Thursday, October 05, 2006


So the good news first: after a hiatus of more than a year and a change of address, Antikvariát Steiner - a Bratislava institution - is open again. To be honest, the used books store next to the Justičný palác with its seven shelves of "miscellaneous linguistics" has always been my favorite, but I bought some of my most treasured books from Steiner, including the 300-year old map of Comitatus Abaujvariensis hanging right here above the place where my third bookcase will be. I dropped by today just to see the new premises (very nice, love the courtyard) and spent about an hour. I left with the following five volumes which cost me 190 Sk (about €5):

1. Inscriptiones Latinae (Altlateinische Inschriften) collegit Ernestus Diehl (Bonn, A. Marcus und E. Weber's Verlag 1911). According to the jacket, this volume contains inscriptions raging from the oldest known at that time to the gravestone of the pope Nicolaus V arranged in chapters ("sakrales", "profane bauten" and "grabschriften", among others) and alphabetically. I am particularly glad to see the old Roman numerals used with the appropriate inscriptions.

2. Supplementum Lyricum - Neue Bruchstücke by the same author and printing house (1917) contains (at that time) newly found poetic fragments by such authors as Archilochus, Sappho and Bacchylides with commentary.

Though advertised as "short texts for the use in classroom", both volumes listed above are a great example of German scholarship - impeccably edited, extensively commented and with comprehensive indices. A fine addition to my Classical Philology shelf they will surely make!

3. M. Tullii Ciceronis De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum (editit Geyza Némethy, Budapestini MDCCCXC). I do not know much about this particular work of Cicero's, except that it's - as the title would suggest - a treatise on ethics and the source of the famous Lorem Ipsum passage.

4. George Orwell's The Animal Farm. Well, not exactly. It's George Orwell's Folwark zwierzęcy. I just had to have it. Especially since the word "folwark", which I admit I had never seen or heard before, was right there staring at me half provokingly, half accusingly.

5. Last but definitely not least, Poltava: Berättelsen om en armés undergång by Peter Englund (Atlantis, Stockholm, 1988). A brief look at the back jacket had me hooked: I am of course familiar with the battle of Poltava, but only from the Russian side. An "hour by hour" account of the battle which lead to the "fall of the mighty Swedish empire" written by a Swedish historian is just what the doctor prescribed. Having briefly skipped through the 400-odd pages, I find myself agreeing with Amazon reviewers of the English translation: it is incredibly detailed, intense and gripping. I'm really looking forward to reading this one.

And now for the bad news: as of yesterday, I am officially 27. *i̯̪ebh-, indeed.