of the Harvard University Press
specializing in ancient Greek
literature. The texts are presented in parallel translation, the original language on the left, English
on the right. Extensive notes are provided both on the translation itself and the history of the text, noting from which extant manuscripts
the current text is assembled.
These are often moving, in their own ways. It's not uncommon that you're reading the introduction to what is considered one of the great works of antiquity and you discover that what you're reading owes its very existence to a single anonymous monk who, throughout his life, carefully tended a book in the few minutes a day that constituted his free time. Or you find that the text is drawn from a palimpsest, where existing words were scraped away to make room for yet another psalter, only to be rediscovered via x-ray in the 20th century.
The volumes of the Loeb Classical Library are neat, little books, and it is perhaps for this reason that the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver uses them as check holders when you dine at their restaurant in Cherry Creek. You finish your meal and they bring you the bill, tucked neatly inside something such as Aristotle's Prior Analytics. It's just enough to make literate men weep.