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purpose, for, of the many which I had consulted, I followed but one, and that only partially, in the order of arrangement, and not one in other particulars; not from any conceited contempt for the views of others, but for reasons unnecessary to detail.
I might have abridged, for the purposes of dictating, some of the works already published: but though I willingly allow that a few of them are excellent of their kind, they were unsuited to my lectures; for unless I employed a work in Latin I should have had to translate one, a sacrifice of time to be compensated for only by my meeting with a work far superior to my own.
Some of those written in Latin I thought too voluminous, others too concise: as Burman's Antiquitatum Romanarum Brevis Descriptio, a mere catalogue of subjects, and not very valuable, and Heyne's Antiquitas Romana, in usum lect. Acad. adumbrata : Oberlin's Tabulæ, published by Reizius, together with his Lectures, are equally meagre.
In seeking a work that would afford not merely an outline of the subject, classification of matters, and catalogue of names, but also a concise explanation of them, sufficient for any one desirous of dipping into the subject, so as to facilitate a thorough examination of it, I found but one such, that of Nieupoort on Roman antiquities, which has passed through several editions, and is far superior to most, whether written in Latin or not; so far superior, indeed, to the work of Cellarius, in my opinion, that I wonder this latter should have been re-edited lately, rather than Nieupoort's. However, it is far from being perfect, and if published in
these days, would earn but a moderate name for its author'. I was deterred from publishing a new edition of Nieupoort even, feeling how much better adapted to my own lectures a work of my own would be, of inferior merit even. It was therefore for my own use, and for the convenience of those who attended my lectures, that I wrote and now publish this work. If I succeed in promoting their studies, I shall think myself amply remunerated for my trouble: had I wished for other emolument or credit, I should have chosen any subject rather than that of Roman Antiquities.
Such were my reasons for writing this work, but at the outset I experienced some difficulty in deciding what subjects legitimately come under the title of Antiquities; the general acceptance of the word is by no means definite, and I find no precise limits assigned to the subject by any writer. Its limits must, in fact, depend very much on the space of time over which a writer proposes to extend his observations, and the class of readers, learners, or the learned themselves, for whom he is writing. Some writers propose excluding literature and the arts, accounts of idols, and of remarkable events connected with the city of Rome; others maintain that the constitution of the government, the laws, comitia, and magistrates only, are deserving
1 The additions to Nieupoort's work suggested by learned men, and the improvements in it proposed by those who have written since Swartze published his criticisms on it, though not all to be admitted, should all be weighed by writers on this subject ; moreover, the discovery of the Institutions of Caius, and other remains of ancient authors lately made, have opened to us new sources of information.
of notice, and scrupulously investigate the most unimportant particulars connected with them.
However, I determined to consider what was likely to prove serviceable to my hearers, rather than restrict myself within limits assigned by this or that writer: and whilst meeting the desires of the greater portion of my hearers, who were intended for the bar, still not neglecting customs, institutions, and practices, that have no connection with jurisprudence; considering that, however great the advantage of a knowledge of the Roman law must be to law students, a perfect understanding of the classics was indispensable to them and others, and to be attained only by an acquaintance with Roman antiquities generally.
As regards the particular period within which to limit my researches, I felt it most suitable to my object not to confine myself to the Republican era in treating of the Roman constitution, as the learned Beaufort has, or in treating of other subjects. And yet not to extend them to the times of the later Emperors, and render my work of an unwieldy length by detailing the decay of long-established institutions, and the endless innovations made upon them, or even by glancing at each. My plan, therefore, has been to dwell briefly on the era of the early Cæsars, still more briefly on the Emperors further removed from the days of the Commonwealth, and hardly to mention anything of later date. This method I was compelled to adopt by the nature of my work-I am far from thinking the times
I of the decay and fall of the Roman empire less important or less interesting than the palmy days of the
Republic. In treating of the arts and sciences of the Roman people, I have adhered to my general plan of admitting no discussions on theories, but have merely noticed the practice of them, and particulars which may not inaptly be termed Antiquities of Literature and Art, and are equally instructive and interesting. Whilst detailing the objects of antiquity in the city of Rome, I could not well omit a brief survey of the geography of the Roman empire.
Should any one be inclined to question the benefit of an acquaintance with antiquities, particularly as a branch of education, he may as fairly question the advantage of a knowledge of the history of the human race, and confine the advantages of history to narratives of battles, expeditions and triumphs, which many are inclined to do; for the pleasure derived by the mind from such narratives is as the gratification furnished by dramatic exhibitions, purchased without effort, and enjoyed without fatigue. The gratification, moreover, found by the learned and intellectual in literature, is not the same as that found by the generality of readers; the former seek in works of art and literature that ideal perfection, the perception of which the ancients thought raised the mind of man to a level with that of the gods: hence the history of the manners, institutions, and laws of a nation delights them even more than narratives of detached actions, as they look on both as emblems of the lives and destinies of individuals.
If these remarks apply universally, how truly must they apply in particular to the antiquities of Greece and Rome. For, not to mention the Greeks, who can deny
that the history of Rome is full of most striking and memorable events? Has anything existed more powerful or extensive than the Roman empire ? has any nation left more stupendous memorials of ancient greatness? has any people exercised such an influence over existing institutions, and the destinies of the present generations of mankind ?
These considerations must justify us in ranking the study of Roman antiquities among the pursuits most deserving of the attention of young men who aspire to high attainments: if any other reasons are required, they may be supplied by our considering that a knowledge of the antiquities of any country is now justly held to be the very foundation of the knowledge of its language, relieving the student from the trouble of wading through a mass of notes in search of explanations furnished him at once by a preliminary acquaintance with antiquities.
No one, however, will derive so much benefit from them as the law student, for a considerable portion of them treats of subjects tending directly and indirectly to elucidate laws and legal institutions. And the most eminent professors of jurisprudence have ever impressed on their scholars the necessity of studying the Roman law first and principally.
Having thus stated the most obvious advantages arising from the study of Roman antiquities, I shall proceed briefly to state the plan I have followed in treating the subject; the limits which I assigned to it I have already stated. I find that whilst one writer has begun by the mythology and idolatry of the Ro