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This volume is an attempt to present in simple and convenient form the assistance needed by young students making their first acquaintance with Livy. Much has been stated that would seem unnecessary, had not the editor's experience in the class-room shown him the contrary. On the other hand, that fulness of illustration which apparently aims to supersede the function of the teacher has been carefully avoided.
The text is that of Weissenborn (cura H. J. Müller), Weidmann, Berlin ; a very few changes are mentioned in the notes as they occur. To that edition the present editor acknowledges his chief indebtedness in the preparation of the Introduction and Notes, though he has also availed himself freely of the assistance of other books and editors, especially those cited at the end of the introduction.
There has been no attempt to make the orthography absolutely uniform, or to adopt always the so-called “classical”
“ spelling. Such an orthography represents a state of things which never existed in ancient times; and the very variety of spelling should be instructive to the student who has progressed far enough to read Livy.
The selection of the three books contained in this volume is not merely sanctioned by long usage, but rests upon good Book I. forms a unit by itself, a
prose epic," dealing with the mythical age of the Roman kings, while Books XXI. and XXII. not only exhibit the author's style in its mature perfection, but also deal with the most thrilling and momentous crisis of the Roman republic.
PRINCETON, N. J., November, 1890.
The life of the Romans was intensely practical. War and politics were their national pursuits, and during the earlier centuries of the republic their exclusive pursuits. It was therefore natural that the nation's best days were
Late developover before the national literature fairly began; ment of Roman
literature. natural, likewise, that when at last literature did begin its career, history was one of the earliest departments to be cultivated.
It is not to be understood that there were no records before this time. Soon after the establishment of the republic the chief pontiffs began to keep official The earliest records, called the Annales Maximi, containing records. a list of the magistrates, the prodigies, and the chief events of each year, all expressed in the briefest manner. They were annually exposed to public view on a white tablet in front of the pontiff's official residence, and when finally collected and published, formed eighty books. But the pontiff's house with all its archives had perished in the burning of Rome by the Gauls in 390 B. C., so that the statements about the earlier period must have been restored from memory. The libri lintei, “ linen books,” were lists of magistrates earlier than 390 B. C., preserved in the temple of Juno Moneta in the Capitol, which had survived the catastrophe that overwhelmed the rest of the city.
Inscriptions, which form so extensive a portion of the memorials of later times, were very scanty in the period prior to the development of literature.
The family records and traditions of noble houses doubtless constituted an important element in the formation of the national history, and a still more important element were the oral traditions of the people and the metrical lays, whereby they half unconsciously preserved from age to age the legends of the olden time.
About two hundred years B. C., the earliest poets, Naevius Historical and Ennius, treated themes taken from the napoetry.
tional history in poetical form, the one dealing thus with the first Punic war, the other with the traditional period from Aeneas to his own age. Soon after began the practice of writing prose annals,
that is, histories in strictly chronological arrangeThe Annalists.
ment, with the events of each year placed by themselves. Nearly contemporary with Ennius was Q. Fabius
Pictor, the first annalist, whose grandfather had Fabius Pictor.
gained this curious surname by painting a battle picture in the temple of Salus, and who was himself a prominent public man at the time of the Hannibalic war.
After this war was over, he wrote in Greek an account of it, addressed to the educated among his own countrymen and to the Hellenic public, intended to offset the account given by Silenus, which he regarded as too favorable to the Carthaginians, intended also to glorify the achievements of his great kinsman, Fabius the Dictator. A general sketch of the national history constituted the introductory portion of this work, which was, upon the whole, of such a character that Fabius was not undeservedly called the father of Roman history. Livy highly respected him and often quoted his statements, but at second hand out of later annalists.