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THE present edition of the Dialogus de Oratoribus was begun as far back as 1888. Since that time I have spared no effort to read and carefully examine, sine ira et studio, everything that has been written upon this earliest production of Rome's greatest historian. But while the abundant tralatician material, accumulated since the days of Lipsius, has not been neglected, I have mainly relied upon my own extensive collectanea, and for the style of the treatise upon the admirable Lexicon Taciteum, which had not yet been sufficiently far advanced to be of real service to previous editors of the Dialogue.
In the Prolegomena I have endeavored to give an exhaustive, but at the same time succinct and lucid, treatment of all the interesting and difficult problems which the Dialogus presents, and I venture to hope that my solutions of them may convince even those critics who have hitherto espoused other views or drawn different conclusions from those advanced in the succeeding pages.
The Adnotatio Critica aims at completeness, no emendation of any intrinsic value, published since Michaelis' fundamental recensio, being omitted; the readings of subsequent editions are, for the convenience of the student, also added. My textcritical attitude and the arguments for the readings received into the text are fully set forth in the chapter on the MSS. and in the Critical Notes.
In writing the Exegetical Commentary I have constantly kept in mind the golden precept of Seneca: "Quo ducit materia
sequendum est non quo invitat," and believe that no really irrelevant matter has been allowed to intrude. In spite of this, the commentary may possibly appear to some as out of proportion to the brevity of the treatise itself. Its bulk might, indeed, have been considerably reduced, but I deemed it more expedient to cite most illustrative passages in full, being convinced that but few readers will command the leisure to look up the quotations for themselves, even if they had the sources within immediate reach.
Of more recent editors, I desire to acknowledge my indebtedness particularly to G. Andresen and C. John. The former has also kindly communicated to me the valuable gleanings of his recollation of the Vaticani. As I have been compelled to dissent from Andresen's opinions more frequently than from those of any other scholar, it may not be out of place to state that the detailed attention everywhere accorded to his views is intended as a sincere tribute to the high rank which he deservedly occupies among Tacitean scholars of to-day. John's contributions have also been a great help to me, and I am the more glad to make this acknowledgment, because his learned, acute and instructive notes have hitherto not received the recognition which they merit.
In conclusion, I can but inadequately acknowledge the depth of my gratitude and obligations to my friend, Prof. Chas. E. Bennett, of Cornell University, who has not only kindly favored me with many valuable suggestions, but has also with the greatest care read every line of proof in its various stages.
The complete Index Nominum et Rerum is the work of Dr. Wm. Muss-Arnolt, of Chicago University, while the equally exhaustive Index Locorum was compiled by Mr. Homer J.
Edmiston, of Cornell University. To both these scholars I here extend, both in behalf of myself and of my readers, my warm thanks for the arduous labor which they have devoted to the interests of this book.
PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 20, 1893.