Page images


The text here presented is the result of a careful comparison of the older editions, especially those of Heyne, Jahn, and Forbiger, with those of Ladewig, Ribbeck, and Conington, more recently published. In the twenty years since the issue of my edition of “The Aeneid, with Explanatory Notes," important changes have been made in the orthography of the Vergilian text. The labors of Ritschland Brambach have done much toward establishing a correct and uniform Latin orthography for schools, and also a characteristic orthography for the texts of authors belonging to different periods. The improved and more accurate forms of spelling due to these and other distinguished scholars, have been based partly on the authority of the Roman grammarians, and partly on the critical study of monumental and numismatic inscriptions and the best existing manuscripts. In former investigations of this kind too much weight was given to the manuscripts, none of which probably date back earlier than the fourth century of our era, while inscriptions contemporary with the best periods of the language, and presumably representing the orthography of such periods, were left more or less out of view.

Gi proper consideration to monuments of this latter kind, without losing sight of the prevailing forms of spelling found in the best manuscripts, the critics of whom I have spoken have laid the foundation of a general scheme of Latin orthography, which we may reasonably accept as representing the best period of the language in its external or orthographical form. This period was the age of Quintilian or the period extending from Nero to Hadrian-A. D. 54–118. The best results of these investigations are embodied in the works of Wilhelm Brambach.* The system which he has proposed has met with general acceptance, and is likely to impress itself on all future editions of Latin authors.

In the present text I have in general adopted the spelling proposed by Brambach; following, at the same time, his suggestion as to the treatment of those writers of the Augustan age, such as Livy and Vergil, who are alleged to have had a fondness for the old-fashioned forms.t

The most characteristic feature of this archaic spelling is the form vo in such words as have usually been written with vu; as volgus, volnus, cervos, volt, vivont, divom, and the likeforms which occur so frequently in some editions of Vergil that they give the poet the appearance, as compared with his friend Horace, of one of the ancients of a century or two earlier.

Other recent or living scholars have pursued a more moderate course in the treatment of the Vergilian text; giving it a little of the archaic coloring, but not rendering it a complete likeness of Plautus or Lucilius. Indeed, no two of the critics of this class can perfectly agree in their results; for the restoration which they have attempted of the actual spelling of

*“ Die Neuegestaltung der lateinischen Orthographie in ihrem Verhältniss zur Schule,” Leipsic, B. G. Teubner, 1868; and the smaller work, "Hülfsbüchlein für lateinische Rechtschreibung,” translated by W. Gordon McCabe, A. M., New York, Harper & Brothers, 1877.

+ “Vergilius amantissimus vetustatis,” Quint., i, 7, 18.

Vergil is largely conjectural. I would, therefore, prefer to write this class of words in the form which, no doubt, Quintilian and his contemporaries used in making new copies of Vergil, following the spelling which Augustus seems to have preferred, and giving us everywhere such forms as vulnus, vivus, divum, and volvunt, rather than volnus, vivos, divom, and volvont; and my reason would be the same as theirs, namely, tbat the true sound was nearer u than 0. It was, perhaps, a usage of kindred to that in our English neighbor, arbor, and the like. But, on the whole, I have felt constrained to defer to the authority of those who have access to original documents, and to admit these forms into the text to some limited extent. I have therefore adopted, at least for the present, the vo spelling in volgus, volnus, voltus, in volt and voltis of the verb volo, and in the genitive plural ending vom, as in divom and Argivom. But the nominative and accusative endings vos and vom of the second declension, the forms quoius and quoi of the relative pronoun, quom for cum, and the verbal endings vont and vontur, for vunt and vuntur, and the participial ending volsus for vulsus, I have not employed. Also, I have used the ending imus in superlatives, such as maximus and optimus, and in some ordinals, as decimus, rather than the older forms optumus, maxumus, and decumu8. The ending umus in such words leads to error in pronunciation; so much, indeed, that it was rejected by Caesar, who substituted imus, an innovation generally adopted by subsequent writers. In the treatment of these classes of words my text will be found very nearly like that of Ladewig.*

I can not but think that Vergil, in writing such words, while

*“ Vergil's Gedichte erklärt von Th. Ladewig,” eighth edition, by Carl Schaper, Berlin, Weidmann, 1877.

in his love of the old ways he preferred, just as we do in English, the traditional forms, must have pronounced them precisely in the same manner as did Caesar, Augustus, and Horace; that is, with an indefinite sound of u instead of o in vo, and of i instead of u in umus.

Ribbeck,* in common with other recent critics, has reproduced or aimed to reproduce in the orthography of his text the diversity and inconsistency exhibited in the manuscripts. For, as the old English writers, so also the Latin authors and copyists, were often at variance with themselves in the spelling of words. But though such exact representations of the variable and unsettled orthography of the language are of much in terest and importance in critical philology, and in what is called the pathology of a language, it is obvious that for the general reader and for school purposes the text should be as uniform and consistent as possible.

The words which are most variable in the manuscripts are the compounds of adjectives and verbs with prepositions. The difficulty of choice here is very great. After much effort in the direction of some systematic method, I have taken, on the whole, for each class of compounds, the forms given first by Brambach, where he allows more than one, and where the authorities are so variable as to make the choice nearly or quite a matter of indifference; while I have used the exceptional compound forms in individual words which in manuscripts and inscriptions are found nearly or absolutely uniform. Thus in the compounds impar, implico, and others of the same class, which in Ribbeck vary somewhat between inpar,

*“P. Vergili Maronis Opera, recensuit Otto Ribbeck,” Leipsic, B. G. Teubner, 1859. Exceedingly rich in citations of manuscripts and other authorities.

inplico, and impar and implico, etc., I have uniformly adopted the latter; and in other classes, which as a general rule remain unassimilated, as in compounds of ad and con with words beginning with l, I have used the assimilated forms in particular words, as alligo and colligo, because those are quite uniformly given in the manuscripts, though we write adloquor, adludo, conluceo, conlabor, etc. The orthography of such compounds seems never to have been settled; but it is probable that the actual pronunciation in respect to assimilation and euphonic accommodation was much more systematic than the spelling.

Whatever errors of judgment in the decision of these questions, and whatever inconsistencies of orthography, the reader may detect, I trust will be met with the indulgence which the present difficulty of determining such problems, more difficult now than ever before, seems justly to call for.

The notes on the Aeneid are substantially those of my former edition. In the interpretations occasional changes havo been made, several of them suggested by the admirable commentary of Mr. Conington.*

The Dictionary is designed to be a complete exhibition of Vergilian usages of words. It has been prepared with very great care and labor, and yet I fear it will be found very far short of the perfection I would have desired. Trusting, however, that it may be, at least, the basis of something more entirely satisfactory, I venture to give it into the printer's hands. Whatever value it may possess is, of course, largely due to the Vergilian dictionaries, keys, and vocabularies hitherto published, as well as to the general dictionaries from Forcellini to the Harpers. My own labor has consisted in examining the text to

*"The Works of Virgil, with a Commentary,” by John Conington, M. A., London, Whittaker & Co., 1872, 3 vols.


« PreviousContinue »