The bright ghosts of antiquity by John Talbot

In this feature for The New Criterion titled “The bright ghosts of antiquity”, BU alumnus John Talbot writes about the baffling translations of the Loeb Classical Library, and wonders about the impact of such translations on the study of Latin and Greek:

But then if your Greek were good enough, you wouldn’t be reading the Loeb edition, would you? Therein lies a key to the academic animus against the Loebs: the anxiety that such convenient translations are as much a cause of the decline of Latin and Greek as a symptom. There is some justice in such fretting. The temptation, when you are supposed to be construing a knotty passage of Thucydides, to resolve the problem with a stolen glance at the right-hand page, proves too much for many students.

– Talbot

Books in the Loeb Classical Library

Books in the Loeb Classical Library

For more information on Talbot and his poetry, check out his page on the Poetry Foundation website:

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