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1869 PREFACE. MAIN
THESE Selections have been compiled with the object of familiarizing younger students with some of the best portions of those Latin Poets whose entire works are in most cases not likely, in a few are not worthy, to be read by ordinary scholars. It can hardly be thought desirable that even a school-boy's knowledge of Roman poetry should be confined to that of a single period, the Augustan, still less to the study of only two authors of that period, although they be as eminent as Virgil and Horace. For any appreciation of the Golden Age itself some acquaintance with the Elegiac and earlier Lyric schools, as represented by Catullus and Tibullus, Propertius and Ovid, is scarcely less indispensable than familiarity with the Epic and Didactic poetry of Virgil, or with the Odes, Satires, and Epistles of Horace; while in order to form any intelligent comparison between the purer ages of the Roman muse, and those of its corruption and decline, the poets of the Neronian, Flavian, and later periods of the Empire ought fairly to have received their share of consideration and study. If moreover, as De Quincey has observed, the poets of the Silver Age be in some sense more thoroughly Roman than those of the Augustan, the works of such writers as Lucan, Statius, and Martial, viewed simply as representative of the national genius and illustrative of the history, society, politics, and manners of the Empire,
would, even on the supposition that they possessed less of poetic beauty and interest than they do, be entitled to the attention of all classical students. It is true that Selections, however carefully made, must needs give a very inadequate ideą of writers so voluminous as some of those who are represented by these Extracts; but it is hoped that the various specimens, chosen as they have been after much study and deliberation, will be found sufficiently long and entire in themselves, sufficiently characteristic also of the genius of their several authors, to leave on the reader's mind a fairly accurate and clear, if necessarily an inadequate, conception of each poet's subject, style, diction, rhythm, and other peculiarities. Various reasons, independent of the exigencies of space, have led to the omission of certain writers, who might naturally, it may be thought, have found a place in an Anthology of this character. Selections from the early Dramatists have been excluded, because it was felt that their Plays, unlike the versified declamations of Seneca's Tragedies, if they are to be read with profit, ought to be read entire. The Remains of Naevius and Ennius, besides possessing an antiquarian and philological rather than a purely literary interest, appeared too fragmentary for insertion in a book purposing to supply passages sufficiently long for systematic exercise in translation. From Lucretius, an author peculiarly adapted for Extracts, annotated specimens had already been completed, when the appearance of Mr. Munro's exhaustive edition seemed not only to dispense with the need of any additional commentary, but also to afford promise that the great author of the De Rerum Natura would shortly cease altogether to be ranked among the less known Latin Poets. Such characteristic specimens, again, of Roman literature as the Satires of Juvenal and Persius were deemed too valuable throughout, as well as too familiar, to suggest their being read in extracts. On the other hand, samples of such dull didactic versifiers as Serenus Sammonicus, Numatianus, Merobaudes, and Priscian, were considered undeserving of any place in a Collection designed to interest scarcely less than to instruct. The space which these last would have occupied, has, I trust, been better filled with specimens from the Tragedies ascribed to Seneca, and from the Poems of Prudentius—the only two authors introduced into this volume that are not included in Weber's Corpus Poetarum.
The text of the Selections is, for the most part, that of Weber, carefully collated with, and occasionally altered from, the evidence of the best MSS. as given in good critical editions of the several poets; though, in the case of Catullus, it is regretted that the printing had proceeded too far to admit of full benefit being derived from Mr. Ellis' larger edition in regard to MS. information. The Extracts from Seneca, together with references and quotations from his Plays, have been made in accordance with the text of Bothe; those from Prudentius follow that of Dressel. The orthography, with
. a few exceptions, is also that of Weber, and is confessedly somewhat old-fashioned; but dealing with so many writers of such different periods, compiling for younger students, and feeling myself, amid the present uncertainties of the subject, unable to dogmatize or enlighten, I have made it my sole endeavour as regards spelling to be simple, uniform, and familiar.
The Notes will, it is hoped, be found as few in number and concise in matter as is compatible with