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Full Version: Loeb classical series going digital
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IT'S A MIRACLE! :lol:
I played around with the preview site before it was taken down (was it posted here actually? is that where I found it?). The software is a bit more fancy than Cambridge's Lectrix software and looks neater but is less useful.

On one hand this seems like good news but a) I detest Loebs so sod off HUP and produce something useful and b) it will cost more than my rent I am sure. If it is less than ca. £600 pa. I will be really shocked.
You have to pay for it?! :o

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Quote:a) I detest Loebs so sod off HUP and produce something useful ...
That's a little harsh. :errr: What has caused this blanket hatred?! Surely the pioneers of the facing-page translation deserve some gratitude?
Quote:You have to pay for it?! :o

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Then use it not. What is wrong with that? Would you ask a mechanic to fix your car for free? Scholarship on any level is a ridiculous pursuit in terms of skill and man hours. To take something, for example a critical text, supposes said person has a) learnt the languages and b) the critical toolsets and c) had the overall training and environment to produce that. Have you any idea the man hours this involves? Of course not. I look at something like West's edition of the Iliad, the most remarkable feat of Classical scholarship, and see how many papyri etc consulted (ca. 1100) and my jaw drops. I can't imagine the skill and time and sacrifices and ability that took. This is a full professor mind, not one of the hundreds of students and readers and lecturers killing themselves.

Naturally with a site like this they need to keep it updated and running etc and that costs money. No one begrudges that. Or rather no one SHOULD begrudge supporting it. My problem is I know that the subscription cost will most likely be well and away extortionate. They said it will be accessible. I very much doubt accessible = free. Frankly I find the lack of pricing info somewhat scary. I think accessible just means, in these cases, the fact that there's a translation and simple introduction for the book itself and that there will probably be tiered access packages and institutional subscriptions for students so they don't have to purchase their own accounts.

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Lyceum post=350472 Wrote:a) I detest Loebs so sod off HUP and produce something useful ...
That's a little harsh. :errr: What has caused this blanket hatred?! Surely the pioneers of the facing-page translation deserve some gratitude?

I don't think they pioneered anything, I'm pretty sure bilingual and interlinear texts were quite common beforehand, especially in Germany. Loebs are well and away insane in what they cost. You get a text which is occasionally up to date (like, say, Kaster's Macrobius) or a feat of scholarship in itself (West's epic fragments) but with minimum to none critical notes making it useless in most cases. They boast a translation which is at best often superfluous and more often insanely out of date....

Then look at the volumising! Can you imagine getting something like Herodotus which I think is 4/5 volumes? at £15 each? WHO IS DECIDING THIS? how is it that the Iliad may occupy two volumes but there are fragments which must appear in 3 volumes my fingers width? It's all $$ frankly. This is the criminality. I just...god it enrages me so much when I think about it.

My suggestions are if anyone wants a bilingual text purchase from les belles lettres. More critical apparati, better introductions and more sensible volumisation. Better yet just purchase the OCT and a translation if you need it. You'll save so much $$ per text Loebs. Out of all the ones I've had over the years I've given away all but 3/4. A pox on them. They could be really good tools for fledgling Classicists. Some of the modern ones are produced by really talented scholars yet the volumising puts them out of reach. They're well made pretty tiny volumes but there are probably reasons you don't see them outside of libraries...

Seriously I'm looking at my Varro editions and it makes me so angry I could punch a fish. Even with the nice student discounts its insane.
Frankly, I wouldn't mind paying for it provided it wasn't a ridiculous number, like such projects usually end up being. If it was like 20 dollars for a 1-year subscription or something, I'd be willing to do that.
I think a $20-24 p.a for students etc would be good. It's not THAT expensive or THAT cheap (it's around the same to join the Institute of Advanced Studies Libraries here in the UK and similar for the APA, JHS, JRS and other major Classical journals) and given a) the amount of Classicists at various student levels b) those on a liberal arts track anyway c) independent young researchers/interested parties they'd be reaching a large audience.

Anything that's not triple figures really when one considers the cost of the books, They could even have separate service packages arranged by theme. Of course, it depends on how much money they spent developing this and how much profit they need to show to keep going and how many people are interested etc etc.

I think it will be another 15 years or so before we get more accessible digital platforms for the Classics. It's only just happening in other subjects and the Classics have a) a huge technical array and b) few people working on them. We're all yelling about digital humanities and the new age and all this but people haven't even managed to get footnotes to work in a sensible fashion on screen...

Basically, nobody hold your breath on all fronts.
Yeah, if it wasn't for PDF's, I would have to spend thousands of dollars to acquire some of the books I have access too. Lenski in an email acknowledged how difficult it was to acquire resources outside of the Universities.
Quote:Then look at the volumising! Can you imagine getting something like Herodotus which I think is 4/5 volumes? at £15 each? WHO IS DECIDING THIS? how is it that the Iliad may occupy two volumes but there are fragments which must appear in 3 volumes my fingers width? It's all $$ frankly. ... My suggestions are if anyone wants a bilingual text purchase from les belles lettres. More critical apparati, better introductions and more sensible volumisation.
Loeb Herodotus, 4 volumes. Budé Herodotus, 10 volumes! :unsure: If I just wanted a translation, I'd buy the Penguin. But if I want to see what's being translated, the Loeb is far and away cheaper than the Budé. Of course, if I need textual apparatus -- you're right -- go for the Budé every time. Different target readership.