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WILLIAM RAMSAY, M. A.
FORMERLY PROFESSOR OF HUMANITY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW,
THE present edition is substantially a reprint of a work entitled 'Extracts from Tibullus and Ovid,' written some years ago by the late Professor Ramsay, for the use of the Latin class in the University of Glasgow. It was originally printed privately at his own expense; and has remained up to this time practically unknown to the scholars and schools of England, and almost unused beyond the limits of this University.
Having found the work invaluable as a text-book for my junior class, combining as it does accurate scholarship with vigorous, graphic representations of ancient mythology and history, of ancient life and literature, I suggested to the Delegates of the Oxford Press that it would be a fitting work to insert in their new series. The book in its original form being somewhat too bulky, it was thought advisable to omit altogether the selections from Tibullus-which might have interfered with a selection from the minor Roman poets shortly to be issued in the same series-and to curtail the notes in the remaining portion of the book where possible. Such curtailment has been effected almost entirely by the omission of original passages from classical authors, which had been quoted in extenso in the original work and which are merely referred to in the present edition; and as at the same time a number of notes have been inserted which originally appeared in illustration of the extracts from Tibullus, the result is that the notes of the present volume include the whole of the
notes to the Ovid, and in an enriched rather than an impove'rished form.
In addition to the shorter notes, a few dissertations will be found interspersed here and there throughout the book. These are for the most part upon matters which are imperfectly explained in ordinary works, or where the desired results could be arrived at only by searching into and comparing a number of different treatises. Such are the disquisitions on the Lares and Penates (p. 67), on the Sibylline books and the different Sibyls (p. 259), on the origin of the Olympian Gods and their wars with the Titans, Giants, &c. (p. 251), on Janus (p. 189), on Mars (p. 204), on Faunus (p. 40), on Vesta (p. 275), the Preliminary Remarks, and many of the Introductions to the different Extracts.
The selection of various readings will be found to include 1. Those which are equal or nearly equal in authority to the received text. 2. Those which have been adopted by the best editors. 3. Those which serve to illustrate the manner in which errors gradually crept in during the process of repeated transcription. 4. Those whose rejection involves some point of delicate or curious criticism. It would be obviously undesirable, in a school-book like the present, to enlarge upon this department; but none can deny that, in the hands of a skilful teacher, various readings may be used as a powerful instrument for exercising the judgment and improving the taste.
In addition to the annotations contained in the best editions of the poet, of which a list has been given in p. xxix, it should be. mentioned that in all that relates to ancient mythology free use has been made of the works of J. H. Voss1, K. O. Müller 2, and Hartung, while in the Appendix on the Roman Calendar the excellent essay of Ideler has been closely followed.
1 Mythologische Briefe-Antisymbolik-Kritische Blätter.
2 Prolegomena zu einer wissenschaftlichen Mythologie-Orchomenos-Die Dorier-Die Etrusker. Die Religion der Römer. Handbuch der mathematischen und technischen Chronologie.