One of the pleasures of my undergraduate years was going to the library and pulling classical texts in the Loeb Classical Library off the shelf. Well, the red volumes anyway. Loeb editions of Latin authors had red covers, those of Greek authors had green. One page would be in the original Latin; its opposing page would be in English. They were a great way to improve your Latin – cover up the translated side, work through the original, and see how close you came. I remember finding the English in Bede’s Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum so stilted it was funny.
Harvard University press yesterday announced the Library would be available and searchable online.
This from HUP press release:
“the digital Loeb Classical Library presents an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing, virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature. Epic and lyric poetry; tragedy and comedy; history, philosophy, and oratory; the great medical writers and mathematicians; those Church fathers who made particular use of the Classics—in short, our entire Greek and Latin Classical heritage is represented here with up-to-date texts and accurate and literate English translations. 523 volumes of fully searchable Latin, Greek, and English texts are available in a modern and elegant interface, allowing readers to browse, search, bookmark, annotate, and share content with ease.”
Last semester in my Historical Methods seminar I had 4 second-years doing Roman topics. I directed them to the appropriate primary texts, but how great will it be when they can begin to search through multiple texts online?
Traditionalist that I am, I still have the retirement goal of purchasing and reading through as many of the lovely red volumes as time allows.