Polybius, The Histories, Volume I

LCL 128: vii

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Preface to the Second Edition

The Loeb Polybius, first published in 1922, contains the Büttner-Wobst text, still standard today, and an excellent translation by W. R. Paton, but it was never properly completed: Paton died suddenly in 1921 while still at work on the project, leaving a draft that included indexes but no introduction and scant explanatory notes. The general editors, deeming the draft sufficiently advanced to be serviceable, decided not to search for another scholar to revise and complete the edition but made it ready for publication more or less as it was, with a minimal introduction supplied by H. J. Edwards, C.B.

So matters stood until 1964, when Frank W. Walbank, the ideal candidate to revise Paton’s edition, agreed to do so concurrently with work on his great Historical Commentary on Polybius (Oxford 1957–79). By 1968, as he embarked on the third volume of the Commentary, Walbank had begun to annotate the edition, entering changes to be made both in the text and translation. But further delay was in store: in the early 1970s, when the Library and its publishers entered a difficult era of restructuring and reorganization, the Paton revision was put indefinitely on hold, and there would be no further communication

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