Thursday, June 08, 2023


Old Mastodons

Jenny Strauss Clay, Classical World 96.3 (Spring, 2003) 336, reviewing Homer, Iliad Book One. Edited with an Introduction, Translation, and Commentary by Simon Pulleyn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000):
Generally, this constitutes an extremely attractive volume, but in my eyes it has a fatal flaw: the facing translation means that I cannot use this book in my classes. Clearly, Oxford University Press believes there is an audience (in Britain?) for this format (compare the Aris and Phillips editions); that speaks volumes about the teaching of ancient Greek. Have our British cousins given up? Perhaps the Press can be persuaded to issue an edition without English for us old mastodons who do not believe students will learn Greek with a translation at hand.
Homer, Odyssey I. Edited with an Introduction, Translation, Commentary, and Glossary by Simon Pulleyn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), p. viii:
Some pedagogues will throw up their hands in horror at a comentator who also provides a translation. Their students, they say, will 'cheat' by looking at the translation before having wrestled sufficiently with the Greek. I credit readers with more maturity than this: it is perfectly open to them to put a piece of paper over the right-hand page and use the translation as a secondary check rather than a primary shortcut.

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