Page images
PDF
EPUB

PRE FACE.

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. SainteBeuve'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

[ocr errors]

6

mena.

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 St. 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 Prolego

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

6

[ocr errors]

6

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 lake-level, but that is a point on which I cannot say anything certain.'

EDINBURGH, Nov. 1876.

« PreviousContinue »