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PUBLIUS VIRGILIUS MARO;
Marginal References and Copious English Notes.
JOHN E. SHERIDAN,
INSPECTOR OF SCHOOLS UNDER THE COMMISSIONERS OF NATIONAL EDUCATION,
SAMUEL J. MACHEN,
PUBLISHER OF EDUCATIONAL WORKS.
W. ALLAN, ALDINE CHAMBERS, PATERNOSTER ROW;
AND BY ORDER OF ALL BOOKSELLERS.
297 f. 15.
THE TEXT of this edition of the Georgics is, in the essential particulars of punctuation and lection, identical with that of Wagner's last edition of Virgil's works (Leipsic, 1848). Every classical scholar knows that no critic has laboured more industriously and more successfully than Wagner has done to purify the text of Virgil. Amongst other emendations, he has in several instances restored the ancient orthography, and this I had intended to exhibit in my text; but, influenced by the example of all the English editors, and in compliance with the wishes of the publisher, who thought, perhaps justly, that the strange spelling might be productive of inconvenience to the student, I finally decided upon retaining the common orthography. But as this subject of the genuine original orthography of Virgil's text is one of much interest to classical scholars, and one with which every classical student would do well to make himself acquainted, I would strongly recommend the latter to consult Wagner's work upon the subject, entitled "Publi Vergili Maronis Carmina ad Pristinam Orthographiam Revocata."
The MARGINAL REFERENCES are intended for the special use of those who choose to make Virgil his own interpreter. Such students will find that all peculiarities of syntax, all idiomatic expressions, and all novel and difficult constructions, etc., have, as far as possible, been illustrated by parallelisms from Virgil's own works. It being the publisher's intention to print the text separately from, as well as under the same cover with, the commentary, it is hoped that in the former case these Marginal References will be found particularly useful.
The NOTES have been chiefly selected from the Commentaries of Heyne, Voss, Wagner, and Forbiger; but I have also consulted a great variety of other editions, and amongst them Anthon's American edition of the Bucolics and Georgics. As the works of these celebrated critics have become in a manner public property, I have freely selected from them a large amount of critical and explanatory matter; and I have furthermore taken care to glean from the best sources, and incorporate in my commentary, all necessary information upon Antiquities, Mythology, History, Chronology, and Geography, so as to supersede, as far as possible, the necessity of reference to other books.
In the INTRODUCTION which I have prefixed to the text, I have briefly alluded to certain topics which I had not an occasion to bring under the student's notice in the commentary. In the latter there will be found several references to Wagner's celebrated Quæstiones
Virgiliana; but the reader will please to bear in mind that these references are not to the original work (which is not likely to find its way into a student's library), but to an Abstract of it prepared by me some years ago, and published by Mr. Machen.
I had intended to append a copious INDEX VERBORUM ET RERUM. But I changed my mind for two reasons: -1st, because such an index would considerably increase the price of the work; and, 2nd, because, in my opinion, every student should make out an index for himself. It is very easily done, and long experience warrants me in recommending it very strongly as one of the most useful tasks the student could propose to himself. When he has done this, and has used it industriously for the purpose of self-examination, he will have no reason to regret the slight expenditure of time and labour it may have cost him.
One observation more, and I have done. The student who chooses to adopt as a text-book this edition of the Georgics of Virgil, may rest fully assured that every difficulty in this admittedly difficult Classic has been fully and clearly elucidated in the commentary.
JOHN E. SHERIDAN.