Best editions of Roman historians?

#1
Can anyone recommend the best English translations of the Roman historians: Livy, Sallust, Suetonius, Tacitus, Cassius Dio, Plutarch, Polybius, Diodorus Siculus, Columella? I am looking especially for accuracy and readability; some annotation would be nice.

Thanks.
 
Last edited:

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,889
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#2
Well, personally I think it's better to be able to read Latin ... not to trust too much this or that translator ...

Anyway, since I can read Latin I have never faced the problem to find reliable English translations [obviously!]. But probably I could suggest you to look for academic works. You can find a lot of interesting translations on the net. About Tacitus, for example, I found this one quite good [Chicago University] ... LacusCurtius • Tacitus

But I repeat, not having to face the problem, I've had only sporadic occasions to note English translations of Latin texts.
 
Apr 2014
206
Liverpool, England
#3
Some of the historians suggested wrote in Greek. And learning Latin to read someone like Tacitus fluently is going to be a bit of a challenge. The Loeb edition may be the only choice for someone like Cassius Dio.
 
Apr 2014
206
Liverpool, England
#4
I started with Penguin Classics, a relatively cheap option with just the English translation. Their editions of Livy, Plutarch and Polybius are not complete though, and I don't think they have started on Cassius Dio (except for Augustus?), Diodorus or Columella.
 
Apr 2014
206
Liverpool, England
#8
Gibbon is certainly a good place to start for the later empire. To a large extent what he does is to present the scattered and bitty ancient sources in a readable form. He is very good at naming his sources, so you can follow up lines that interest you - though they are not always easy to find.
 
Likes: PearSquash
Apr 2014
206
Liverpool, England
#9
For the republic, start with Livy - Penguin Classics will do unless you know of anything better. Then add the last volume of the Loeb Livy. This covers the ancient summary account of the missing books, of which there are a lot. Between them these give you the best ancient connected account of the whole history of Rome from Romulus to Augustus.