The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

The Histories of Books

To write the much-lamented Cicero essay, I happened to check two small pamphlets out of the library, both Teubner editions of short works by Sallust (or an anonymous author in the style of Sallust). Both had been edited by A. Kurfess (who also edited the Teubner edition of Sallust’s other works [1956]) and had belonged to the library of the great Latinist R. A. B. Mynors, best known for his edition of Vergil. In design they appeared identical: the smoke-blue paper cover of a Teubner Latin text (sun-stained and pale), same ordered type, same distinctive logo, each containing a single signature of approximately 15 sheets. When opened, though, the two volumes could not be more dissimilar. The paper of the In Ciceronem1 is a creamy off-white, a strong, smooth, with a high cotton rag content; the text is clear, small, and unmuddled, with a generous apparatus criticus and notes at the bottom of each page. The Epistulae ad Caesarem,2 on the other hand, is printed in a flat, unpromising type, with insufficient ink, on rusting pulp; the notes are scanty, as though space were limited and they dared not crowd out the text or pad the volume to greater length.

The publishing house of B. G. Teubner, Leipzig, published Kurfess’ edition of Sallust’s In Ciceronem in 1914; the companion volume, Epistulae ad Caesarem, was not published until 1921.

  1. Sallustian invective against Cicero, with a reply from [Cicero] (that is, a pseudo-Cicero). []
  2. An open letter about individual power and republican government. []


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