosissima
Which leaves it open for us to conclude that you may in fact find them very useful. Anyone using them wisely does, in my experience, even if for ideological or other reasons they find them irritating.
Well, I have used them, for works that I need to read very quickly for a philosophy/history class. But then I'm pretty much just using it as a translation.
 

Pacifica

grammaticissima
Staff member
One other benefit I've not mentioned elsewhere is avoidance of the tedious necessity of consulting a dictionary to find out that an unfamiliar word you've just encountered in Pliny's Natural History, for example, is a species of alpine vetch rather than a kind of bryophyte or not even a plant at all. Of course, if people find it less irritating than instantly knowing what a rare word means to consult a dictionary or to remain in doubt about it until they do so then I would be the last person to deny that this is their real preference even if I can't think of any good reason why it would be.
That could be effected just as well with a little glossary.
I've already said elsewhere that I didn't even see one for the first seven years of learning Latin.
In the same discussion, I think, you said that it could be interesting to look at translations to see how others had translated this or that into idiomatic English. That was a good point. In fact, the occasional times when I've looked at translations lately, it has been for that purpose. However, I couldn't be bothered just now to read a whole translation alongside an original even for that purpose. Maybe I'm wrong, since I have some views of being a translator. For someone who had no interest in translation but was only interested in reading, though, I guess there would be no point in this.
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
That could be effected just as well with a little glossary.
It could, but it never is in the all-Latin texts in printed form people most frequently consult, viz OCT's and Teubners. So where does that leave us? No better off at understanding the rare words unless we consult a dictionary.
 

scrabulista

Consul
Staff member
Oh, okay, awesome! Thanks a lot for such a quick answer! :D
I recall finding an English only Loeb for the Aeneid.
(It was a paperback - the hardback reds are Latin-English and hardback greens are Greek-English)
 

Aurifex

Aedilis
Staff member
I recall finding an English only Loeb for the Aeneid.
(It was a paperback - the hardback reds are Latin-English and hardback greens are Greek-English)
I've never met or heard of a paperback Loeb except the so-called Loeb Classical Library Reader, which isn't part of the LCL proper but contains selections (in both languages) from around a dozen different works. I'd be very interested to see a paperback Loeb, particularly one that has the English only, which seems to go against one of the principles of the library's formation. I do know that translations that were originally commissioned by the LCL have been reprinted wth permission by other publishers minus the Latin or Greek and that some of these have been issued as paperbacks.

Particularly rebarbative shades of green, both for the cover and the jacket.
I suppose you can at least say the vomit green of the jackets instantly identifies Greek Loebs wherever they're found.

I've got some early Loebs from the WWI era and the green cloth is actually pleasingly dark. They also tended to have gilt tops then, and some were issued in roan rather than cloth, such as the two volume Epictetus I've got.
 
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