By Darren Poley
For over 100 years, the Loeb Classical Library has filled a void by supplying critical editions of Greek and Latin texts with a readable English translation with minimal notes done by venerable scholars on the facing pages. This distinctive series of small volumes with their green for Greek and red for Latin covers have, in many cases, been recast with updated texts and fresh translations in recent years, so that the collection still serves the original vision of its namesake.
James Loeb, the Harvard alum and philanthropist who originally backed the establishment of the Loeb Classical Library, wrote he wanted: “To make the beauty and learning, the philosophy and wit of the great writers of ancient Greece and Rome once more accessible by means of translations that are in themselves real pieces of literature, a thing to be read for the pure joy of it.”
Making the writings of the classical world accessible has been a boon to students and scholars alike for over a century. While the Library does have the books in its print collection, Falvey also provides access to the corpus via the Loeb Classical Library Online (LCL). An author search of the Library’s catalog using “Loeb Online” will result in a list of 220 records with links to the online versions of the close to 550 volumes in the Loeb Classical Library series.
The Villanova University community can access the LCL remotely be means of the Databases A-Z list.
Darren G. Poley is Associate Director of Research Services and Scholarly Engagement, and Theology, Humanities, and Classical Studies Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.