« PreviousContinue »
THE HANNIBALIAN WAR;
BEING PART OF THE TWENTY-FIRST AND
TWENTY-SECOND BOOKS OF LIVY.
Adapted, for the use of Beginners,
G. C. MACAULAY, M.A.,
ASSISTANT MASTER AT RUGBY,
MACMILLAN AND CO.,
AND NEW YORK.
This book is not a selection of extracts, nor is it an edition of any part of the actual text of Livy. It does not seem to me possible, judging from my own experience in teaching, to use any part of Livy as it stands, in the lower forms of schools, for which I understand this series is designed. The difficulties of his rather rhetorical and fanciful style will hardly be absent in any extracts. At the same time everyone who has had practical experience in teaching must be aware of the want of Latin reading-books fit for elementary teaching. Cæsar is often too difficult for beginners, Cornelius Nepos is not satisfactory in style, and hardly any others can be mentioned. It seemed to me that though Livy as it stands is unfit for the purpose, yet out of it a fairly satisfactory book might bo made, and that a continuous narrative of a not very long period of history was likely to be more interesting and useful than either disconnected extracts or meagre summaries. Accordingly the text of Livy has here been largely re-written and simplified,
and this is the part of the work on which most labour has been expended and to which much the most importance is attached. Besides this, details have occasionally been added from Polybius (the excellent version of Casaubon being sometimes used for this purpose); and in cases where Livy's account seems to be incorrect, e.g. the passage of the Alps and other points of geography, I have ventured sometimes to omit or alter that which causes difficulty in harmonising his account with others. Probably, on these points at least, everyone will agree with Niebuhr, that where Livy differs from Polybius, his authority is worthless. For any errors of Latinity in the text I ask pardon and hope that they may be few. The division into chapters is, of course, my own.
The notes are rather copious, but I have endeavoured always to avoid as far as possible such direct help as would save labour and thought, and I have made a point of always where possible giving references to the grammar on points of syntax instead of explaining them myself, though the latter might often have been more easily done. It will often be found that the key to the meaning of a sentence is to be found in a rule of syntax, and I am convinced that notes of this kind are more likely than any others to stimulate thought. I hope