The Ancient Library
 

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X PREFACE 'TO THE FIRST EDITION.

us with important information on the subject, which has also been dis­cussed with ability by several modern writers, among whom W. A. Becker, of Leipzig, deserves to be particularly mentioned. The study of ancient art like­wise, to which our scholars have paid little attention, has been diligently cul­tivated in Germany from the time of Winckelmann and Lessing, who founded the modern school of criticism in art, to which we are indebted for so many valuable works.

While, however, so much has been done in every department of the subject, no attempt has hitherto been made, either in Germany or in this country, to make the results of modern researches available for the purposes of instruction, by giving them in a single work, adapted for the use of students. At present, correct information on many matters of antiquity can only be obtained by consulting a large number of costly works, which few students can have access to. It was therefore thought that a work on Greek and Roman Antiquities, which should be founded on a careful examination of the original sources, with such aids as could be derived from the best modern writers, and which should bring up the subject, so to speak, to the present state of philological learning, would form a useful acquisition to all persons engaged in the study of antiquity.

It was supposed that this work might fall into the hands of two different classes of readers, and it was therefore considered proper to provide for the probable wants of each, as far as was possible. It has been intended not only for schools, but also for the use of students at universities, and of other persons, who may wish to obtain more extensive information on the subject than an elementary work can supply. Accordingly numerous references have been given, not only to the classical authors, but also to the best modern writers, which will point out the sources of information on each subject, and enable the reader to extend his inquiries further if he wishes. At the same time it must be observed, that it has been impossible to give at the end of each article the whole of the literature which belongs to it. Such a list of works as a full account of the literature would require, would have swelled the work much beyond the limits of a single volume, and it has therefore only been possible to refer to the principal modern authorities. This has been more particularly the case with such articles as treat of the Roman constitution and law, on which the modern writers are almost innumerable.

A work like the present might have been arranged either in a systematic or an alphabetical form. Each plan has its advantages and disadvantages, but many reasons induced the Editor to adopt the latter. Besides the obvious advantage of an alphabetical arrangement in a work of reference like the present, it enabled the Editor to avail himself of the assistance of several scholars who had made certain departments of antiquity their particular study. It is quite im­possible that a work which comprehends all the subjects included under Greek and Roman Antiquities can be written satisfactorily by any one individual. As it was therefore absolutely necessary to divide the labour, no other arrangement offered so many facilities for the purpose as that which has been adopted; in addition to which, the form of a Dictionary has the additional advantage of enabling the writer to give a complete account of a subject under one head, which cannot so well be done in a systematic work. An example will illustrate what is meant. A history of the patrician and plebeian orders at Rome can

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