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Alternatives to Loeb texts for English speakers?

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Alternatives to Loeb texts for English speakers?

Postby LCN » Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:59 am

Hi,

I like reading physical books rather than etexts, but I quite dislike the Loeb translations. I just finished the Metaphysics and found the terminological inconsistency and general indifference to meaning to be truly aggravating at times.

The same attitude appears in the overconfident and suppositious introductions, where the Oxbridge classicist is pleased to inform us how badly Aristotle understood the Platonists, or how plainly book XYZ was the work of an inferior disciple, or how naively Aristotle's ethics mistakes "is" for "ought".

So I would like to try an alternate edition with different and hopefully more deferential translations, or perhaps simply a printed Greek text with no translation. (There's also the matter of economy of space - the Loeb versions of the Physics has probably over 100 pages of general and chapter introductions, in addition to the 50/50 split between Green and English of the text itself.)

But do such editions exist? I would have thought Oxford or Cambridge (yes Oxbridge again) produces its own edition, but perhaps not. I have not been able to turn up anything on Amazon.

Sorry about that rant, English classicists have a way of setting me off.
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Re: Alternatives to Loeb texts for English speakers?

Postby thesaurus » Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:29 am

If you just want the Greek text without the translation, you should have a variety of options. Oxford Classical Texts and Cambridge Classical Texts should have what you need. They often print the title's in their Latinate form, so that may hinder your searches. I don't know of another series of dual langauge English-Greek texts off hand. There are sometimes other dual language versions available of specific texts.

Oxford: Aristotelis Metaphysica
http://www.amazon.com/Aristotelis-Metap ... pd_sim_b_3

The downside is that Oxford and Cambridge editions tend to be quite expensive. Oxford editions have introductions, but they are purely textual in nature (regarding manuscript transmission, variants, etc.), and often written in Latin.

As for English translations, I don't know much about the best translations, but you should be able to find a variety of them on Amazon or in libraries. You might want to steer away from older translations if you're bothered by those in the Loeb series. Most of the Loebs were produced almost a hundred years ago, so their translations can be iffy... not necessarily incorrect, but perhaps stuffy, uptight, or eccentric. They have been reissuing some Loebs with new editions/translations, so you may find those more to your liking.
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Re: Alternatives to Loeb texts for English speakers?

Postby LCN » Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:34 am

Thanks for the link, I had never seen the Oxford editions before. I will probably try one for my next purchase.

They are a bit pricey as you noted. About on par with the Loebs I think.
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Re: Alternatives to Loeb texts for English speakers?

Postby Ahab » Sun Jul 24, 2011 1:54 am

Here are the links to Cambridge and Oxford classical texts:

http://www.cambridge.org/aus/browse/browse_highlights.asp?subjectid=111750

http://www.us.oup.com/us/catalog/general/series/OxfordClassicalTexts/?view=usa&view=usa

I find that Amazon's search engine is not always of the best. If you locate a text you want on one of the above two sites, you can simply copy the ISBN and use that to search on Amazon's site.

Thesaurus makes good points about the more recent (and improved) Loeb's and the higher cost of going for the Oxford or Cambridge texts.
Another thing you might want to consider is simply using the Loeb for the original text and picking up a good translation seperately.
"In no scholarly discipline is untidiness more out of place than in grammar."
J. Wackernagal
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Re: Alternatives to Loeb texts for English speakers?

Postby Scribo » Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:02 pm

I love the Oxford and Cambridge versions.

The Oxford texts always come with excellent, insightful, introductions and fantastical critical apparati. The Cambridge ones are INFINITELY more pricey but come with excellent commentaries.

I'm not sure about original text/translation editions. There's always Aris and Phillips but they're notoriously bad aren't they? Though at risk of mirroring what everyone else says their edition of Horace's Saturae is pretty good.

You could always buy a text (the OCT's are insanely cheap...I have the Iliad in two different books....) and then buy a translation from Penguin or Oxford World Classics if you really need/want one.
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Re: Alternatives to Loeb texts for English speakers?

Postby katzenjammer » Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:00 pm

I go back and forth between Loeb & the Oxford Classical Texts.

I love the look and feel of the Loeb: the cream paper, just the right size, the feel of the covers, the font is gorgeous in my opinion. The only downside is the distracting English translation, which usually border on the absurd; what I do is keep a post card or something over the translation to keep my eyes from wandering. :wink:

I like the slimness of the Oxford texts and the lack of translation and so on; however, there is something about the font I don't like; can't put my finger on it. For some reason to me, the pages look cheap & photocopied, lol.

So I usually end up reading my Loebs with something covering the facing page.
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Re: Alternatives to Loeb texts for English speakers?

Postby katzenjammer » Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:44 pm

Hey all - on this same topic, I'm starting Plutarch soon and I've noticed that the Oxford doesn't appear to print an edition of Plutarch. Any Plutarch readers out there? Is Loeb our only choice?
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Re: Alternatives to Loeb texts for English speakers?

Postby Qimmik » Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:59 pm

For Plutarch and other Greek and Latin authors, there is the Bibliotheca Teubneriana series. (These used to be published by B.G. Teubner, but have been taken over by Walther DeGruyter.) Google de gruyter. These are texts without translation or commentary but with critical notes providing variant readings. They are for the most part very expensive, but in Plutarch's case, some of the more widely read parallel lives are published in separate paperback editions. Also you can look on Abebooks for used copies, sometimes at reasonable prices.

Incidentally, since about 1990 the Loeb series has been undergoing a revision, and newer editions of some authors have been coming out with new or revised (and unexpurgated) translations, as well as better texts. I don't think Plutarch or Aristotle are mong the volumes that have been revised, but much of Greek and Latin poetry has been republished in new editions.
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