Jump to content
UNRV Ancient Roman Empire Forums
Constantine

Cicero Translations: Shackelton Bailey vs. E.S. Shuckburgh

Recommended Posts

[i will move this post to a more active forum. I believe I may have chosen the wrong one. Apologies.]

 

Greetings. I was wondering if anyone has any position on whether the translation of Cicero's letters by Shackelton Bailey (published by Harvard) or that published at the turn of the 20th century by Evelyn Shuckburgh is better than the other?

 

In short, putting aside the advantage of the Harvard edition, which will give you the translation plus the Latin original of course, and focusing just on the English translation, which would you pick if you had to choose on or the other -- and why?

Edited by Constantine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I prefer the Bailey because his notes provide better and more complete context. What I like about the Shuckburgh edition, though, is that the correspondence is chronologically arranged.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot depends on what you need the translations for. Cicero is not easy to translate, and both translators have to interpret rather than transliterate, because simply turning Cicero's Latin into English doesn't always cause it to make sense to a non-specialist reader. The notes are very often the translator's explanation of how he has approached a particular dilemma. Sometimes you are reading what the translator thinks Cicero meant to say.

 

I sometimes wonder how Roman audiences understood Cicero's speeches if he did actually render them as written (we know that sometimes he did not), while the letters contain cryptic references and occasional slang and definitely need a guide. On the other hand, if you are well up on your Cicero, you might need an App. Crit. too.

 

So if you are reading for pleasure, I'd say go with Shakleton-Bailey. I find his text pleasanter to read and it is closer to how I think Cicero should read. If you are doing it academically, try to find a library that has both, but if you are buying and have some Latin, make sure you can access the original. Sometimes it's necessary to grit your teeth and try to crack a particular phrase for yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Incidentally, you can find Shuckburgh translations free on the net, which is another reason to get the Shakleton-Bailey.

 

http://www.digitalbookindex.org/_search/se...cientlatina.asp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Map of the Roman Empire

×