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Loeb at First Sight

Designers & Books, Sept. 17, 2013

As a student at Harvard, James Loeb (1867–1933) wanted to become a classical archaeologist until one of his professors warned him that the field was not welcoming to Jews. He joined his family’s business instead. It was only decades later, when he was a philanthropist living in Europe, that he hit upon the idea that would make him the great democratizer of classical studies.

The idea was simple: Why not publish a series of books that made Latin and Greek literature accessible to everyone, not just scholars?

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Photograph by Michael Rossi