Best Recent Version of Diogenes Laertius?

  • Question from reader : I found many topics in the forums talking about the different versions of this book. I'm not good at reading electronic versions, so I want to buy it. Which version would you recommend? From a post of yours of some months ago, I gather it would be Bailey's? Thanks

  • I think if I were buying one I might go with Loeb too, for the benefit of the side-by-side Greek text.


    As for the Bailey edition, that would be Bailey's "Extant Remains" which would be good to have if you can find a used copy, and would have a lot more material on it about Epicurus.

  • I think if I were buying one I might go with Loeb too, for the benefit of the side-by-side Greek text.


    As for the Bailey edition, that would be Bailey's "Extant Remains" which would be good to have if you can find a used copy, and would have a lot more material on it about Epicurus.

    Agreed on Loeb.

    The question also depends on whether one just wants Book X - in which case Bailey would need fine - or of you want the entire Lives to see all of Epicurus's mentions plus all the other philosophers.

  • The question also depends on whether one just wants Book X - in which case Bailey would need fine - or of you want the entire Lives to see all of Epicurus's mentions plus all the other philosophers.

    Right - there is a tremendous amount of good information in the other books

  • In my case Mensch has not proved to be a new favorite, and here is one reason, comparing PD3:


    Epicurus Wiki:


    Mensch:




    For me, I usually see the translators include what the Epicurus wiki renders as "magnitude" (I think Bailey uses "quantity.") I happen to think that is a very important word, and I am sorry to see Mensch leave it out. My general impression is that she is being a little too free with the translation and less literal than would be desired given that the material can be pretty complex.

  • Here's another issue with Mensch, and since I am all in favor of Epicureans marrying and having lots of children so there will be more Epicureans, I consider this a serious problem with this version ;) There's a lot of controversy about that line and apparently the text is unclear, but I resolve that dispute consistently with Epicurus providing in his will for Metrodorus' daughter eventually to be married to a member of the school. It doesn't look like in Mensch that she even annotates it, but just chooses what I perceive to be the negative option.


  • Well, the original does say:

    Original text: Καὶ μηδὲ καὶ γαμήσειν καὶ τεκνοποιήσειν τὸν σοφόν....

    Here marriage is specifically mentioned: γαμήσειν "to be married" and τεκνοποιήσειν "to bear children" and μηδὲ is negation so..

    And neither marry nor bear children..

    But the following phrases seem to say that "under certain circumstances" the wise one will turn aside (from this course) and marry.

  • Well, the original does say:

    Original text: Καὶ μηδὲ καὶ γαμήσειν καὶ τεκνοποιήσειν τὸν σοφόν....

    Here marriage is specifically mentioned: γαμήσειν "to be married" and τεκνοποιήσειν "to bear children" and μηδὲ is negation so..

    And neither marry nor bear children..

    But the following phrases seem to say that "under certain circumstances" the wise one will turn aside (from this course) and marry.

    Yep - some say one way, some say the other way, as below. Seems to me the best course is to be sure to mark the passage as controversial and apparently corrupted


  • Bailey's I can't find specifically, though there are other options of him that I wonder whether would contain Diogenes, but all of them are too expensive.


    My options are this version of RD Hicks:


    Lives of the Eminent Philosophers
    Lives of the Eminent Philosophers
    www.amazon.com.mx


    This Yonge version:


    Lives of the Eminent Philosophers
    Lives of the Eminent Philosophers
    www.amazon.com.mx


    Or the already mentioned Mensch version:


    Lives of the Eminent Philosophers: Compact Edition
    Lives of the Eminent Philosophers: Compact Edition
    www.amazon.com


    I also found this one, that is not specifically Diogenes but contains the "ancient biography of Epicurus" (and other texts, so that may be convenient):


    The Epicurus Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia
    The Epicurus Reader: Selected Writings and Testimonia
    www.amazon.com.mx


    TABLE OF CONTENTS:

    Introduction

    The ancient biography of Epicurus

    The extant letters

    Ancient collections of maxims

    Doxographical reports

    The testimony of Cicero

    The testimony of Lucretius

    The polemic of Plutarch

    Short fragments and testimonia from known works:

    * From On Nature

    * From the Puzzles

    * From On the Goal

    * From the Symposium

    * From Against Theophrastus

    * Fragments of Epicurus' letters

    Short fragments and testimonia from uncertain works:

    * Logic and epistemology

    * Physics and theology

    * Ethics

    Index


    Biografía del autor

    Brad Inwood is Professor of Philosophy and Classics, University of Toronto.

    Lloyd P. Gerson is Professor of Philosophy, University of Toronto.

  • The Epicurus reader is well respected. I would be careful about the Yonge and Hicks versions from Amazon as they may be cheap reprints. Have you searched Ebay or places like Abebooks?


    Don may have recommendations....

  • The Epicurus reader is well respected

    Agreed.

    I'd be wary of Yonge and Hicks too, but all of them are going to have their idiosyncrasies per our conversation above. You can't rely on one translation, which is what makes the plethora of online editions so beneficial.

  • Yes and I was referring to to the tendency of Amazon to convert scans of old books to "print on demand" which may turn out to be of a quality inferior to what you can get at a used book store. I haven't ordered many like that but it's my understanding that the print on demand product might not be satisfactory in some cases. I always prefer the originals when possible.