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HISTORY OF ROME,
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL,
WITH NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS,
BY GEORGE BAKER, A.M.
History is Philosophy teaching by examples.--BOLINGBROKE.
A NEW EDITION, CAREFULLY CORRECTED AND REVISED
IN TWO VOLUMES.
There are many reasons for regarding Livy as the greatest of the ancient historians. His fame has had its fluctuations; but the extraordinary attention directed by the scholars of the nineteenth century to the annals of Rome —the investigations of Niebuhr, Arnold, Messirole, and other learned men— have, upon the whole, justly increased and firmly established his reputation as one of the greatest masters of historical art. His style may be pronounced almost faultless; and a great proof of its excellence is, that the charms with which it is invested are 80 little salient and so equally diffused, that all the parts in their proportion seem to unite to produce a form of the rarest beauty and grace. But it is not for his style, however much and however wisely that has been praised, that he is principally admired. His sagacious views of the human heart, his just development of the principles of action, his delicate touches of nature, his love of liberty, and the moral sensibility that mingles with all his descriptions, are qualities which must ever render him a favorite with that large class whose love of truth is so incorporated with a love of beauty, that they can seek for either with a true enjoyment, only when they are both attainable in combination. It is scarcely to be denied that some passages in the history of Columbus have been treated with a profounder insight by M. Navarrite than by Washington Irving; yet, never doubting our own great author's integrity and general exactness, who would change his incomparable grace and truth of effects for the cumbrous, ill-proportioned, and generally repulsive narrative and dissertation of even the best of his rivals ? Such is the relation of Livy to the other ancient Roman historians. The charms of his manner and spirit, the truth of his statements, and the justness of his views, will forever preserve his work among the most delightful and most valuable products of genius and intellectual toil.
The translation which follows is decidedly the best ever made into English. It preserves much of the tone, and is singularly faithful to the sense, of the illustrious Roman. The notes, and other illustrations which are added, embrace whatever useful learning has been contributed by scholars for the best appreciatiou of the author and his subject. The present edition, in fine, may be regarded as the best ever printed of Livy in English.