Aristotle, Art of Rhetoric

LCL 193: vi-vii

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PREFACE

PREFACE

When the editors of the Loeb series asked me whether they should commission a new translation of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, since the Greek text would in any case have to be revised according to the new authoritative edition of Rudolf Kassel (1976), I took a look at the three scholarly translations I had at hand—by W. Rhys Roberts, a translation that was published at the same time as Freese’s Loeb volume and is now again available in a revision by J. Barnes, and the more recent translation by G. A. Kennedy (1991). It seemed to me that it would be a pity to abandon what I still see as one of the best translations, only to replace it by one that would sound only slightly more modern. Freese’s English now sounds old-fashioned, but not so antiquated that readers of the twenty-first century would no longer understand it. Comparing it with Roberts’, I found that though Roberts’ version is probably the most elegant available, it also very often tends to resort to paraphrase where a more literal translation would be possible. It is rather more literary in style than Aristotle’s text, while Freese comes much closer to Aristotle’s unadorned and concise Greek. Incidentally, that also makes it easier for readers to compare the translation with the Greek text. So I suggested that a revision of Freese would be enough to bring the Loeb volume up to date.

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