Citing Text Collections 10: LCL

The Loeb Classical Library (LCL) is a collection of ancient Greek and Roman writings. Founded in 1911 by James Loeb, the LCL’s goal from the beginning was to “make the work of classical authors accessible to as many readers as possible” (“Loeb Classical Library: Our History”). To that end, most volumes are diglots, including the Greek or Latin text facing an English translation. Today the LCL is available in both print and digital form and is one of the most notable collections of ancient texts used by scholars and the general public alike.

The SBLHS 2 §6.4.2 details how to format LCL citations. This post will update those guidelines and provide additional resources.

1. In-Text Citations

Citing a volume or work in the LCL typically requires only the primary reference. Ordinarily, these are cited in the middle of a sentence or in parenthesis, like any other primary source. (See §6.1.3.6 on conventions for citing primary sources.)

(Augustine, Conf. 8.29)

Tacitus, Ann. 15 details the activities of Nero.

4. For a similar example, see Apuleius, Metam. 11.2.

Citations should not include page numbers. Rather, citations should follow the established protocols for a given author (see, for example, our post on Plutarch).

As in the case of all ancient works, if the translation is being quoted, it is appropriate to cite the translator in brackets following the citation.

“These were my words, and in grief of heart I wept bitterly” (Augustine, Conf. 8.29 [Hammond]).

4. “Thou, which dost luminate all the cities of the earth by Thy feminine light; Thou, which nourishes all the seeds of the world by Thy Damp heat, giving Thy Changing light according to the wanderings, near or far, of the sun” (Apuleius, Metam. 11.2 [Adlington and Gaselee]).

If more than one translator is listed for a corpus (see bibliographic examples below), only the translator responsible for a given volume should be listed. Contrary to SBLHS 2, we no longer include the abbreviation LCL after the translator. The bibliography will provide the necessary information regarding the work.

If the same translation is referred to consistently, a note at the first instance indicating which edition and translation are used throughout the manuscript is appropriate.

3. Translations from the Golden Ass follow that of Apuleius, The Golden Ass, trans. W. Adlington, rev. S. Gaselee, LCL (London: Heinemann; New York: Putnam’s Sons, 1922).

2. Bibliography

If a distinct work in an ancient author’s corpus is under consideration, the entry can reflect that.

Aristotle. Metaphysics. Vol. 2: Books 10–14; Oeconomica; Magna Moralia. Translated by Hugh Tredennick and G. Cyril Armstrong. LCL. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1935.

Augustine. City of God. Vol. 1: Books 1–3. Translated by George E. McCracken. LCL. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957.

Note that the ancient author should be listed as the author of record.

If, however, an author’s larger corpus is under consideration, the bibliographic entry should reflect the multivolume set.

Aristotle. Metaphysics. Translated by Hugh Tredennick and G. Cyril Armstrong. 2 vols. LCL. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1933–1935.

Augustine. City of God. Translated by George E. McCracken, William M. Green, David S. Wiesen, Philip Levine, and Eva M. Sanford. 7 vols. LCL. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957–1972.

Contrary to the examples in the SBLHS 2, we no longer recommend referring to a given author’s entire corpus in a single entry. Rather, it is preferable to include a separate bibliographic record for each ancient work or multivolume set that is cited, regardless of how many entries that would be.

        Not recommended:

Augustine. Translated by George E. McCracken, William M. Green, David S. Wiesen, Philip Levine, Eva M. Sanford, Carolyn J.-B. Hammond, and James Houston Baxter. 10 vols. LCL. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957–2016.

Preferred:

Augustine. City of God. Translated by George E. McCracken, William M. Green, David S. Wiesen, Philip Levine, and Eva M. Sanford. 7 vols. LCL. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1957–1972.

———. Confessions. Translated by Carolyn J.-B. Hammond. 2 vols. LCL. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014–2016.

———. Select Letters. Translated by James Houston Baxter. LCL. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1930.

Unlike our treatment of other series, we do not include series volume numbers for LCL. LCL volume numbers are later additions and have been adjusted over the years for several authors. To avoid confusion and convoluted entries, we recommend including only the series abbreviation, as in the three examples immediately above.

3. Resources

LCL volumes are available for purchase from Harvard University Press at the Loeb Classical Library website, with many volumes also available electronically by subscription in the Digital Loeb Classical Library. Older, out-of-copyright editions can be found on Loebolus.

 

3 thoughts on “Citing Text Collections 10: LCL

  1. How should one handle a bibliography entry for a Loeb volume that includes works by multiple ancient authors, each with its own translator? E.g., if I include a quotation from the Loeb translation of Aristotle’s Poetics, which is contained within a Loeb volume that also includes Longinus’s On the Sublime and Demetrius’s On Style, do I need to indicate in the bibliography entry that the Loeb volume contains all three works (and provide information regarding all three translators)? Or should the bibliography entry only provide the relevant information concerning the ancient work that is actually being cited?

    Like

    • There is no good answer to this question, so the following is our best attempt at one. The goal of a bibliographical citation is to provide readers all the information needed to identify and locate the source being cited while remaining true to the work’s own self-description. In this case, there is no way around listing all three works in a bibliographical entry, which means that a listing for Longinus or Demetrius must be modified to point to the main entry. As messy as it seems, we recommend listing the entire work in full one time, then using short entries for Longinus or Demetrius to point to the full listing. For example …

      Aristotle. Poetics. Edited and Translated by Stephen Halliwell. Longinus, On the Sublime. Translated by W. H. Fyfe. Revised by Donald Russell. Demetrius, On Style. Edited and Translated by Doreen C. Innes. LCL. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.

      Each short entry would be included where the name appears in the bibliography:

      Demetrius, On Style. See Aristotle. Poetics.

      Longinus. On the Sublime. See Aristotle. Poetics.

      We welcome other ideas, if anyone has them.

      Like

Leave a Reply to John Duncan Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s