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INTERPRETATIONE ET NOTIS
THE NOTES AND INTERPRETATIONS TRANSLATED AND IMPROVED
BY THOMAS CLARK.
PUBLISHED BY THOMAS DESILVER JR.,
NO. 247 MARKET STREET.
L. R. BAILEY PRINTER.
EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA, to wit:
BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the fourth day of June, in the fifty(L. S.) first year of the Independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1827,
Carey, Lea and Carey, Thomas Desilver, John Grigg, M'Carty and Davis, Bennett and Walton, B. & T. Kite, and Anthony Finley, of the said District, have deposited in this office the Title of a Book, the right whereof they claim as Proprietors, in the words following, to wit:
“C. Julii Cæsaris, quæ extant, interpretatione et notis illustravit Johannes Godvinus, “Professor Regius, in usum Delphini.— The notes and interpretations translated and "improved by Thomas Clark. Fifth edition.”
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, intituled, “ An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the autbors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned." And also to the 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."
D. CALDWELL, Clerk of the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
UNTIL within these few years, it was universally the custom to edite the Latin classics with critical and explanatory notes in the Latin language.
The first commentators and editors of the Latin classics wrote, not for schools, but for men already well versed in the language. Of course, their object was not to explain the difficulties that occur to a reader imperfectly acquainted with the language, but in some measure to display their critical knowledge of the author, the extent of their reading and erudition. Moreover, the languages of Europe were then rude and unpolished. All who had any pretension to learning, wrote in the Latin language, which consequently became the key to every science. When the classics were published for Students of the Latin tongue, the explanatory notes were nearly of the same nature with those that had been already compiled for the use of the learned: without taking into consideration that the person, for whose use they were designed, required such assistance as would enable him to understand the idioms of the language; and that these notes, so far from being useful to him, would only add to his difficulties, if he attempted to read them. As respected the Student therefore, they became a useless appendage to the book; increasing its size, without any real in
crease of value. For he seldom turned his attention to them; when he did, it was only through the compulsion of his teacher; and then they became as difficult an object of study as the text itself. Hence the greater portion of the student's time was wasted in poring over the crudities of the commentator, when it might have been more usefully employed in studying the beauties of the author.
The plan pointed out by reason, to aid the Student of the Latin language, is to accompany the books, put into his hands, with notes, in his own language, explaining the difficulties that may occur from the idioms of the language, and the peculiarities of expression of the author; from allusions to ancient institutions; and from technical terms.
In the notes of this edition of Cæsar, the substance of the notes in usum Delphini has been given. The military terms, and allusions to the manners and institutions of the Romans and Gauls, have been particularly explained. The modern names of ancient countries and towns have also been given.
In preparing the text for press, much care has been taken to revise and collate it with several of the most approved editions. In the twelfth London edition in usum Delphini, from which the present one was printed, four hundred and sixteen typographical errors were corrected, many of them very important, exclusive of bad readings, and errors in accentuation. Much objection has been made to American editions of the Latin classics, for want of accuracy; but it may with safety be asserted, that few, if any, exceed the incorrectness of the late London editions, particularly those in usum Delphini.