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Bill Thayer

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Plutarch: On the Face in the Moon

The Text on LacusCurtius

This site is a transcription of the English translation of Plutarch's work by Harold Cherniss as printed in pp1‑223 of Vol. XII of the Loeb Classical Library edition of the Moralia, published in 1957. I have no intention of transcribing the original Greek text: the paucity of readers of ancient Greek out there make it a case of diminishing returns.

As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

This transcription will be proofread, of course, but for now it's very much in progress. In the table of contents below, the sections are therefore shown on red backgrounds. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme. Should you spot an error, however . . . please do report it.

The work comprises a single Book, with no particular divisions. It's too long for a single webpage: I present it in five pages, breaking wherever continuity is least affected.

sections 1‑6
(traditional sections 920B-923F ad init.)
sections 7‑15
(traditional sections 923F ad init.-928D ad fin.)
sections 16‑25
(traditional sections 928D ad fin.-940F ad fin.)
sections 26‑30
(traditional sections 940F ad fin.-945D)


The work is now in the public domain pursuant to the 1978 revision of the U. S. Copyright Code, since the copyright expired in 1985 and was not renewed at the appropriate time, which would have been that year or the year before. (Details here on the copyright law involved.)

Chapter and Section Numbering, Local Links, Emendations

The chapters are indicated by large numbers; the traditional page and section numbering is given in small numbers in the left margin: it should be noted that the latter, corresponding to the pagination of an old standard edition, could be accurately placed in the Greek text, but their placement in any translation must of necessity be an approximation.

Both numbering schemes are marked by local links, according to a consistent scheme; you can therefore link directly to any passage. Similarly, for citation purposes, the Loeb edition pagination is indicated by small numbers in the right margin, also local links. (See the sourcecode.)

As elsewhere on my site, to streamline display of the text and simplify searches, editorial [square brackets] signifying text to be deleted are rendered in struck-out text; and <angled brackets> signifying added emendations are shown in a slightly different color, shown in the sourcecode as <SPAN CLASS="emend">.

[image ALT: A full moon, used here as an icon for Plutarch's De Facie.]

The background of the icon I use to indicate this work is in the same hue of purple I use in the Roman Gazetteer section of the site as the background for Roman monuments of the Imperial period, to which our author belongs.

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Site updated: 30 Oct 17