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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
SINCE the appearance of the first edition of this volume in 1871, I have, with Mr. Long's assistance, revised the whole of the commentary on the last six books of the Aeneid. Mr. Conington's notes have been left untouched, except where a correction was absolutely necessary or an additional illustration appeared not out of place. My own commentary on Books 10 and 12 has been somewhat enlarged, and, I hope, considerably improved. I have also entirely recast the index, and added to it (at the suggestion of a kindly critic in the Athenaeum) a list, which will, I hope, prove fairly complete, of all the passages in the last six books of the Aeneid in which Virgil has imitated Ennius, Lucretius, and Catullus. At the end of the volume I have inserted a few remarks on some difficult passages in Virgil which have suggested themselves to me in the course of reading since the appearance of the first edition, and which have partly appeared in the Academy and the Journal of Philology. I have also added a few notes on the last six books of the Aeneid which occurred to me after the sheets had been
sent to press.
The most important contribution to Virgilian criticism which has appeared since 1871 is, so far as I know, the chapter of emendations published by Madvig in the second volume of his Adversaria Critica. Upon these emendations some detailed remarks will be found at the end of this volume. I venture to doubt whether Madvig's proposals, acute and suggestive as they often are, will be considered, as a whole, to be sufficiently in accordance with the spirit of Virgilian usage. They appear to me to afford a fresh illustration of the fact so well and so often insisted upon by Mr. Conington, and recognized in general terms by Madvig himself, that Virgil is, partly from the general excellence of his MS. tradition, partly from the original character of his diction, one of those authors in whose text emendation is but seldom likely to prove convincing.
PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
The publication of this volume has been long delayed, owing partly to the fact that for a considerable part of the time during which he was writing his commentary Mr. Conington was engaged upon other works, partly to the labour of seeing the sheets through the press, partly to the lamentable event which devolved upon me the duty of bringing out the book.
I must briefly explain what has been my share in the work. In 1863 Mr. Conington first proposed to me that I should assist him in the third volume of his edition of Virgil by writing the notes on the last three books of the Aeneid. I did not begin my part of the work until 1864; and on my finding that I could not keep pace with him, we agreed ultimately that be should write the notes on Book 11, and that I should confine myself to Books 10 and 12. The notes on Books 7, 8, 9, and 11 are accordingly the work of Mr. Conington, while for those on Books 10 and 12 I am mainly responsible. I say mainly, for Mr. Conington made considerable additions to the notes which I had originally written on Book 10. He had not, however, read through the notes on more than about three
hundred lines of Book 12 before his death. The rest of the notes on Book 12 have been looked through by Professor Munro, to whose kindness I owe some valuable remarks, some of which have been embodied in the notes, and others printed among the Addenda'. To the notes on Book 11 I myself made a few additions, besides writing the introduction. Two Essays on parts of Ribbeck's Prolegomena, originally published by Mr. Conington in the Cambridge Journal of Philology, are printed at the end of the volume, which, like the two preceding ones, has had the benefit of Mr. Long's revision throughout.
Mr. Conington's death deprived a large circle of intimate friends of one whose powers of sympathy were never exhausted, and in whom succession after succession of students found a centre of encouragement for their talents and industry: while to philological study was lost a scholar whose gifts were of a singular and representative order, deserving the more to be dwelt upon as they are unlikely to be replaced. Mr. Conington was, in a striking manner, a representative of that kind of criticism which is supported rather by acuteness of the linguistic and literary sense than by width of reading, and which rests on the study of the formal rather than of the real side of Philology. This is the side of scholarship which, as is well known, has been chiefly cultivated in England during the present century: it is in this direction that the main effort of our classical education has been made. From this point of view Mr. Conington approached his favourite authors, the Greek tragedians and Virgil. Three points in his method of study deserve notice, all depending upon the general character of it
1 These remarks have all been embodied in the Second Edition of the Com). mentary.