I’ve seen some people talking about these books. Are they worth getting based on content?
Thoughts on the Landmark series?
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I got the Julius Cesar one at a used bookstore for $5.
Nice catch. Have you read it yet?
Just the parts about the Celts and Germans. I need to get around to reading the whole thing though.
If you've never read them in other formats or you tried to read them previously but got confused, then yes.
The maps and the annotations are really helpful/insightful and can make the read less dry. Regarding the translations themselves, I have heard from anons they do the job, but are nothing special.
The translations have gotten progressively better with each volume. All are at a minimum serviceable. The latest Caesar and Xenophon are terrific and should be considered the new standard translations.
>Caesar and Xenophon are terrific and should be considered the new standard translations.
Because you're fluent in ancient Greek, Latin, have read them all and compared?
My Greek is bad and self-taught. My Latin was at one point OK (and Caesar's Commentaries were core-reading, so yes I have familiarity with the original). I have read multiple (though obviously not all) translations of each work. Don't know what else you want, anon. You don't need to know *everything* to be able to have an educated opinion.
This. I couldn’t imagine reading Caesar or Xenophon in a regular format. All the footnotes, maps, appendixes, photographs, biographies, essays and battle diagrams really make it immersive. Anabais was my first Landmark and I was blown away. I wonder who they’ll do next. I’m hoping for Polybius. A boxed set of Livy would be pretty sweet too
Their website says “Forthcoming: Polybius” (upper right corner): https://thelandmarkancienthistories.com/
Are the translations really better now? Only landmark I have is thucydides and the notes and maps were nice but the translation being just ok made me go with penguin and Oxford for the hellenica and anabasis from xenophon?
Yes. Good to great translations, excellent maps and commentary, additional essays for more info on the period. Buy used
Is $20 too much for a new softcover edition of the Landmark Herodotus?
No, go for it
Softcovers are great deals, hardcovers are absurdly overpriced once the initial run finishes. Last I checked only Thucydides was still cheap and that was because of a different publisher or something along those lines
Their Thucydides translation is poor.
Huh, I own this copy and found it was adequate. What was poor about it? Is there a better translation?
I haven't read another version of thucydides
I just know it seemed dryer than herodotus and xenophon (something I chalk up partly to the writer but like I said here
still viewed also as a result of the translator and went with different publishers after)
Nta, but there's not really any great translation of Thucydides available. Best I've seen is Thomas Hobbes', and he skips some passages. I suppose the Lattimore (not Richmond) is alright. But that's for close study; the Hanson used for Landmark is fine for what is supposed to be an incredibly accessible introduction to Thucydides.
Best version of Anabasis is the Wayne Ambler translation. There's supposed to be a new Hellenica a year or two out from now in the same series Ambler's is published in.
The Thucydides translation they use is just a lightly edited version of the old Richard Crawley, its public domain so cheap, any old copy will be mostly the same. Further, a lot of the "maps" and extraneous information in the landmark is just made up, as in no historical basis or source and is actually contradicted by the text in some places. Basically they just added a bunch of shit to make it look like a video game manual. I don't know if all landmark are like this but this one turned me off landmark for good.
I skimmed a couple other versions and eventually settled on the Cambridge one which is what I read. As for complaints about dryness, that is partially the landmark translation, which is just very old/outdated, but also Thucydides writes in a very difficult style. The fact that the landmark didn't have an introduction explaining Thucydides' unique writing style is also a mark against it. I would recommend the Cambridge one, but Thucydides is going to be difficult no matter what version.
I felt FOMO because I have the Penguin edition of the Peloponessian war (which I bought years ago) rather than the Landmark edition. Had no idea their translation was not so good. From what I’ve heard their Herodotus is actually the best edition around, right?
I mean herodotus is pretty easy reading, except for the Egypt chapter I can't imagine the need for maps.
I remember the "poetry" being weirdly translated in some versions, the penguin one seemed best to me, but I don't think it matters.
Their Thucydides translation is an older translation from the 1800s that was slightly modernized. It was not made in modern times, maybe that’s why it doesn’t click for some.