Logos 4.3 and the Perseus Collection – Exploring Plutarch

For one of my first attempts to work with the Perseus collection in Logos I chose Plutarch.  There are several reasons for this.  First, Plutarch was active in the late first and early second century (c. A. D. 46-120).  This makes him a good “parallel” for New Testament Greek.  There are many words and syntactical features which may be used to illuminate texts in the Greek New Testament.  Second, BDAG, the standard Greek lexicon for New Testament Greek, references Plutarch thousands of times.  Third, I happen to own several paper copies of Moralia so I can check the text in a printed source.  Last, I think that Moralia is particularly good reading in English or Greek.

Plutarch is primarily known for two major works, Moralia, and Parallel Lives.  Moralia is 14 volumes in the Loeb Library, Lives is 11 volumes.  The English text from the Loeb editions appears in most cases in the Perseus Classics collection, including the more recently published editions (Volume 13 appeared in 1976, the translation by Harold Cherniss is in the Perseus Collection). In the Perseus Classics collection there are 369 books from Plutarch, including all of the sections of both Moralia and Parallel Lives.  They are listed under their essay title rather than by the larger collection name. For example, Comparison of Agesilaus and Pompey is an individual book in this collection rather than part of Lives.

There are 3273 references to Plutarch in BDAG, 2718 of which are to Moralia.  BDAG references Lives by tractate name (Plut., Solon 91, for example).  Unfortunately, BDAG references Moralia by the Loeb edition edited by William Paton.  This makes finding a reference from BDAG in the Logos Plutarch collection very difficult.  For example, under ἁγιοφόρος (holy things), there is a reference to a similar word, ἱεραφόροι, Plutarch, Mor. 352b.  Plutarch describes “holy items” in the cult of Isis.  By consulting the index at Attalus I can determine that 352b is in a essay called Isis and Osirus (Loeb 5:1-99), or in Latin De Iside et Osiride in the Perseus collection.  Since the text in the Perseus collection is not indexed with the Loeb system, I was only able to find this particular text by using crtl-F, switching my keyboard to Greek, and typing in a portion of the word.  I did find it first try (it was in section four), but this is a round-about way of working through a text.  On the other hand, I am not sure that it is even possible to create some sort of system which translates the now-standard Loeb index to find sections in the older non-Loeb editions.  nevertheless, at this point you cannot click on a reference in BDAG and automatically launch that book as you can for The NT or LXX.  I would like to see the sections in Logos marked with the paragraphs from the Loebs simply to find my way around the longer paragraphs.

Most texts are available in both Greek and English, many in separate editions.  For example De tranquilitate animi is in the collection four times.  There are two Greek editions by W. C. Helmbold and Gregorius N. Bernardakis, and two English translations by William W. Goodwin (1878) and Helmbold.   I would have liked the original publication information.  I found Goodwin’s English edition online, published in 1878 by Little, Brown and Company, with an introduction by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  The Greek text edited by Bernardakis is the text found in the Loeb volumes.

Plutarch, Moralia Volume II Collection

The good news is that most (if not all) of Plutarch included in this collection is identical to the Loeb editions.  I checked by 1959 reprint of the Loeb 1926 edition of  Moralia II against the Perseus Collection.  The titles are given in English, but there is an index with the tradition order and Latin titles.  I had used Dinner of the Seven Wise Men (Septem sapientium convivium) for a paper on Luke 14 a few years ago, so I was vaguely familiar with the contents of this amusing banquet scene.  The Greek in the Perseus Collection is edited by Bernardakis, although I noticed a few differences from the printed edition with respect to accenting and punctuation. The preface to my printed copy indicates that as this volume was going to press, a new edition of Moralia was released and a comparison was made.  Babbitt is unimpressed with this new edition, so I doubt there are any serious changes in the actual Greek.   I was please to find that the English introduction to the essay is included in the Perseus Collection, and the English translation was identical.

Since these texts are identical to the Loeb edition, I used the index in the printed volume to “recreate” the Moralia II in the Loeb Library as a collection in Logos.  To do this, select Tools>Collections, and then open your library (ctrl+L).  Search for the title (for example, De superstitione), drag and drop the title onto the area which says “plus these resources.”  I put all the essays which are in volume two into a single collection, allowing me to search that volume for any text.  This method could be repeated for each volume, or if you have the time for the entire Moralia, or the whole of Plutarch.  I did not have the time to create a larger collection for this review, but it seems a simple enough task.  Perhaps Logos can add these collections pre-made in the future.  I think that it would be very valuable to be able to search on a Greek word throughout Plutarch and compare his usage to the NT, the “collection” feature of Logos 4 makes this possible.

Logos is taking pre-orders for the the Perseus collection through September 30.  There is no cost for the collection, but you must have Logos 4.3 installed to use this massive resource.  Your pre-order puts you in line to download the collection when it becomes available.   The base package for Logos 4.3 is available free as is the iPad and Andriod app.