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IN making the selections for the story of Turnus, the object has been to present to the student, in continuous narrative, a portion of the last half of the Aeneid, which might be read rapidly and with sustained interest. Everything, therefore, which has no direct bearing upon the story has been omitted, even when, as in the episode of Nisus and Euryalus, the passage itself is of great interest and beauty. The brief outlines in English of the omitted passages are sufficient to preserve the connection, while the headings in italics serve to suggest the contents of the portions to be read. The selections should be read consecutively, not only for the sake of the story, but also because words are explained only where they first occur.
The book may be found useful for practice in reading at sight, for reading without translation, and for rapid reading outside the class without the aid of a dictionary. The latter method is strongly recommended as retaining many of the advantages, without the dangers, of sight-translation. If the work thus prepared is discussed carefully in class by the instructor, careless translating into incorrect English and unintelligent reading of the Latin text will be avoided, while the student will have exercised his memory and his powers of
intuition, and will have become familiar with the work as a connected piece of literature.
Eighteen hundred lines, the equivalent of two books of the Aeneid, have been selected, and may in some cases be profitably substituted for a part of the traditionally required six books. In case of such substitution, these selections may be read in the usual way by the help of those editions of the first six books which furnish a vocabulary either to the entire poem, or even to the first half alone, since no words of importance, not occurring in the first six books, have been omitted from the notes.
The text used is that of Thilo, Leipsic, 1886, with a few changes in orthography.
IOWA COLLEGE, May, 1896.
M. S. SLAUGHTER.
To the reader who has followed Aeneas through the first six books of Vergil's poem, from Troy to Carthage, thence to Sicily, and finally to his landing at Cumae, it need only be said by way of introduction to the story of Turnus, that after his return from the lower world, as described in the sixth book of the Aeneid, Aeneas goes on board his fleet, and, skirting the shore of Italy, sails northward, landing at last near the mouth of the Tiber. Here, he hopes, is to be the home which he has been so long seeking. His followers proceed at once to make an encampment. Aeneas sends messengers to Latinus, the king of the country, with overtures of peace, and at the same time asks for the hand of the king's daughter, Lavinia, in marriage. The aged Italian king, recalling an old oracle to the effect that his daughter was to wed a foreigner, believes that Aeneas has come in fulfilment of prophecy, and therefore receives the messengers kindly and accepts Aeneas's proposals of peace and alliance.
Turnus, ruler of the Rutulians and favored suitor of Lavinia, is roused to rebellion against this alliance with Aeneas. The rivalry between Turnus and Aeneas and the vacillating character of Latinus soon bring on a war. The poet invokes the muse anew to sing of the mighty struggle between Turnus and Aeneas, the former fighting in self-defence and to keep out a foreign invader, while the latter is eager to find a home and found a kingdom after his long years of fruitless wandering.