Friday, July 07, 2006

now all of your favorite classical works in one handy volume!

The Weekly Standard has a review of a new collection of samples from the Loeb Classical library, along with a short history of the imprint. Already a resource for the inquiring "everyman" more than the classically educated scholar, the library now needs a one-volume edition to reach what passes for the educated today.

"The source of the Loeb Library's cachet may be shrouded from us in a trifling age, but that of their popularity isn't hard to discover: Along with the original Greek and Latin texts printed on the left-hand page as each book opens--texts, to say the least, of circumscribed value to most people--on the right-hand side we find crisp, unembellished English translations. The Loebs are the world's classiest crib, a trot for grownups. They are classics with a safety net. Here was an excellent innovation for those who have mentally mislaid the mastery of the classical languages they gained in schooldays. Here was also a perfect device for those who never learned them, and they make a somewhat larger crowd these days."

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