“Velleius Paterculus does not rank among the great Olympians of classical literature either as stylist or as historian. But, as Pliny the elder says, no book is so poor that one cannot get some good out of it, and there is much in this comparatively neglected author that is worth reading once, at least in translation. In its aim to include all that is of value and interest in Greek and Latin literature from the days of Homer to the Fall of Constantinople the Loeb Library is performing what is perhaps its most valuable service in making more generally available the content of those comparatively unknown authors who, for stylistic or other reasons, are not to be reckoned among the great classics or do not deserve a careful study in the original.”
“Dicere enim solebat nullum esse librum tam malum ut non aliqua parte prodesset.“ Pliny, Ep. III.5.10, quoting a saying of his uncle.
I copied this text from the inimitable Lacus Curtius who prints the Loeb from 1924.
One thought on “F. W. Shipley’s Kind Introduction to Velleius Paterculus”
I always thought that Velleius Paterculus had a certain charm and easy readability. As for the quote, I want to think that I read it reported from another source before, but I can’t call to mind what it was.
Perhaps this reminds one PARTICularly of that eminent bathroom assistant, Dennison?