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Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

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Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Cathexis » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:25 pm

Greetings,

I'm looking for a version of the Illiad in the Greek with "easier-to-read" type. Some textbooks for
learning in particular have the breathing marks so small I struggle to see which way that little
mark is facing! A pain. The Loeb is about at my limits of comfort but is still pretty small. Well,
it's a Loeb so naturally it's small. To give a more readable example, the type size and bold font
used in the reading selections from, "Reading Greek" exercises are much nicer. I know I could find
some freebie on-line .pdf and print it out at whatever font/size I'd like. But I'm asking the group
for their favorite books for just enjoyable reading. Hardcover with good binding much preferred.

Please accept my thanks in advance,
Andrew
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Hylander » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:35 pm

Both West's Teubneriana edition (now published by de Gruyter) and van Thiel's Olms-Weidmann edition are much more legible than either the Loeb or the hoary Oxford Classical Text editions. Both should be available from Amazon. You can't go wrong with either.

West's and van Thiel's editions don't have a translation or notes other than the apparatus criticus. Both editions have better, more up-to-date texts and more accurate and useful apparatuses than Allen's nearly 100-year-old Oxford text, which everyone despises (although for the text alone it's perfectly serviceable; the apparatus is worse than useless). West also provides list of "testimonia" -- quotations from other ancient sources, which may shed light on the text; van Thiel notes these only when specifically relevant to a textual issue.

West's introduction is in Latin, and van Thiel's is in German.

West's edition would be close to twice as expensive because it's in two volumes. It has a fuller apparatus, which provides more information about the papyri, and it has an index of names, which van Thiel lacks (though you could buy a cheap, old copy of the second volume of the OCT to supplement van Thiel). I'm not sure you can find van Thiel in hard cover, but both van Thiel and West in hard cover would be astronomically expensive.

The big difference between West and van Thiel: van Thiel's edition is based primarily on the "vulgate" reflected in the medieval manuscript tradition (which itself seems to be based on an ancient edition dating from the Hellenistic or Roman periods, 3rd c. BCE or later), while West attempts to construct a text that in his view is closer to the "original" text of the Iliad that emerged in 7th c. BCE Ionia. But really, it's mostly a matter of spelling. West is somewhat more aggressive in attempting to identify what he thinks are subsequent interpolations (including Book 10 in its entirety, which he brackets).
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Paul Derouda » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:29 am

Basically I agree with what Hylander says. Don’t get an OCT, the new reprints are illegible. An old OCT printed in the 70s or earlier would be ok. And as far as the apparatus is concerned, the OCT is worthless. So if you want a scholarly Greek text with just an apparatus, get West (two volumes, very copious state of the art apparatus) or van Thiel (one volume, compact apparatus).

Loebs are a bit small, but if you can read them the Homer Loebs are very good - not too expensive and nicely bound. The Homer translations were revised in the 90s and are very helpful (don’t get the old ones).
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Cathexis » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:56 am

Thank you both!

One question though,... On Amazon the HC version is listed at 576pgs. whereas the PB is 436pgs.
A difference of 146(!) pages. The physical dimensions of both versions are identical though. I'm
inclined to doubt Amazon but thought I'd ask if either of you could guess why the huge difference?
I'm going to check E-bay to see if they list these - some sellers give more info than others.

TIA,

Andrew

Addendum: Well I checked E-bay so now I know the PB weighs 608g. (whoopdedoo!). But that's all.
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Hylander » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:13 am

It looks like you were looking at the hardbound vs. paperback editions of the first volume of West's edition. I'm not sure why there is a discrepancy, but Amazon's information isn't always accurate.

I don't see the hardbound edition of the second volume offered for sale, and it may not be available new.

You should remember that you will need to purchase both volumes if you intend to read the whole thing, and things really start happening in vol. 2.
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Hylander » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:30 am

Vol. 1 -- Available hardbound or paperback; pagination is the same:

https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/32977?format=B&rskey=JasX8E&result=23

Vol. 2 -- Apparently only available in paperback:

https://www.degruyter.com/view/product/32982?rskey=JasX8E&result=25

These are from the publisher. It might be safer to order directly from de Gruyter. Amazon sometimes gets orders wrong, particularly for items with small demand, and it's difficult to get things straightened out.

Here is a link to van Thiel's edition (only available in paperback) in the publisher's on-line catalogue:

http://www.olms.de/search/Detail.aspx?&pr=2003363
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby jeidsath » Sun Jan 14, 2018 1:54 am

De Gruyter has screwed up the hardcover of West's Ilias vol. 1 in the latest reprints. I wanted to get a replacement for my paperback, which is falling apart. Unfortunately the hardcover which I ordered has much fuzzier print than the paperback. It's often hard to tell breathings apart.
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby mwh » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:43 am

Just to say I can’t agree that the critical apparatus in Allen’s OCT is “worthless,” let alone that it’s “worse than useless.” It’s unwieldy and not wholly accurate, and it’s been superseded, but it gives a lot of good information.

Van Thiel’s text includes many more interpolations than West’s, but it gives a fairly good view of the relatively standardized text that circulated in the Roman period and subsequently. Both are very well produced (albeit on different principles) and legible.

The problem of distinguishing rough and smooth breathings bedevils all Greek texts. A solution would be to print only rough breathings.

And to be picky, Andrew, all editions correctly call the poem the Iliad (Ιλιάς, the tale of Ilios, Troy), not the Illiad, a misspelling that has crept into more than one of these boards recently.
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby jeidsath » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:02 am

mwh wrote:The problem of distinguishing rough and smooth breathings bedevils all Greek texts. A solution would be to print only rough breathings.


2011 Paperback:

Image

Reprint 2012 Hardcover:

Image

Same lighting, same position, same camera. Some other pages look even worse. I believe that De Gruyter went to cheaper paper and a poor quality photographic reproduction. As one might guess, the second appears to be the product of some US print-on-demand company, while the first was actually printed in Germany.

Smooth breathings don't need to be ejected from our texts. The problem could be solved through font design.
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Cathexis » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:53 am

@ Hylander,

Thank you very much for the links! Very helpful.

@ Joel,

Although I like bolder print this reprint is "smudgey" compared to the older font. Meh!

@mwh,

I have typo-ed this three times in the last two days! Somewhere Thersites mocks me, bow-legged brute.
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Hylander » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:21 pm

These are my thoughts about the Oxford Classical Text edition of the Iliad and the two modern editions; mwh, please correct me where I'm wrong:

The biggest problem with the apparatus in the OCT edition (apart from a certain amount of inaccuracy) is that it reports many of the variant readings in the medieval manuscripts by "families" (represented by lower case letters), which are not really families of stematically related manuscripts (i.e., manuscripts that are demonstrably copied from or descended from a common source that is no longer extant) but rather groupings of manuscripts that had some resemblances on what must have been a somewhat cursory examination. So the grouping of manuscripts into "families" is not methodologically sound and it's misleading. (The OCT does report readings of some of the individual manuscripts.)

The problem is that there are far too many medieval manuscripts of the Iliad (and the Odyssey) and far too much "contamination" among the manuscripts (copying from two or more manuscripts and selecting variants from them, instead of copying from a single manuscript and reproducing its errors) to conduct the detailed analysis that would be required to establish the lines of descent (a "stemma"), eliminating from consideration manuscripts clearly copied from other existing manuscripts, and to group the manuscripts in true, genetically related, families, in conformity with the "stemmatic method."

That said, the OCT provides information (said to be not always accurate, as mwh mentioned) about ancient variant readings and atheteses (excisions) by ancient scholars reported in the scholia, variants reflected in the papyri known up the date of its original publication (3rd. ed. 1920), and variant readings found in the medieval manuscripts. It's not always possible to identify exactly which manuscripts contain which readings from the apparatus, but to my mind that doesn't matter as much with a tradition as replete as that of the Iliad -- knowing the existence of the variants is more important than knowing their source.

So even though reporting variants by "families" is somewhat misleading, it's not as big a problem as it might seem (at least that's what I think). As I mentioned, while the apparatus of the OCT would not satisfy contemporary specialists working at the cutting edge of scholarship, who tend to look down on the OCT with contempt, the text is perfectly ok for reading the Iliad.

In the face of so many manuscripts, both West and van Thiel adopt a different approach. Instead of trying to shoehorn their texts into the stemmatic method -- a hopeless task -- they select a handful of older, more or less carefully produced manuscripts (such as Venetus A), and select variants eclectically (if that's not a tautology) among them, reporting other variants from those manuscripts in the apparatus. They both use almost exactly the same manuscripts. Van Thiel's apparatus is stripped down to the basic information in comparison to West. For readers like me who have no pretensions to scholarship, van Thiel's apparatus is actually more helpful because it's easier to see the variants as you read (and having the text in a single, compact volume is a pleasure, too), but you can find a lot of information in West, and I usually go to West when I'm interested in chasing down a fine point.

Again, the major difference between the two modern editions is:

--West attempts to produce a text that is close to what he thinks the original text of the Iliad that emerged in 7th century BCE Ionia would have been (although the diacritics are based on Hellenistic/Roman-era or even Byzantine editing, and the alphabet is the later Ionian alphabet, i.e., the alphabet that is used in ancient and modern Greek texts today, not the earlier alphabet in which the text would originally have been written).

--Van Thiel thinks that it's impossible to replicate the original text and largely attempts to construct a text based on the "paradosis," the tradition that has come down to us through the medieval manuscripts that goes back to one or more editions produced by scholars in the Hellenistic/Roman eras, sometime after the 4th c. BCE.
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Markos » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:12 pm

Cathexis wrote:I'm looking for a version of the Illiad in the Greek with "easier-to-read" type.

I have a copy of the original hard cover of Benner's Selections from Homer's Iliad. The font is clear, dark and about 50% bigger than the Loeb. (I can't speak to the font size and quality of the various reprints of Benner) I also have this paperback.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/14421 ... UTF8&psc=1

As you can see from the preview, the font is too cursive to my taste, but the font size is about twice the size of the Loeb. But my favorite reader's text of the Iliad is the giant print edition of Gaza that Bedwere produced:

http://www.lulu.com/shop/theodorus-gaza ... 61409.html

Now, this font is of the older type, and there are some smudges, but you will not find a larger Iliad font, about 3-4x the size of Loeb. Even if you are not prone to use Gaza's facing paraphrase, reading Homer with a giant font is a delight.

But, as you say, if you want a font that is both large and clear, you really have to look into printing one yourself.
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Cathexis » Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:02 pm

Thank you so much for chiming in!

I looked at the two links as well as the preview of Benner's "Selections."
The Benner and the Createspace(?) were both a very nice size and quite
clear type. I liked them both. The 3rd choice was obviously more smudgey
as you said. I think the first two you suggested showed the clearest I've seen
so far.

All the suggestions given have been very enlightening for me. Textkit does it
again!

Thank you,

Andrew
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Hylander » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:14 pm

Benner is a good way to start reading the Iliad. That's how I did long ago. It's abridged, to be sure, but it includes all the essential material. Vocabulary items are at the foot of the page, which is convenient. Check out the paperback reprint from University of Oklahoma Press on Amazon to see whether the type is legible to you. Otherwise, make sure you get an old copy in good condition, so that the type is clear.

https://www.amazon.com/Selections-Homers-Iliad-Rogers-Benner/dp/0806133635/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516039138&sr=8-1&keywords=benner+iliad

You might want to supplement Benner with an annotated edition that reflects more modern ideas about the Iliad, such as Willcock's 2-volume paperback set.

https://www.amazon.com/Homer-Iliad-I-XII-Greek-Bks-1-12/dp/185399507X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1516039442&sr=8-2&keywords=iliad+willcock

https://www.amazon.com/Homer-Iliad-XIII-XXIV-Bks-13-24/dp/1853995959/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516039442&sr=8-1&keywords=iliad+willcock

For reading Homer, this lexicon can't be beat:

https://www.amazon.com/Lexicon-Homeric-Dialect-Expanded/dp/0806143088/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1516039650&sr=8-1&keywords=lexicon+of+the+homeric+dialect

It's not unreasonably priced, and you can get it even cheaper used. The "expanded edition", the one sold new today, isn't worth paying more for. The expansion consists of proper names, which you don't need. It's also published by U of O.

I have no vested interest in the U of O Press, even though it was founded by my mother's cousin's husband, who was president of the university for a short while in the 1940s . . . until he suggested de-emphasizing football.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_A._Brandt
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Paul Derouda » Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:27 pm

I have a copy of the reprint of Willcock linked by Hylander. While the book is good, the binding of this reprint is awful. It fell apart immediately. I strongly suggest an older second hand non-reprint copy.
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Cathexis » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:09 pm

BIG thanks!
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby RandyGibbons » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:30 pm

Just to ditto Paul's experience with the Willcock reprint: The binding started coming apart almost literally from the first day I had it. That said, while the font size is not particularly big, I at least have no problem reading it, including the breathings. Note also that this edition does not have a critical apparatus. That may or may not be a good thing, depending on the level you're currently reading Homer at. Again especially for first time readers, the commentary is quite useful.

I originally read the Iliad with the Ameis-Hentze-Cauer German edition. In this edition, the individual books/chapters of the Iliad are produced in separate hardback volumes. I kind of liked that, psychologically. It encouraged me to focus on a book at a time and make that my goal, no distractions. It looks like these volumes are still available, at least used (https://www.amazon.com/Homers-Ilias-Hentze-Cauer-Ameis/dp/B00T3708WQ), though the cumulative price for the complete set (which unfortunately I no longer have) would be quite formidable. I thought the commentary was excellent, but at the time I was just as zealous to learn German as Greek. If anyone has this edition, maybe they can comment on the print quality. (And I don't remember if it had a critical apparatus.)

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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Hylander » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:13 pm

I think it's important to use a more or less modern commentary, which will fill you in on the exciting and illuminating developments in Homeric studies during the last century. That's why I would recommend Willcock, notwithstanding the flimsiness of the physical book. There are also commentaries on individual books available in the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics ("Green and Yellow") series. Apparently nothing in the Bryn Mawr series on the Iliad, however. There are other commentaries on individual books.
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby akalovid » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:11 pm

Except big print, what else do you need?
For example, do you need a commentary in the same book?
Because many editions printed for the bourgeois German families feature huge print (pneumata almost as big as the letter) no commentary and the translation by Voss.

I made an image, of course, but I cannot upload it. The button only produces brackets (iPad)
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby Markos » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:32 pm

akalovid wrote:Because many editions printed for the bourgeois German families feature huge print (pneumata almost as big as the letter) no commentary and the translation by Voss.

I made an image, of course, but I cannot upload it. The button only produces brackets (iPad)

If not an image, can you provide a link, or more information. It is rare that I have found any Greek texts with large print.
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Re: Homeri opera vs. Loeb vs. ??

Postby akalovid » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:47 am

Markos wrote:
akalovid wrote:Because many editions printed for the bourgeois German families feature huge print (pneumata almost as big as the letter) no commentary and the translation by Voss.

I made an image, of course, but I cannot upload it. The button only produces brackets (iPad)

If not an image, can you provide a link, or more information. It is rare that I have found any Greek texts with large print.

Let’s see if this works:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6v8bo995ea5i ... C5aCa?dl=0

I photographed it besides my Loeb Thucydides. But it’s already a bit dark. Not only is the print much larger than Loeb Thucydides, the spaces are also huge and each digit looks black and completely unpixeled. And that is despite having been printed in 1959.

But I, myops as I am, read both with ease, bringing them to my nose, so I might not be a good judge of normal reading experience.

This is the odyssey, but there is an identical edition of the Ilias! The editor of both is:
DR WILHELM KRAUSE
Furthermore it says:
NACH DER SCHULAUSGABE VON PAUL CAUER (After Paul Cauer’s school edition)

These particular ones are without translation or commentary and thus exactly as thin as tome 3 of my Loeb Thucydides (in fact I leaved through it wondering whether it was abridged, but it doesn’t appear to be).
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