Hi MrP.

First your inquiry: the translation is good and it is bilingual, which is an advantage. It was published in 2002 by Éditions du Seuil. This work is Pros Mathematikous, commonly rendered as “Against the Professors”. In 1997 Éditions du Seuil also published the translation with facing Greek text of the “Outlines of Pyrrhonism”, which the most well-known and perhaps the most interesting of the three surviving writings of Sextus Empiricus. You have the complete translation of Sextus’ writings in the Loeb, by R. G. Bury. The most positive aspect of it is its Greek text, because it is considered that the translation is a little outdated. And it is a fact that it is not always accurate, but in any case I think it’s quite useful. In the last years there have been several new translations published by Oxford Univ. Press and by Cambridge U. P. If you want the references, just tell me. There are also a couple of recent Italian and Spanish translations.

1) “I also think that the translation of the adverb anepikritos, which is employed twice, is confused”. I don’t know whether I should use “confusing” instead of “confused”.

2) “These translations hide perhaps the sense of phantasia and its relation to another key term employed by Sextus, phainomenon, that may be translated as …” I had used “which” instead of “that”, but the book review editor changed it. It doesn’t sound ok to me, though.

3) “I think that one should not use the same word to translate different Greek terms, and should maintain the uniformity of the translation when a Greek term has the same meaning, that is the case in the passages mentioned.” As in the previous case, I don’t feel comfortable with the “that”.

4) “It must be determined whether his scepticism targets all beliefs or only the philosophico-scientific ones”. I don’t feel comfortable with “targets”, at least in its active voice. Maybe “eschews” or something of this sort?


Thanks for that! I shall have to investigate. The 1997 Éditions du Seuil edition looks interesting. The Loeb translations can indeed be deeply peculiar. ("Why, what a word hath escaped o'er the hedge of thy teeth!" and all that.) You get the impression they were all written by 19th century clergymen with a keen amateur interest in Anglo-Saxon. Curious words pop up without warning: 'garth', 'midden', 'kine'. Thou's and thee's joyously abound, attached to painstakingly correct 2nd person singular verbs. But they do have the virtue of making Greek and Latin seem easier to understand than English. You return to the original text with relief.

Back to SE:

1) 'Confused' would imply that the translator was confused; whereas 'confusing' implies that the reader will be confused.

2) 'Which' is correct, as the information about how ph. may be translated is additional to the fact that it's a key term.

3) Yes, 'which' is the right choice here.

4) You could say 'whether his scepticism is aimed at all beliefs', or 'is directed towards all beliefs'.

It sounds as if you're right to be wary of the review editor's edits!

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Hi MrP. I have just one more question regarding the proofs, which I'll send tomorrow:

"It refers to the observance of the use of the language as opposed to the theories of the grammarians." Do I need to take out "the" in the expression "the language"? If it can be accepted, I prefer to leave it. But it doesn't sound ok, because I'm referring to language in general.

Hello Sextus

If you were talking only about the use of Greek, you could make a case for it. But it sounds as if your context wouldn't support it — so probably better to delete it!

Good luck with the sub-editor!