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How do you like your commentaries?

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How do you like your commentaries?

Postby whsiv » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:25 pm

Salvete omnes,

I've noticed four different formats for Latin texts/commentaries.

1) Text in the first section of the book, commentary at the back of the book (like the Cambridge Green & Yellows and Bryn Mawr Commentaries)
2) Text and commentary on the same page, but with commentary beneath the text (like Pharr's Purple Virgil and the Steadman books)
3) Text and commentary on the same page, but with commentary in the margin (like Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata - this "commentary" is mostly grammar and vocabulary notes)
4) Text and commentary on facing pages (I can't actually think of Latin examples, but I've seen this format used for modern languages)

What kind of commentary/notes do you prefer? What makes your reading experience easier, more fluent, or more enjoyable?
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Re: How do you like your commentaries?

Postby Ronolio » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:05 pm

Option 4 is the best to me, but not much is available that way. I have found Cicero's 1st Catilinarian and selections of De Bello Gallico https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0991386094/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

After that I would say option 1 is next best. Option 2 limits how much you have on each page, and sentences that cover more than one page can get tricky. Option 3 seems like it would be too cluttered.
Last edited by Ronolio on Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do you like your commentaries?

Postby whsiv » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:30 pm

Thanks for your response.

I suppose it also depends to some extent on what you want your commentary to provide for you.

If, in addition to vocab/grammar help, you want long explanations of references and allusions that come up in the text, the commentary section might be best at the back of the book. If you just want quick vocab or grammar notes, I think seeing it somewhere on the same page makes things go faster. Maybe a facing-page commentary could provide the best of both worlds?
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Re: How do you like your commentaries?

Postby Nesrad » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:24 pm

Straight up Teubners.
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Re: How do you like your commentaries?

Postby whsiv » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:37 pm

Ja voll!
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Re: How do you like your commentaries?

Postby Barry Hofstetter » Wed Mar 21, 2018 12:37 pm

It depends. Format wise, either at the bottom of the page or on a facing page. Teaching intermediate and beginning advanced classes, I like commentaries which content wise supply explanations of more rarified elements of syntax, literary devices, and concise background details, because that is the kind of thing most helpful for students at that level as they build and solidify their skill sets in the language itself. For my own benefit, I might want a commentary which supplies more depth, and that should be a separate volume altogether.
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The Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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Re: How do you like your commentaries?

Postby Cathexis » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:29 pm

Definitely facing page or bottom of the page.

What I don't like about End-of-Book commentaries is you inevitably end up with
long paragraphs of text that run over onto the next page. So now the question is:
"Do I peck back and forth with each sentence being commented upon, or just try
to remember it all and then try to wade through it all when I've finished that para.?"

Not every page of text will have this issue but it's very annoying (& can plague my
mildly arthritic thumb) when it does happen. So, knock it out page by page for me.

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