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H. W. GARROD
COLLEGII MERTONENSIS SOCIVS
E TYPOGRAPHEO ACADEMICO
PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
LONDON, EDINBURGH, NEW YORK
TORONTO AND MELBOURNE
6 Mar. 12-R.B.R.
VIRO DE POETIS ASTRONOMICIS INSIGNITE MERITO
'NOSTRAE MVLTVM QVI PROFVIT VRBI'
THE second book of the Astronomica is at once the longest and the most difficult. In this book Manilius passes from the popular astronomy with which he is occupied in Book I to the proper business of the mathematicus-to an astrology based on geometrical and arithmetical calculations. He passes, that is, from a subject moderately diverting to one difficult and repellent. Many students of Latin poetry make their way through the first book. A moderate scholar can understand it, and it has recently been well edited. But few, probably, of those who read the first achieve also the second book. The 'signorum lucentes undique flammae', the aσrpwv óμńyvpis— all that is picturesque and inviting. But when we come on to triangles, quadrangles, hexagons, dodecatemories, and the dodecatemories of dodecatemories-then our faith in a Providence which has made the beautiful so hard begins to fail us. And not only is the second book hard, but the commentaries upon it are hard too. No one commentary suffices; and even when he has all the commentaries before him, the student will still be in want of a means of approach to them-for none of them furnishes a real Introduction to Manilius. Some of them, indeed, are often not very honestly put together. Even Scaliger, with his encyclopaedic learning, is not above dissembling in a base silence his occasional ignorance-though mostly he is unwilling rather than unable to help the mere beginner: for he is a great man writing for his peers. Du Fay, who alone of editors sets out to simplify Manilius, brought to some capacity for teaching not only a loose conscience but a very limited knowledge and a faulty scholarship.