Bibliotheca Teubneriana

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The Bibliotheca Teubneriana, or Teubner editions of Greek and Latin comprise the most thorough modern collection ever published of ancient (and some medieval) Graeco-Roman literature. The series, whose full name is the Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana, consists of critical editions by leading scholars (now always with a full critical apparatus on each page, although during the nineteenth century some editiones minores were published either without critical apparatuses or with abbreviated textual appendices).

Teubneriana is an abbreviation used to denote mainly a single volume of the series (fully: editio Teubneriana), rarely the whole collection; correspondingly, Oxoniensis is used with reference to the Scriptorum Classicorum Bibliotheca Oxoniensis, mentioned above as Oxford Classical Texts.


History of the series

In 1811, Benedictus Gotthelf Teubner (1784-1856) refounded in his own name a printing operation he had directed since 1806, the Weinedelsche Buchdruckerei, giving rise to the Leipzig publishing house of B.G. Teubner (its imprint, in Latin, in aedibus B.G. Teubneri). The volumes of the Bibliotheca Teubneriana began to appear in 1849. Although today Teubner editions are relatively expensive (as are European-produced scholarly books in general), they were originally introduced to fill the need, then unmet, for low-priced but high-quality editions.

Prior to the introduction of the series, accurate editions of antique authors could only be purchased by libraries and rich private scholars because of their expense. Students and other individuals of modest means had to rely on editions which were affordable but also filled with errors. To satisfy the need for accurate and affordable editions Teubner introduced the Bibliotheca Teubneriana.

In the 19th century, Teubner offered both affordable editiones maiores (with a full critical apparatus) for scholars, and low-priced editiones minores (without critical apparatuses or with abbreviated textual appendices) for students. Eventually, editiones minores were dropped from the series and Teubner began to offer only scholarly reference editions of ancient authors.

During the period between the end of World War II and German reunification, the publishing house of B.G. Teubner split into two firms, one in Leipzig in East Germany, and one in Stuttgart in West Germany. Both offered volumes in the Bibliotheca Teubneriana.

After the reunification of Germany, B.G. Teubner was also reunited and subsequently consolidated its headquarters at Wiesbaden.

Greek Type in Teubner Editions

While the typography of the Greek Teubners has been subject to innovations over the years, an overview of the whole series shows a great deal of consistency. The old-fashioned, cursive font used (with small variations) in most of the existing volumes is instantly recognized by classicists and strongly associated with Teubner.[1]


  1. Davies, Martin. "Book, Printed." The Classical Tradition, eds. Anthony Grafton, Glenn Most, Salvatore Settis. Harvard: 2010.
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