Loeb Classical Library

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Loeb Classical Library

The Loeb Classical Library (LCL) is a (counted) Editions - number of Greek and Latin authors, each with an English translation. The coloring of the volumes is characteristic: Greek works have green bindings and dust jackets, Latin works have red. Originally published by William Heinemann & Co. , London, it has been published by Harvard University Press since 1989 . In terms of content, it covers the entire spectrum of ancient literature, right up to late antiquity ( Prokop and even Bede , who historically belongs to the Middle Ages), including a selection of the Church Fathers and some non-literary texts.

History and character

The series was founded and financed in 1912 by the banker and philanthropist James Loeb ; on his death in 1933 he left his alma mater , Harvard University , a considerable amount for further care. He was supported by respected consultants from different countries, of which Otto Crusius , Hermann Diels , Salomon Reinach and Sir JE Sandys should be mentioned in particular . The work was so well prepared that 20 volumes could appear in the first year (1912), starting not necessarily with the most popular authors, but an edition of Apollonius Rhodius (volume 1 in the series) and Appian (in four volumes). But also Catullus and Tibullus along with Pervigilium Veneris (Volume 6) are already represented, followed by Cicero and Euripides .

This line was also retained later, with the inclusion of, for example, Philon of Alexandria or Sextus Empiricus . Also noteworthy are the three volumes of papyri (including non-literary), the edition of Greek mathematicians, in the Latin area especially the remains of the archaic literature of Rome, including the Twelve Tables law .

The text-critical apparatus is extremely concise, so that other editions are to be used for a really scientific work.

The volumes were originally published by Heinemann in England and distributed in America first by Macmillan, then by Putnam and, since 1933, by Harvard University Press. In 1989, after Heinemann had completely changed its focus, it assumed sole responsibility. It is to be regarded as great merit that the publishers have always tried to keep the editions available - at times in the 1950s and 1960s even a text like the Epistulae morales des Seneca was not available outside the LCL.

In total, the series already comprises more than 500 volumes; in recent years, an average of five new or newly edited volumes have been published. The volumes have a handy format (4.5 × 6.5 inches, 111 × 168 mm). The count runs through both groups (in the new editions, the numbers were partially reassigned).

The series was edited by : Thomas Ethelbert Page (1850-1936, editor 1912-1936), William Henry Denham Rouse (1863-1950, editor 1912-1947), Edward Capps (1866-1950, editor 1914-1950), Levi Arnold Post (1889–1971, publisher 1950 to 1968), Eric Herbert Warmington (1898–1987, publisher until 1974), George Patrick Goold (publisher 1974 to 1999). The current editor is: Jeffrey Henderson (editor since 1999).

In addition to the Loeb Classical Library, the I Tatti Renaissance Library has been appearing since 2001 , in which key works from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance are published.

supporting documents

  1. See foreword by James Loeb
  2. ^ Papyri 1: Private Documents and Papyri 2: Public Documents , edd. AS Hunt / CC Edgar, Vol. 266 and 282; next to it papyri 3: Poetry , ed DL Page, Vol. 360; Selections illustrating the History of Greek Mathematics , ed. I. Thomas, Vol. 335 and 362; Remains of Old Latin , ed.EH Warmington, Vol. 294, 314, 329 and 359
  3. Example: The mentioned edition of Apollonius Rhodius was reprinted after 1912 in the years 1919, 1921, 1930, 1955, 1961, 1967, 1980 and 1988

See also


  • Tracy Lee Simmons: Little Big Books: The red and green guides to the wisdom of the ancient world, in: The Weekly Standard 011 (40), July 3, 2006.
  • Overview and references to digital copies of older volumes on Google Books and archive.org

Web links