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Scholarly editions

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Scholarly editions

Postby auctor » Sat Mar 05, 2005 7:12 pm

Oxford Classical Texts have a full text of any work, apparatus criticus, the introduction may or may not be in Latin. No other help

Loeb have a full text, apparatus criticus, facing translation

Aris & Phillips have a full text, app. crit., facing translation, many have instructive introductions in English, a commentary which rarely deals with linguistic points more often filling gaps in historical/mythological/political etc knowledge

Cambridge "Green & Yellow" Greek and Latin Classics have all the same as Aris & Phillips (without a translation) but the commentary also gives copious help with linguistic knot-holes.

That's my breakdown of the most commonly found, for me, scholarly editions of texts from our canon. Without going all the way to London I don't have access to Teubner books - what do they come out like?

Any one else like to comment?

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Postby Moerus » Sat Mar 05, 2005 8:17 pm

Teubner texts have a good introduction in Latin (also the Greek volumes) about the manuscript tradition. Some have a slight bibliography, but mostly it's not the case. They provide the Greek or Latin texts and they are considered as quite good. They also have the largest apparatus criticus, sometimes also an aparatus with parallels to other ancient texts which deal with the same stories / mythes etc. There is no translation and most volumes have an index in the end with names which appeared in the text.

They are considered as very good edition, although in some recent volumes the Latin introduction has some mistakes (de+abl., but in a recent introduction on Socrates, we find 'de libro ... scriptus'). The text in the volume is mostly very accurate.


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Postby adz000 » Sat Mar 05, 2005 8:35 pm

The Loebs very rarely have what can be called an apparatus criticus. But a lot of the recent Loebs are serious productions (Shackleton-Bailey's Statius).

I think aesthetically Teubners are my favorite. The pages tend to be laid out very well with large margins and the books have a very satisfying feel. I'm very sorry to hear that the quality of their Latin introductions is declining! Tempora muntatur et nos mutamur in illis.

Anyone want to comment on Budé editions?
Last edited by adz000 on Sat Mar 05, 2005 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Moerus » Sat Mar 05, 2005 8:48 pm

It's not official yet, but it even seems that it will not take long any more before Teubner will make the translations in a modern language instead of Latin.

The Budé's or La collection des universités de France (publiée sous le patronage de l'association Guillaume Budé) had to deal with an accident lately. Their stock burnt out completely!
Before they came in hard cover and paperback. Now only in paperback.
Their stock is completely restored, but they don't do the hard covers any more for the moment. Before you had to cut open the pages of the paperbacks yourself, after the restauration of the stock, the paperbacks are in very good condition and you don't have ti cut the pages yourself anymore. So you have a better book in my opinion. For me Frensh is like a mother tong and therefore I use them quite often. I am very satisfied about them. They have a good introduction in Frensh, discussing the live and works of the author, the date of the work, etc. They also have an introduction about the manuscript tradition. They offer the Latin or Greek text with facing Frensh translation. There is also a good apparatus criticus, but not as large as the one in Teubner, but larger than the ones of Loeb. Their apparatus is very good in fact. Sometimes they give also historical notes. In some volumes the notes became to big to put them unther the text, so they are in at the end of the volume. Some of these last notes are more a entire commentary than a few notes. Sometimes they also give an index of names etc. at the end of the book.
They are print of very good paper and in 1972 there was even a luxurious edition, maybe you will have the chance to find a volume of that series ...
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Postby annis » Sun Mar 06, 2005 9:02 pm

I have never dealt much with Budé texts. In general I'm happy with any reasonably current edition from either Teubner or Oxford with one huge reservation - the print quality. I have editions from the 40s and 50s (or earlier) from both and these battered old books are usually easier to read than the most recent printings, which are usually photo-offset (i.e., expensive photocopies). I very much resent the cost of some of these books when I could produce a clearer copy for myself with a little copy-machine time. My Teubner Anacreontea is barely legible in some places, and this is a recent title. The spidery Teubner Gk font doesn't hold up well to photocopying. I had an OCT Pindar with one whole set of pages blurred because the page slipped during copying.

The most recent Teubner Iliad (West) is quite legible, uses a non-horrible font style, but is bit-mapped!

The other Oxford texts, like West's Iambi et Elegi Graeci or his Hesiods, are beautifully print and have the usual massive Westian ap.crit.

The Cambridge bicolors (the yellow and greens, the purples) give much less critical information but enough to let you find what you need if you decide to dig deeper. The Gk font is truly ghastly, but I'm picky about fonts.

It's a little bit disappointing that so many of my classical books have such shoddy printing when my Ancient Greek version of Harry Potter is beautifully typset and printed.
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Postby chad » Sun Mar 06, 2005 10:45 pm

hi Will, i remember you said that before about the newer OCTs. are they reprints of older OCTs, or are they newly edited e.g. with lunate sigmas. i'm asking because i bought last year the 5-vol OCT set of plato, i think they're 1995 with lunate sigma and very clear font and big bold letters in the app crit... they don't look like copies.

my willcock iliad 1-12 is pretty bad though, it has a bulge 2/3 of the way down the page where it's all stretched and warped. it must have been copied by way of rolling pin. i use it just for the commentary.
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Postby annis » Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:47 am

chad wrote:hi Will, i remember you said that before about the newer OCTs. are they reprints of older OCTs, or are they newly edited e.g. with lunate sigmas. i'm asking because i bought last year the 5-vol OCT set of plato, i think they're 1995 with lunate sigma


With the usual Porson font? I will be glad when the lunate fad has passed.

and very clear font and big bold letters in the app crit... they don't look like copies.


These are all old reprints. I read obscure authors (Homer, Pindar) that don't warrant modern editions.
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Postby 1%homeless » Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:57 am

Aparratus criticus, notes, annotation, commentary... is there actually a difference with all these terms? Are there more terms that exist that I didn't mention?

The Cambridge bicolors (the yellow and greens, the purples) give much less critical information but enough to let you find what you need if you decide to dig deeper.


Um... this is what I mean, I thought cambridge yellow and greens were well known for having lots of commentary?

So... how does one finangle their way to finding the lastest updated editions, but with early decent printings...?
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Postby adz000 » Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:20 am

Hey Will,
What's your opinion about final sigmas and iota subscript?

I was reading a strange letter by Housman in which he requests that the publisher of his Manilius use only medial sigmas ([face=SPIonic]s[/face]) throughout Greek words.

"As to the Greek [face=SPIonic]s[/face], I wish the letter to have this form at the end as well as in the body of words: fifty years hence all Greek books will be printed so."

The letter is dated 8 November, 1902.

Apparently his opinion on the iota subscript was that it should be an iota adscript but half the size of a regular iota to preserve the distinction.

There should be a museum for odd Greek typography.

(and if you were to start such a museum, you might want to begin your collection with this oddity I ran into on ebay the other day: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... eName=WDVW )

-Adam
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Postby adz000 » Mon Mar 07, 2005 2:30 am

Sorry to steamroll over the question about the apparatus criticus!

The criticus part refers to textual criticism (creating an accurate text of an ancient author) and the apparatus to the fact that it is a continuous feature on every page. They are abbreviated notes in Latin (not for long?) that report variant readings among the manuscripts and scholarly conjecture.

Notes = annotation = commentary, in my experience. Though I suppose that if you're speaking Latin, annotatio can refer to an apparatus criticus; the normal formula for editing an OCT being something like: recognovit (revised), brevique annotatione critica instruxit (equipped with a small apparatus criticus).

The Cambridge Greek & Latin series varies. Usually the text is nominally re-edited, but there's no apparatus criticus and only in extreme situations are variants noted on the same page as the text. Also the paperback binding is crap. The notes vary, but they're often at a fairly high level. I think they're not intended to be exhaustive.
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Postby annis » Mon Mar 07, 2005 1:52 pm

adz000 wrote:What's your opinion about final sigmas and iota subscript?


I like them just fine. I have to admit that this urge to reform Greek spelling has the effect of taking a pointy stick and jabbing it repeatedly into my pet peeves. I have reasons for my objections, but perhaps not all of them are reasonable, if you get my meaning. Here's my list, and others can decide.

Why William Hates Lunate Sigma and Adscript Iota

1. Annoyance. No one reading this post is phonating all the words. While we learn to read by sounding out the letters, and adult reader takes the whole word in and identifies it by shape. Only when we encounter a new word do we need to stop to phonate. I can read a lot of Greek the same way. When I see [face=spionic]au)tw=|[/face] or [face=spionic]lamba/neij[/face] I know immedately what they are. Both the subscript and the disctinct final sigma are part of that recognition system. When they are removed I suddenly have to stop over every word in which they occur. This is vexing.

2. On Mountains and Molehills. I don't understand why some people feel compelled, after several 100 years of two sigmas and subscript iota, to fiddle. What is the purpose? It's ahistorical, so authenticity (whatever that would mean here) is out. It cannot be pedagogical - we're talking about a language with a larger than usual complement of verb forms. Are the two sigmas really turning away students? And if so, when do we reform Hebrew and Arabic?

3. Aesthetics. Our usual Greek fonts are based on Byzantine practice. The lunate sigma is alien to most of those models. Ignoring for the moment the brain freeze the lunate sigma induces in the mind of an experienced reader of Greek, the lunate sigma just doesn't fit into several of the usual fonts. I have yet to see a Porson lunate sigma that doesn't scream "I don't belong here!" every time it occurs. Having said that, the attractive font used in this Scholia D has a lunate sigma that looks like it belongs there.

I do think every Greek font needs a lunate sigma for use in textual notes when you need to quote papyrus evidence.

(and if you were to start such a museum, you might want to begin your collection with this oddity I ran into on ebay the other day: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... eName=WDVW )


That's pretty.
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Postby annis » Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:03 pm

1%homeless wrote:Aparratus criticus, notes, annotation, commentary... is there actually a difference with all these terms? Are there more terms that exist that I didn't mention?


Let me expand on Adam's answer a bit.

In looking at classical texts we need to distinguish at least two sorts of "criticism" (here close to the original Greek meaning - "selecting/judging"): textual and literary. Because of the by-hand copying of the texts there is often a question about what the author really said. This is the concern of textual criticism. Deciding what the author means, and how this relates to other literature, history, culture, etc., is province of the literary critic. Of course, both kinds of criticism may interact.

The apparatus criticus is concerned solely with textual matters. A full apparatus will have two sections, one devoted what all the manuscripts say, and one devoted to how other authors have quoted the texts in question. As you might imagine lots of ancient authors quoted Homer, so any good Homeric ap.crit. is going to have a hefty citation apparatus. The section devoted to the manuscript tradition is also going to contain notes about conjectures other scholars may have made.

A commentary is mostly concerned with literary criticism, though most I've seen also touch occasionally on textual matters. Most commentaries seem to include the original text, and so join textual an literary commentary tightly, but all but one of my Homeric commentaries expect you to have an OCT at hand.

I think notes usually apply to student editions, which generally include the text and may have no or a very reduced ap.crit., and refer to the more detailed grammatical notes beginners need.
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Postby annis » Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:05 pm

adz000 wrote:The Cambridge Greek & Latin series varies. Usually the text is nominally re-edited, but there's no apparatus criticus and only in extreme situations are variants noted on the same page as the text.


Really?! All my green-n-yellows have an ap.crit., some fairly extensive. The Eumenides of Aeschylus is quite full.
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Postby adz000 » Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:12 pm

Hmm. My Lysias (C. Carey) contains nothing; Demosthenes (ed. H. Yunis) maybe a variant reading every 4 pages, Plutarch "Life of Antony" (ed. C. B. R. Pelling) nothing, Thucydides bk. 2 (ed. J. S. Rusten) nothing. I can't recall having seen an app. crit. in any of the Latin editions I've flipped through, but I may be mistaken.

Perhaps prose and poetry are given different treatments? Aeschylus, I imagine, would require a very careful editor.
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Postby swiftnicholas » Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:26 pm

annis wrote:1. Annoyance. No one reading this post is phonating all the words. While we learn to read by sounding out the letters, and adult reader takes the whole word in and identifies it by shape. Only when we encounter a new word do we need to stop to phonate. I can read a lot of Greek the same way. When I see [face=spionic]au)tw=|[/face] or [face=spionic]lamba/neij[/face] I know immedately what they are. Both the subscript and the disctinct final sigma are part of that recognition system. When they are removed I suddenly have to stop over every word in which they occur. This is vexing.


William was able to describe succinctly my experience in learning to recognize Greek. The iota subscript is definitely part of my recognition system. The final sigma is also deeply embedded, and I usually avoid the lunate sigma at all costs, but Helmut van Thiel's Scholia D pdf file (I still can't believe it's free! Thanks William) is so interesting that it's slowly becoming less of an obstacle. Perhaps even more important than the final sigma, I depend on the medial sigma to recognize future forms---and Homer's unaugmented words cause me trouble. And--although I understand it in handwriting--in print I simply don't like the phi in one stroke, even though it probably doesn't affect recognition.

[On another note: does there exist an English translation of the Scholia D?]
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Postby whiteoctave » Mon Mar 07, 2005 4:35 pm

thanks for stating the important distinction between literary and textual criticism, W, it is frustrating to see the two being unconsciously blended so often.
as for the Cambridge G&Ys, the commentator is allowed to do what he/she wishes. never is it the case, however, that important textual alterations are left unnoted. having had a quick look:

Garvie's Odyssey VI-VIII, Sommerstein's Eumenides, Hunter's argonautica III, Kells' Electra, Shackleton-Bailey's Cicero's letters, Martin's adelphoe, MacCary and Willcock's Casina, Grandsen's Aeneid VIII and XI, Hardie's Aeneid IX and Kenney's heroides XVI-XXI have full ACs (i refrain from 'apparatus critici'). Martin and Woodman's annals IV has a very minor one.

The following have condensed notes on where the text differs:

Carey's Lysias (p.13 noting discrepancies from Hude's OCT)
Murray's Ion (p.32 noting discrepancies from Burnet's OCT)
Rusten's Thucy-d II (appendix of discrepancies from OCT pp.247-8)
Morton Braund's Juvenal I (pp.40-2 noting differences from Clausen's OCT)
Carey and Reid's Demosthenes (p.20 refers reafer to OCT and Budé)
Fantham's Fsti IV (noting differences from Teubner on p.52)
Thomas' Georgics (2 vol) (differences noted pp.33-4 in vol.1).

the texts are intended to be more analytical commentaries than reworked texts, although some of the finest textual critics of the modern age - Kenney and Shackleton-Bailey, to name but two - make the most of their abilities to great effect.

regarding the editions, I think in textual terms one would have to rank from top to bottom: OCT, Teubner (although for a good number of authors better than the OCT version, if one exists), Bude, G&Y, Loeb (although Goold's Manilius and Shack's Martial and Statius are superb). this neglects many of the fine Oxford commentaries which have appeared in a sort of series (cf. the several Euripidean efforts).

as regards lunate sigma and iota adscript, i think the arguments are most concisely voiced by West (against both) pp.vi-vii of his Theogony and Barrett (for both) pp.vii-viii of his Hippolytus. i have to follow the better scholar.

i thought that Prof Diggle would have a stronger opinion for his constant use of the latter in his 3vol Euripides OCT, but it comes largely down to aesthetics for him, and matters of font trouble him little!

i have Porson's editions of his four Euripides plays, and the font is clear and attractive. he does not use a lunate sigma. a much more difficult Greek font to read is that which Bentley uses in his 1699 Dissertation upon the Epistles of Phalaris (which i acquired the other day). it takes some real work to decipher it, but then again a man with the mind of Bentley can type Greek how he pleases!

~D
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Postby Emma_85 » Mon Mar 07, 2005 7:23 pm

annis wrote:I have never dealt much with Budé texts. In general I'm happy with any reasonably current edition from either Teubner or Oxford with one huge reservation - the print quality. I have editions from the 40s and 50s (or earlier) from both and these battered old books are usually easier to read than the most recent printings, which are usually photo-offset (i.e., expensive photocopies). I very much resent the cost of some of these books when I could produce a clearer copy for myself with a little copy-machine time. My Teubner Anacreontea is barely legible in some places, and this is a recent title. The spidery Teubner Gk font doesn't hold up well to photocopying. I had an OCT Pindar with one whole set of pages blurred because the page slipped during copying.

The most recent Teubner Iliad (West) is quite legible, uses a non-horrible font style, but is bit-mapped!

The other Oxford texts, like West's Iambi et Elegi Graeci or his Hesiods, are beautifully print and have the usual massive Westian ap.crit.

The Cambridge bicolors (the yellow and greens, the purples) give much less critical information but enough to let you find what you need if you decide to dig deeper. The Gk font is truly ghastly, but I'm picky about fonts.

It's a little bit disappointing that so many of my classical books have such shoddy printing when my Ancient Greek version of Harry Potter is beautifully typset and printed.


what?? Photocopies?!? :shock:
That's just... :evil:
Thanks for the warning, if ever I want a newer text I'll get a German book instead, I've never come across something like that in the shops here, the new stuff is all very nicely layed out, with a good commentary and nice print. So if anyone here speaks German, I can very much recommend the 'Aschendorffs Klassikerausgaben' and other such editions. I'm just annoyed that I've not been able to find a copy of the entire Odyssey, but I'm getting one sent over from England... should be there soon ... and then I hope I'll quickly be able to catch up with the Odyssey.
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Postby Emma_85 » Mon Mar 07, 2005 7:25 pm

BTW, what is the 'lunate' sigma you're all talking about? Sounds dangerous :wink:
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Postby Turpissimus » Mon Mar 07, 2005 7:54 pm

BTW, what is the 'lunate' sigma you're all talking about? Sounds dangerous


This [face=SPIonic]v[/face] not this [face=SPIonic]s[/face]

I think. Not too long since I started looking through Greek textbooks.
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Postby annis » Mon Mar 07, 2005 9:43 pm

Emma_85 wrote:BTW, what is the 'lunate' sigma you're all talking about?


It's when all sigmas - medial or final - are written like a Latin 'c'.
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Postby chad » Mon Mar 07, 2005 11:06 pm

hi, my preference in edited texts is for iota adscript. wasn't iota subscript brought in because the iota wasn't pronounced after classical times? i don't read post-classical texts so i read the iota. maybe subscript was used for another reason, i've never read the explanation although it's probably in the front of every textbook. i guess i prefer the lunate sigma as well because greeks didn't write sigma at the end different to medial sigma.

basically where a modern textbook says "do this x way. it must be noted that although you are studying ancient greek, the greeks themselves did it y way. but do it x way or we'll mark you down." i instinctively prefer doing it y way if i can be bothered, because i'm learning ancient greek.

i think i've mentioned here before that in my own notes (apart from texts where i'm working on the pronunciation) i write all caps no punctuation or spacing. i prefer reading greek this way, how the greeks read. also it makes reading inscriptions much easier which i like: i find finishing a short inscription without any help more satisfying than finishing a dialogue of plato. maybe that's the direction my interest in greek is heading, i don't know. here's an example of the 1st page of my notes on Parmenides:

http://iliad.envy.nu

can't hyperlink on this free site to the actual pdf sorry.
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Postby cweb255 » Mon Mar 07, 2005 11:44 pm

Funny you mention this, as I bought two books when I learned Greek, one NT Greek and one classical Greek. The NT Greek was older so it preserved the two sigmas, but to my dismay the Ancient Greek had them all c's. >:-|
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Postby adz000 » Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:03 am

(although Goold's Manilius and Shack's Martial and Statius are superb).


Since the Loeb series varies so much (especially between old and new), for a long time I've wanted some sort of list of the stand-out editions, where the text represents a serious advance, or where the quality of the notes is unmatched. I've held myself back from saying "and where the translation is really good", though this is maybe unfair to Henderson's Aristophanes.

So any more suggestions?

Shackleton-Bailey's Martial and Statius.
Warmington's "Remains of Old Latin" in 4 vols seems to be a standard reference work.
G. P. Goold's Manilius and Propertius
D. A. Russell's Quintilian
Henderson's Aristophanes
Braund's Persius and Juvenal came in for high praise at the Bryn Mawr review, though I don't have firsthand knowledge.

Also I'd be interested in feedback on the Cambridge Greek & Latin series, whether any have been particularly amazing or particularly awful.

I thought that Penelope Murray's "Plato on Poetry" was an especially shoddy production.
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Postby 1%homeless » Wed Mar 09, 2005 8:40 pm

I'm glad to find out that there is such a distinction with all those terms. :)
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