Toward a New Interlinear Gloss of De Rerum Natura

  • I love Rolfe Humphries' translation, in spite of his liberties, and Charlton Griffin has become the voice of Lucretius in English for me. His delivery has a sticking power and many of the lines from that audiobook occur to me as I go through life.

    I feel exactly the same way. At times I think that Rolfe Humphries' choice of "The Way Things Are" for the title, and some of Griffin's delivery, are a little too overbearing for the material, but as the years go by I do think "The Way Things Are" reflects an accurate tone. Never condescending and always compassionate, but firmly and forcefully explaining that no matter how much we might wish things to be different, this indeed is the way things are.

  • Personally the most jarring thing for me was the way she referenced famous lines by prominent English poets.

    If I remember correctly, the lines she quotes have their origin in Lucretius.

    (I should say, a lot of the lines had their origin in Lucretius.)

  • I am slowly (ever so slowly) getting the hang of LaTeX. I've attached two files; the first ("Untitled4.pdf") is one that I've already uploaded in this thread. It was my first attempt at the text using LibreOffice.

    The second is my first attempt using LaTeX. I think you'll agree the second looks better. Now, hypothetically that is about how much text would appear on each page--and below the solid line would be the dictionary entry for each word and other textual notes.

  • Definitely looks better than spreadsheet format.

    Joshua could you attach a raw Latex file so we can see what editing such a file looks like?

  • It won't let me upload a .tex file directly, and in any case I think you'd need to have a TeX distro installed to even open it. But here's a screenshot of the working GUI.

    Just in case it matters, I'm using TeXWorks which downloads as part of the TeXLive bundle. I think it's the most widely used; I'm using it because the Beginner's Guide to LaTeX suggests it.

    Here's a rough idea of what's going on there;

    Everything above \begin{document} is referred to as preamble. The preamble is where you set parameters for the entire document--document class, paper size and orientation, font, text size, margin width, etc. This is also where you tell it which extra packages to use. if you don't set parameters, it defaults to LaTeX's standard.

    You can add commands to the preamble at any time. You can be a hundred pages into a document, and decide to change the margin width for the whole thing; it's one command in the preamble.

    In the body of the text starting with \begin{document}, I put together a quick title and jumped right into glossing. The \maketitle command is looking for Title, Author, and Date. I used the \date{Liber Primus} command as a workaround to get "Liber Primus" into the title. There's probably a more elegant solution--I just don't know enough about LaTeX!

    In the preamble I used the command \usepackage{expex}. Everything I'm doing after \maketitle relies on this package. It breaks the gloss into lines with their own styles; Gloss A, (gla), which I've set using boldface, and gloss B (glb), which I've set to a smaller text size. There is a way to do this to where it formats all of the glosses in the document the way you want, but I haven't been able to get that working.

    You'll notice it's highly repetitive. Actually for each line of Latin text I can simply copy and paste the following into the text editor;





    And then fill in line A with Latin and Line B with English.

    If it requires more than one English word to gloss a Latin word, as it frequently does, put all of the English words for that word into curly braces "{}"; that's how expex keeps everything lined up properly. And at the end of every line A or B, put in two forward slashes to signify a line break.

    At the bottom of the PDF I have a full page solid line. I wanted to know how to do that in LaTeX, so I googled it. I found the answer on stackexchange in about 15 seconds. the command is \hrule.

    To keep things running smoothly, make sure every curly brace "{" has its correspondent "}", and every \begin has its \end.

  • I haven't encountered Kile or Lyx in my reading, but they look like they should work. Kile in particular looks like every LaTeX editor I've seen. You may have to download the expex package depending on the size of their native package libraries. Let me know if it works!