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LIFE OF VIRGIL. (H. NETTLESHIP.)
ON SOME OF THE EARLY CriticisMS OF VIRGIl's POETRY. (H. N.)
THE ANCIENT COMMENTATORS ON VIRGIl. (H. N.).
INTRODUCTION TO THE ECLOGUES. (J. CONINGTON.)
DATES OF THE ECLOGUES. (H. NETTLESHIP.)
PREFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION.
The first three editions of this volume were the work of Mr. Conington. The fourth edition was revised and enlarged by Mr. Nettleship. The orthography was recast, references adapted to recent texts, additional notes inserted, and four elaborate essays prefixed to the commentary by way of a general introduction.
The present edition differs in several ways from its predecessor. Mr. Nettleship at his death left some Marginalia, and my first task has been to incorporate these materials. They are indicated by square brackets with the initials H. N., as Mr. Nettleship himself indicated his additions in the fourth edition. At the same time I have added to, corrected, or condensed the commentary as seemed desirable in a work which had in many parts remained unaltered since it was published forty years ago. I have tried to take account of the contributions made to Virgilian studies since 1884, for instance Ribbeck's new edition, Thilo's edition and the first volume of his 'Servius,' Hoffmann's collation of the Medicean manuscript, the writings of Deuticke and others. The critical notes, some of which dated from the era before Ribbeck, have been recast, and the text has been altered to that which Mr. Nettleship prepared for Dr. Postgate's Corpus Poetarum Latinorum. I have slightly added to the Introduction, by enlarging the section on the text with what, I hope, may be convenient details. I have also reconstructed the Index. Square brackets without initials indicate generally my additions, but I have not been over-careful to label minutiae or new matter which, like that in the section on the text, is purely an amplification of the old. Externally I have tried to make the commentary more readily useful by breaking up long notes into appropriate paragraphs, and the publishers have given the book what I think will be admitted to be improved types. The net result of these various changes is a slight decrease in the size of the volume.
I am unwilling to close this preface without bearing witness to the heavy loss which Latin scholarship sustained by Mr. Nettleship's death. I have tried elsewhere to estimate his worth -in the Classical Review—and Professor Bywater has done it far better in the Dictionary of National Biography. My own debt to him, as pupil and as friend, has been very great in Latin scholarship. I can only regret that he did not live to give to this volume that thorough revision which I have no doubt he would have given.
I have to thank my friend Mr. G. E. Marindin for reading a large part of the proofs and helping me to many very real improvements.
December 31, 1897.