A Literary History of Rome in the Silver Age: From Tiberius to Hadrian

A Literary History of Rome in the Silver Age: From Tiberius to Hadrian

A Literary History of Rome in the Silver Age: From Tiberius to Hadrian

A Literary History of Rome in the Silver Age: From Tiberius to Hadrian

Excerpt

The favourable reception accorded in several countries to my work on A Literary History of Rome from the Origins to the Close of the Golden Age, of which the first edition appeared in 1909, suggested the idea of continuing on similar principles the study of Latin literature into the first and second centuries, during which the Roman empire at its zenith in power and efficiency rendered its greatest services to human civilisation. The project was dropped throughout the period of the Great War, when, even if publication had been feasible, duties on a local Brigade Committee and for a time as Acting-Principal of my College effectually removed me from the atmosphere of literary criticism. Even after my publisher, Mr. Fisher Unwin, was good enough to revive the design, progress was extraordinarily slow, owing to the increasing demands made upon time by the recurrent problems of a modern university.

As in the former volume, emphasis has here been laid on the national character imprinted upon Latin literature despite all borrowings from Greek models; and attention has been carefully devoted to the evidence for the facts of an author's life in an endeavour to recreate the environment amidst which he wrote. Nor have material sources, whether Greek or Latin, been overlooked: indispensable though some account of these must be for a true conception of a writer as at once inheritor and progenitor, it is surprising to note how little in this country scholarship has concerned itself with the origin of encyclopædic learning like that of the elder Pliny. The arrangement adopted is different from that in Professor . . .

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