The Ancient Library
 

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PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION. XL

only be gained from a systematic work by putting together the statements con­tained in many different parts of the work, while, in a Dictionary, a connected view of their history is given from the earliest to the latest times under the respective words. The same remark will apply to numerous other subjects.

Some subjects have been included in the present work which have not usually been treated of in works on Greek and Roman Antiquities. These subjects have been inserted on account of the important influence which they exercised upon the public and private life of the ancients. Thus, considerable space has been given to the articles on Painting and Statuary, and also to those on the different departments of the Drama. There may seem to be some inconsistency and apparent capriciousness in the admission and rejection of subjects, but it is very difficult to determine at what point to stop in a work of this kind. A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, if understood in its most extensive signification, would comprehend an account of every thing relating to antiquity. In its narrower sense, however, the term is confined to an account of the public and private life of the Greeks and Romans, and it is convenient to adhere to this signification of the word, however arbitrary it may be. For this reason several articles have been inserted in the work which some persons may regard as out of place, and others have been omitted which have sometimes been im­properly included in writings on Greek and Roman Antiquities. Neither the names of persons and divinities, nor those of places, have been inserted in the present work, as the former will be treated of in the " Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology," and the latter in the " Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography."

The subjects of the woodcuts have been chosen by the writers of the articles which they illustrate, and the drawings have been made under their superinten­dence.* Many of these have been taken from originals in the British Museum, and others from the different works which contain representations of works of ancient art, as the Museo Borbonico, Museo Gapitolino, Millin's Peintures de Vases Antiques, Tischbein's and D'Hancarville's engravings from Sir William Hamilton's Yases, and other similar works. Hitherto little use has been made in this country of existing works of art, for the purpose of illustrating antiquity. In many cases, however, the representation of an object gives a far better idea of the purposes for which it was intended, and the way in which it was used, than any explanation in words only can convey. Besides which, some acquaintance with the remains of ancient art is almost essential to a proper perception of the spirit of antiquity, and would tend to refine and elevate the taste, and lead to a just appreciation of works of art in general.

Mr. George Long, who has contributed to this work the articles relating to Roman Law, has sent the Editor the following remarks, which he wishes to make respecting the articles he has written, and which are accordingly subjoined in his own words.

" The writer of the articles marked with the letters G. L. considers some

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" apology necessary in respect of what he has contributed to this work. He has " never had the advantage of attending a course of lectures on Roman Law, and " he has written these articles in the midst of numerous engagements, which left

* The woodcuts have been executed by Mr. John Jackson.

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