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The present volume was undertaken at the request of several eminent Teachers, who had used the History of Roman Literature with their higher classes, and desired some companion volume of reference for passages which should illustrate the critical or exegetical remarks contained in that work. The Editors hope that the present selection (containing over 900 representative passages of all styles and all ages) will be found useful for this purpose.
It will also serve for Exercises in Unprepared Translation, a feature of school-work the importance of which is now fully recognised; as well as supply models for Composition, and a storehouse of Passages to be learnt by heart. The complete Index to the Specimens, and the Chronological Table of Authors, will, it is hoped, facilitate the employment of the book for all these objects.
The work consists of two divisions, the first embodying the main results of Roman thought on the three great subjects of Religion, Philosophy and Science, and Art and Letters ; the second containing numerous examples of the Styles adopted by the best masters of the language.
In the former part it has been the Editors' aim, so far as possible, to confine themselves to what was genuinely Roman, * which may explain the omission of several well-known passages, and the insertion of others that make no pretension to literary merit. In the latter part, the more illustrious and familiar authors have not been drawn upon to an extent at all corre* Lucretius forms an unavoidable exception.
sponding to their importance, from a desire to do more justice to the comparatively less known (such as Statius, Valerius Flaccus, Martial, Apuleius, &c.), who, whatever their independent merit as writers, cannot but be of great interest to the student of historical literature.
To readers of this class the Editors trust the present volume may prove a really valuable aid; the bringing together of different and often conflicting views, will show the limits within which Roman opinion varied.
The chronological arrangement was adopted in Part II. for obvious reasons, but abandoned in Part I., chiefly from the consideration that, there having been no regular unfolding or orderly development of thought in Rome (such as was the case, for example, in Greece), any attempt to tabulate, on a chronological basis, the opinions held on a given subject, would be delusive. The present arrangement, involving, as it does, two principles, labours under the disadvantage of being somewhat unsymmetrical, but it is hoped that the practical advantage thus gained will outweigh the aesthetic deficiency.
READING, April, 1879.
FIRST DIVISION: ROMAN THOUGHT.
PART 1.- RELIGION.
G. Dreams and Magic,
A. Period I., 240-80 B.C., Nævius-Claudius Quadrigarius,
A. Period I., 240-80 B.C., Ennius-Helvius Mancia,
A. Period I., 240-80 B.C., Plautus—Titius,