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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1849,


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern

District of New York.



Tappan Presle, Ass




THE text of this edition follows, for the most part, Orelli's, Zurich, 1848, which, being based on a new and most faithful recension of the Medicean MS. by his friend Baiter, may justly be considered as marking a new era in the history of the text of Tacitus. In several passages, however, where he has needlessly departed from the MS., I have not hesitated to adhere to it in company with other editors, believing, that not unfrequently "the most corrected copies are the least correct." The various readings have been carefully compared throughout, and, if important, are referred to in the notes.

The editions which have been most consulted, whether in the criticism of the text or in the preparation of the notes, are, besides Orelli's, those of Walther, Halle, 1831; Ruperti, Hanover, 1839; and Döderlein, Halle, 1847. The notes of Orelli are judicious and tasteful. Walther is sagacious, shrewd and independent, sometimes to a fault. Ruperti's edition is chiefly valuable as a repository of facts and opinions, selected with no great care and put together with little skill. Döderlein is concise and discriminating, but is excessively fond of originality and bold conjecture. His Essay on the Style of Tacitus, besides this fault in the matter, is also wanting in ease and elegance of language; yet it has been esteemed worthy to be translated for this edition, as on the whole one of the best treatises on that subject. Bötticher's Lexicon Taciteum, Berlin, 1830, is marked by a felicitous expression, as well as a just appreciation, of our author's merits as a his

torian and of his peculiarities as a writer; and its most valuable results have been freely incorporated with the notes. Freund's Wörterbuch der Lateinischen Sprache, and Smith's Dictionaries, of Greek and Roman Antiquities, and of Biography and Mythology, the former republished in this country under the supervision of Dr. Anthon, and the latter still issuing in numbers from a London press, have been found very useful, and are often referred to. References are also

made to Becker's Gallus, and to the Roman Histories of Niebuhr, Arnold and Schmitz.

It will be seen, that there are not unfrequent references to my edition of the Germania and Agricola. These are not of such a nature, as to render this incomplete without that, or essentially dependent upon it. Still, if both editions are used, it will be found advantageous to read the Germania and Agricola first. The Treatises were written in that order, and in that order they best illustrate the history of the author's mind. The editor has found in his experience as a teacher, that students generally read them in that way with more facility and pleasure, and he has constructed his notes accordingly.

The notes on the Histories have been prepared with the same general views and principles, as those on the Germania and Agricola. In accordance with suggestions in some of the public journals, they have been made somewhat more grammatical. Their value in this respect has been enhanced by more copious references to the excellent grammar of Zumpt in addition to that of Andrews and Stoddard. It is chiefly by way of such references, that the general principles of grammar have been illustrated. Sometimes, however, a concise statement of the principle referred to has been added; and in regard to such idioms and constructions as are more or less peculiar to Tacitus, it has been found necessary to enter into more extended comments. It is hoped, that the notes will be found to contain not only the grammatical, but

likewise all the geographical, archæological and historical illustrations, that are necessary to render the author intelligible. The editor has at least endeavored to avoid the fault, which Lord Bacon says "is over usual in annotations and commentaries, viz. to blanch the obscure places, and discourse upon the plain." But it has been his constant, not to say his chief aim, to carry students beyond the dry details of grammar and lexicography, and introduce them into a familiar acquaintance and lively sympathy with the author and his times, and with that great empire, of whose degeneracy and decline, in its beginnings, he has bequeathed to us so profound and instructive a history. It was for this end, that the Preliminary Remarks were composed; and if they accomplish this result in any considerable degree, though long, they will hardly be thought too long, and they will not have been written in vain.

The Indexes have been prepared with much labor and care, and, it is believed, will add materially to the value of the work.

The editor takes this opportunity to express his grateful sense of the kind reception which has been given to his edition of the Germania and Agricola, and his thanks especially for such notices, whether by letter or in the public journals, as, while they fully appreciate its merits, point out its faults for correction. If this edition is in any degree more meritorious or less faulty, the superiority will be owing, in no small measure, to such acts of kindness. Besides his obligations to those who have thus favored him, he acknowledges his particular indebtedness to Professor B. B. Edwards of Andover, and Professor H. B. Hackett of Newton, for the aid and encouragement, which they have in various ways extended to him. He has been aided in the correction of the press by Mr. Marshall Henshaw, whose accurate and patient scholarship well fit him to render such and still higher services to classical learning.

With these explanations, the editor takes leave of a work, on which he has bestowed much time and toil, and which, he would fain hope, may contribute in some humble measure to the better understanding and appreciation by his youthful countrymen of an author, a language and a people, formed by nature beyond most, if not beyond all others, to be severally the writer, the vehicle and the subject of history. AMHERST, 1848.


In this Revised Edition, the text and the notes have been carefully collated with those of Ritter in his new edition (Bonn and Cambridge, 1848), and such corrections and additions, as were deemed just and important, have been adopted from this source. I cannot, however, by any means, accept the many gratuitous emendations and dogmatic assertions which disfigure and depreciate this otherwise excellent commentary. Other corrections and improvements have also been made, which have been suggested by use of the book in classes, or to which my attention has been called, whether by private correspondence, or by notices and reviews in the public journals. I have been especially indebted to the critical acumen and accurate scholarship of my friend, Mr. Charles Short, of Roxbury, writing in the Bibliotheca Sacra, for not a few valuable sugges tions and amendments.


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