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In spite of the difficulties of Vergil-difficulties that increase the oftener he is read-the Aeneid is admirably suited for putting into the hands of boys who have read some Caesar and learned the use of their grammars. They really can take an interest in it, and with a little help can make better sense of it than of Ovid. It used to be the fashion to make boys read Ovid after doing a little Caesar. My own experience is--and many able teachers agree with me-that Ovid is better suited to a later stage of development.
It is not often that one book of the Aeneid is just what is wanted for a term's work; it is either too much or too little. Economy is against giving the whole of the Aeneid to young boys. I have therefore selected some two thousand lines from the whole of the Aeneid, with a connecting narrative in the form of headings to the different sections. The Notes are short and practical, and aim at giving help only when really wanted: they are not meant to take the place of grammar and dictionary. I have added a short notice of the poet and
his works, and also an Index of Names and Places occurring in the text. Intentionally and unintentionally, from constant use, I am under great obligations to Conington's notes, which I would freely acknowledge.
GEORGE L. BENNETT.
PLYMOUTH, May, 1881.
LIFE AND WRITINGS OF VERGIL
PUBLIUS VERGILIUS MARO was born, B.C. 70, near Mantua, a town in Northern Italy. He left home to be educated, and studied at Cremona and Milan (Mediolanum), where, as Pliny tells us, there was a well-known school. The struggle between the popular and aristocratical parties was raging during the poet's youth, but he does not seem to have taken any part in it. After completing his education, he probably returned home and lived a quiet country life. A temporary misfortune first brought him into notice. Augustus, after putting an end to the civil war in B.C. 42, rewarded his soldiers by assigning them lands, and among others Vergil's farm. Vergil went to Rome, and pleaded his cause successfully, and received back his property. From this time he enjoyed the patronage of the emperor, and became one of the distinguished literary circle which adorned the imperial court. He was an intimate friend of the poet Horace, and the powerful minister Maecenas. At the wish of the emperor, he undertook to write an epic poem in honour of the Roman Empire.
took for his subject the story of Aeneas, to whom the gens Iulia, the imperial house, traced its origin. This was his greatest and last work. His death took place
in B.C. 19.
Latin literature was formed on Greek models; so we find that Vergil's writings have much of the character of the poets he had studied. His earliest work was the Eclogues, a pastoral poem after the manner of Theocritus. He next wrote the Georgics, a poem treating of agriculture; here Hesiod was his model. His treatment of the adventures and wars of Aeneas was suggested by the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer.