Page images





Any old pupil of yours, in finishing a work either of classical scholarship or illustrative of ancient literature, must feel that he owes to you, probably more than to any one else, the impulse which directed him to these studies. It is with this feeling that I should wish to associate your name with this volume.. Many of your former pupils can confirm my recollection that one of the happiest influences of our youth was the admiration excited by the union, in your teaching, of perfect scholarship with a true and generous appreciation of all that is excellent in literature. The intimate friendship of many subsequent years has afforded me, along with much else of still higher value, ample opportunities for verifying these early impressions.

Ever affectionately yours,



THIS Volume has been written in continuation of one which appeared some years ago on the Roman Poets of the Republic. I hope in a short time to bring out a new edition of that work, enlarged and corrected, and afterwards to add another volume which will treat of Horace and the Elegiac Poets. I have reserved for this later volume the examination of the minor poems which have been attributed to Virgil, most of which belong to the Augustan Age..

Besides the special acknowledgments of ideas or information derived from various sources, which are made in notes at the foot of the page where an occasion for them arises, I have to make a general acknowledgment of the assistance I have received in my studies of the Augustan literature from the earlier volumes of Dr. Merivale's 'History of the Romans under the Empire,' from the 'History of Roman Literature' by W. S. Teuffel, from M. Sainte-Beuve's 'Étude sur Virgile,' and from the Introductions and Notes to Professor Conington's edition of Virgil, and Mr. Munro's edition of Lucretius. In the account given of the Alexandrian literature in Chapter I, I have availed myself of the chapters treating of that subject in Helbig's 'Campanische Wandmalerei'; in treating of the estimation in which Virgil was held under the Roman Empire, I have taken several references from the work by Sr. Comparetti, Virgilio nel Medio Evo'; and in examining the order in which the Eclogues were composed, I have adopted the opinions expressed in Ribbeck's Prolegomena. I have also derived some



suggestions from the notes in the edition of Virgil by M. E. Benoist, and from the work of M. G. Boissier, 'La Religion Romaine d'Auguste aux Antonins.' As the greater part of this volume was written before the appearance of Dr. Kennedy's Virgil, I have not been able to make so much use of his notes as I should have wished: I have, however, profited by them to correct or to illustrate statements made before I had seen his work, and, in revising the Virgilian quotations for the press, I have followed his text.

I did not read Mr. Nettleship's valuable and original 'Suggestions Introductory to the Study of the Aeneid' until I had finished writing all I had to say about that poem. I have drawn attention in the text or in notes at the foot of the page to some places in which I modified what I had originally written after reading his 'Suggestions,' to others in which my own opinions are confirmed by his, and to one or two points of divergence in our views.

Since the third chapter was printed off, I have received what seems a confirmation of the opinion expressed there as to the probable situation of Virgil's early home, from a friend who recently visited the district, where I suppose it to have been. He writes of the country which he passed through-The result of my observations perfectly confirms what you had already supposed. The country south of the Lago di Garda for a distance of at least twenty miles is of a gently undulating character, and is intersected by long ranges of hills which gradually sink down towards the lake and the Mincio. The loftiest of these hills may perhaps reach a height of 1000 feet above the lakelevel, but that is a point on which I cannot say anything certain.'

EDINBURGH, Nov. 1876.


THE only material change which I have made in this edition. is that I have added translations of the passages quoted, for the convenience of any readers, who, without much knowledge of Latin, may yet wish to learn something about Latin literature. In the translations from Virgil, I have sometimes made use of expressions which I found in Conington's prose Translation and in Mr. Papillon's recently published edition of Virgil. I have also availed myself of Sir Theodore Martin's Translation of the Odes of Horace. In correcting or supplementing some statements made in the first edition, I have occasionally profited by remarks made in criticisms on that edition which appeared shortly after its publication.

EDINBURGH, March, 1883.


I. Relation of the Augustan Age to other Literary Epochs
Relation of the Augustan poetry to that of the preceding Age
Parallel of the Augustan Age with other great literary Epochs
especially with the Age of Louis XIV

Chief conditions modifying the poetry of the Augustan Age

[ocr errors]

Revival of national sentiment and pride of Empire.

Moral and religious reaction

Augustus the centre of the national enthusiasm
Deification of the Emperor in the poetry of the Age
illustrated by other extant works of art
Direction given to national sentiment by Augustus

III. Influence of Patronage on the Augustan Poetry

Poetry employed in the interest of the Government
Patrons of literature-Augustus

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Personal influence of Maecenas

Pollio, Messala, Agrippa, Cornelius Gallus

Causes of the connexion between literature and social eminence

Effects of this connexion on the tone of literature

IV. Influence of material conditions on Literature .

Wealth and luxury of Rome in the Augustan Age.
Liberality of Augustus and Maecenas to Virgil and Horace
Effects of this on the art of these poets .

Reaction from the luxury of the Age apparent in literature

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »