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GOVERNMENT, MAGISTRACY, LAWS, JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS, RELIGION, GAMES,
TO ILLUSTRATE THE
BY EXPLAINING WORDS AND PHRASES, FROM THE Rites and
BY ALEXANDER ADAM, LL. D.
RECTOR OF THE HIGH SCHOOL OF EDINBURGH.
REVISED, CORRECTED, AND ILLUSTRATED with notes and ADDITIONS,
BY P. WILSON, LL. D.
PROFESSOR OF LANGUAGES IN COLUMBIA COLLEGE.
PRINTED BY WILLIAM A. MÉRCEin, no. 93 gold-STREET,
For Kirk & Mercein, W. B. Gilley, C. Wiley & Co. John Sayre, Scott & Seguine, John Tie-
Southern District of New-York, ss.
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the twenty-seventh day of August, in the forty fourth year of the Independence of the United States of America, William A. Mercein of the said District, hath deposited in this office the title of a Book, the right whereof he claims as Proprietor, in the words following, to wit:
"ROMAN ANTIQUITIES : or, an Account of the Manners and Customs of the Romans. respecting their Government, Magistracy, Laws, Judicial Proceedings, Religion, Games, Military and Naval Affairs, Dress, Exercise, Baths, Marriages, Divorces, Funerals, Weights and Measures, Coins, Method of Writing, Houses, Gardens, Agriculture, Carriages, Public Buildings, &c. &c. Designed chiefly to Illustrate the Latin Classics, by explaining words and Phrases, from the Rites and Customs to which they refer. By Alexander Adam, LL. D. Rector of the High School of Edinburgh. Revised, Corrected, and Illustrated with Notes and additions, by P. Wilson, LL. D. Professor of Languages in Columbia College.
In conformity to the Act of Congress of the United States, entitled "An Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned." And also to an Act, entitled "An Act, supplementary to an Act, entitled an Act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other prints."
GILBERT LIVINGSTON THOMPSON,
Clerk of the Southern District of New-York.
THE FIRST EDITION.
NOTHING has more engaged the attention of li terary men since the revival of learning, than to trace from ancient monuments the institutions and laws, the religion, the manners, and customs of the Romans, under the general name of Roman Antiquities. This branch of knowledge is not only curious in itself, but absolutely necessary for understanding the Classics, and for reading with advantage the history of that celebrated people. It is particularly requisite for such as prosecute the study of the civil law.
Scarcely on any subject have more books been written, and many of them by persons of distinguished abilities. But they are, for the most part, too voluminous to be generally useful. Hence a number of abridgments have been published; of which those of Kennet and Nieuport are esteemed the best. The latter is on the whole better adapted than the former, to illustrate the Classics; but, being written in Latin, and abounding with difficult phrases, is not fitted for the use of younger students. Besides, it contains nothing concerning the laws of the Romans, or the buildings of the city, which are justly reckoned among the most valuable parts in Kennet.
On these accounts, near twenty years ago, the Compiler of the following pages thought of framing from both, chiefly from Nieuport, a Compendium for his own use, with an intention to print it, if he should meet with no book on the subject to his mind. But he soon perceived, that on several important points, he could not derive from either the satisfaction he wished. He
therefore had recourse to other sources of information; and chiefly to the Classics themselves. To énumerate the various authors he has consulted, would be tedious and useless. It is sufficient to say, that he has borrowed with freedom, from all hands, whatever he judged fit for his purpose. He has been chiefly indebted to Manutius, Brissonius, and Middleton, on the senate; to Pignorius, on slaves; to Sigonius and Grucchius, Manutius, Huber, Gravina, Merula, and Heineccius, on the assemblies of the people, the rights of citizens, the laws and judicial proceedings; to Lipsius, on the magistrates, the art of war, shows of the circus and gladiators; to Sheffer, on naval affairs and carriages; to Ferrarius, on the Roman dress; to Kirchmannus, on funerals; to Arbuthnot, on coins; to Dickson, on agriculture; to Donatus, on the city; to Turnebus, Abrahamus, Rosinus, Salmasius, Hottomomannus, Grævius, and Gronovius, Montfaucon, Pitiscus, Ernesti, and particularly to Gesner, in different parts of the work.
After making considerable progress in this undertaking, the Compiler found the execution so difficult, that he would have willingly dropt it, could he have found any thing on the subject to answer his views. Accordingly, when Mr. Lempriere did him the favour to communicate his design of publishing that useful work, the Classical Dictionary, he used the freedom to suggest to him the propriety of intermingling with his plan a description of Roman antiquities. But being informed by that gentleman, that this was impractica
le, and meeting with no book which joined explanation of words and things together, he resolved to execute his original intention. It is now above three years since he began printing. This delay has been occasioned partly by the difficulty of the work, and making various alterations and additions; partly also by a solicitude to receive the remarks of some gentlemen of learning and taste, on whose judgment he could rely, who have been so obliging as to read over, with critical attention, the sheets as they were printed.