The Reputation of Loebs

Anglophone classicists are sentimental about their red and greens volumes but often in a rather apologetic way.  The quality of the translations especially older volumes has often been judged profoundly mediocre.  The student who relied on a Loeb was judged too lazy to read the original.  Shouldn’t you be reading a critical edition?  An OCT or Teubner or Cambridge orange or green and yellow edition?

However, more and more the Loeb is stepping up its game, issuing new and better editions.  I was delighted a few years back when Shackleton Bailey did Valerius Maximus in two volumes.  Likewise his Loeb of the Ad Familiares. And today I’m once again thrilled to find John Ramsey’s second Sallust volume with the Fragments of the Histories re-edited and re-arranged a true scholarly work!  Budé may always be a more serious series with its commentaries as well as text and translations.  But, I, an anglophone, find myself once again delighted by the Loeb series and its new additions.


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