The Ancient Library

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cumstance proves the more the difficulty of the task ; for his descriptions are so vague and imper­fect, and so totally devoid of painting, that it is scarcely possible to understand them. For in­stance, in his account of the march of the Gauls into Italy, and of the subsequent movements of their army and of the Romans, there is an obscu­rity, which never could have existed had he con­ceived in his own mind a lively image of the seat of war as a whole, of the connection of the rivers and chains of mountains with each other, and of the consequent direction of the roads and most fre­quented passes." (Hist, of Rome, vol. iii. pp. 473, 474.) To this same cause, the want of imagina­tion on the part of Polybius, we are disposed to attribute the apparent indifference with which he describes the fall of his native country, and the extinction of the liberties of Greece. He only sought to relate facts, and to draw the proper re­flections from them : to relate them with vividness and to paint them in striking colours was not his calling.

The greater part of the history of Polybius has perished. We possess the first five books entire, but of the rest we have only fragments and ex­tracts, of which some, however, are of considerable length, such as the account of the Roman army, which belonged to the sixth book. The first five books were first printed in a Latin translation executed by Nic. ,.Perotti, and issued from the celebrated press of Sweynheym and Pannartz, Rome, 1473, fol. The first part of the work of Polybius, which was printed in Greek, was the treatise on the Roman army, which was published by Ant. de Sabio, Venice, 1529, 4to., with a Latin translation by Lascaris ; and in the following year, 1530, the Greek text of the first five books, with the translation of Perotti, appeared at Hagenau, edited by Obsopoeus (Koch), but without the treatise on the Roman arrny, which had probably not yet found its way across the Alps. A few years afterwards a discovery was made of some extracts from the other books of Polybius ; but the author of the compilation, and the time at which it was drawn up, are unknown ; for we can hardly believe with Casaubon that it was the Epitome which was made by M. Brutus, and of which both Plutarch (Brut. c. 4) and Suidas (s. v. Bpovros) speak. These extracts, which must be distinguished from those of the emperor Constan-tinus Porphyrogenitus mentioned below, contain the greater part of the sixth book, and portions of the following eleven (vii.—xvii.). The manuscript containing them was brought from Corfu, and they were published, together with the first five books which had already appeared at Basel, 1549, fol. from the press of Herragius. The Latin translation of these extracts was executed by Wolfgang Mus-culus, who also corrected Perotti's version of the other books, and the editing of the Greek text was superintended by Arnold Paraxylus Arlenius. A portion of these extracts, namely a description of the naval battle fought between Philippus and Attalus and the Rhodiane, belonging to the six­teenth book, had been previously published by Bayf in his De Re Navali Veterum, Paris, 1536, reprinted at Basel, 1537. In 1582 Ursinus pub­lished at Antwerp, in 4to., a second collection of Extracts from Polybius, entitled Excerpta de Le-ffationibus ('E/c\o7at ircpl Tlpeo-geiwv), which were made in the tenth century of the Christian era by


order of the Emperor Constantinus Porphyro­genitus. These Excerpta are taken from various authors, but the most important of them came from Polybius. In 1609 Is. Casaubon published at Paris, in folio, his excellent edition of Polybius, in which he incorporated all the Excerpta and fragments that had hitherto been discovered, and added a new Latin version. He intended likewise to write a commentary upon the author, but he did not proceed further than the 20th chapter of the first book ; this portion of his commentary was published after his death at Paris, 1617, 8vo. A further addition was made to the fragments of Polybius by Valesius, who published, in 1634, another portion of the Excerpta of Constantinus, entitled Excerpta de Virtutibus et Vitiis (irepl dperrjs KaL Kaw(as), containing extracts from Polybius, Diodorus Siculus, and other writers ; and to this collection Valesius added several other fragments of Polybius, gathered together from various writers. Jacobus Gronovius undertook a new edition of Polybius, which appeared at Amsterdam in 1670, in 3 vols. 8vo. ; the text of this edition is taken almost verbatim from Casaubon's, but the editor added, besides the extracts of Valesius and the commentary of Casaubon on the first twenty chapters of the first book, many additional notes by Casaubon, which had been collected from his papers by his son Mericus Casaubon, and like­wise notes by Gronovius himself. The edition of Gronovius was reprinted under the care of J. A. Ernesti at Leipzig, 1763—1764, 3 vols. 8vo. The next edition is that of Schweighaeuser, which sur­passes all the preceding ones. It was published at Leipzig, 1789—1795 in 8 vols. 8vo., of which the first four contained the Greek text with a Latin translation, and the other volumes a commentary, an historical and geographical index, and a co­pious " Lexicon Polybinnum," which is almost indispensable to the student. Schweighaeuser's edition was reprinted at Oxford in 1823, in 5 vols. 8vo., without the commentary, but with the Lexi­con. From the time of Valesius no new additions were made to the fragments of Polybius, with the exception of a fragment describing the siege of Ambracia, originally published in the second vo­lume of Gronovius's Livy, until Angelo Mai dis­covered in the Vatican library at Rome the third section of the Excerpta of Constantinus Porphyro­genitus, entitled Excerpta de Sententiis (irepl yvcanwv), which, among other extracts, contained a considerable number from the history of Poly­bius. These excerpta were published by Mai in the second volume of his Scriptorum veterum Nova Collectio^ Rome, 1827, but in consequence of the mutilated state of the manuscript from which they were taken, many of them are unintelligible. Some of the errors in Mai's edition are corrected in the reprints of the Excerpta, published by Geel at Leyden in 1829, and by Lucht at Altona in 1830 ; but these Excerpta appear in a far more correct form in the edition of Heyse, Berlin, 1846. since Heyse collated the manuscript afresh with great care and accuracy. The last edition of Po­lybius is by Immanuel Bekker (Berlin, 1844, 2 vols. 8vo.), who has added the Vatican fragments. Of the translations of Polybius into modern languRges, those most worthy of notice are the French, by Thuillier, chiefly remarkable on account of the military commentary appended to it by Fo-lard, Amsterdam, 1759, 7 vols. 4to. ; the German,

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