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mans, another has placed first a description of the city, a third an account of the inhabitants of the empire; and this naturally enough, in a subject which presents no decided series of connected links. I do not mean that it is of no consequence how the subjects are arranged, but certainly it is very difficult to decide on any particular principle of arrangement. I have adopted, with trifling variations, the method followed by Schaafe, in his Encyclopædia der classichen Alterthumskunde. Creuzer terms his method of arrangement genetica, and leaves its meaning to be explained in his lectures.

A consideration of some importance arises when we undertake to decide whether events and subjects of a totally different nature should not be collected into distinct periods, dating severally from great and eventful changes; this plan has been transferred from historical compositions to treatises on literature and art, and has been adopted by the justly celebrated Hugo, as well as others, in writing the history of jurisprudence. I approve highly of it in such subjects as these, but not in antiquities: still, although I found it unadvisable to follow the chronological order of events, I have taken due care not to mix up particulars pertaining to one period with others pertaining to a different one, and incur a share of the blame which Meierotto has cast upon many antiquaries, in the preface to his work, Uber Sitten und Lebensart der Romer (On the Manners and Domestic Life of the Romans). It would be absurd and unjust for any one composing a work like the following, not to take notice of the opinions

entertained by other writers, yet those who have followed Sigonius, Gruchius, Spanheim, and others, who may be termed the fathers of antiquities, have neglected doing so, not even Heineccius nor the numerous writers who have misrepresented what they have taken from him. Greater credit for doing so is therefore due to the learned Beaufort, who has struck out for himself an original pathway through the mazes of Roman antiquities. I have consulted this writer and several others, in my endeavours to arrive at truth, or at the truest account attainable, waiving as much as possible all discussions and new and startling conjectures, as unfit for a synopsis; for I thought it preferable to allow old opinions to remain unaltered in my work, rather than to suggest new ones resting on no surer foundation. I therefore thought it better to reserve for my lectures the introduction of new theories, more particularly concerning the early form of the Roman government, a subject sufficiently perplexed and complicated before the suggestions of Niebuhr, which are the productions of a penetrating genius, but not always supported by sufficient arguments; although his system has found many admirers, it has also met with a powerful opponent in Wachsmuth, author of the Eltere Geschichte des Romischen Staates.

I have no apprehension of being blamed by the truly learned for excluding these new theories; there is a class of men who are of a most accommodating credulity, provided a new opinion is promulgated with assurance; they are also equally mutable in their opi

nions, and their approbation or censure consequently can be but of little moment; it is generally minds of this class that gloat on the failure of others in explaining things totally unintelligible to themselves, such as they perceive to exist in Roman antiquities, in points on which the testimonies of the ancients and the opinions of the moderns are at issue. I wish these difficulties occurred only in unimportant particulars, as for instance, on what wood, stone, or metal the laws of the XII Tables were written, and what the expressions pignora cædere and sarta tecta exigere mean, for these may be left to the unprofitable researches of narrow minds, who may bequeath the investigation to their posterity, their solution being of no importance. There are, however, questions of greater importance on which ancient writers have left conflicting testimonies, and which modern writers are daily distorting into one sense or another; whence we may safely conclude that they are subjects which may be eternally discussed but never settled. Among these perhaps may be classed the order in which the centuriæ gave their votes at the comitia; (I have, in a note on section 163, stated my conviction that the opinion of Savigny on this subject is preferable to that of Schulze); as also the form of the edict of the prætor, remodelled by Salvius Julianus, by command of the emperor Hadrian, § 194, by which it is thought the power of introducing new regulations was taken from the prætor. Before the overwhelming authority of Hugo, this last opinion was universally held, but having examined the proofs he adduces in his History of Roman Law (Geschichte des

Ræmischen Rechts), I still resolved to retain in this work the common opinion on the subject, as I only partially approve of his.

I think no one will disapprove of my having merely mentioned, not quoted, the passages of authors to which I have referred; in doing so I have taken care to quote no passages but what I have examined, whether I use references furnished by other writers or discovered by myself, and also that the references should be accurately given. The selection of passages appropriate to the illustration of subjects, is as indispensable as it is tedious, and requires more than any other point an intimate acquaintance with the language. If all were persuaded of this, many who now heap blunder on blunder would be deterred from writing.

I have inserted in the section on literature (§ 409), a list of classical writers on Roman antiquities, particularly the ancients who have written in Latin; and contented myself with quoting only a few Greek writers, among which may be classed Laurentius Lydus, mentioned among writers on magistrates, § 183, of very questionable authority, but still worth referring to, as he is the only writer extant on the subject. All writers who have treated on the whole, or on parts of my subjects, I have noticed in a separate index, as it may not be uninteresting to readers to learn from the titles of works the extent of the field of research explored by writers on Roman antiquities. I have also given a copious index of words and subjects, which will add greatly to the value of the work in the hands of young learners.

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