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THIS edition of the Somnium Scipionis of Cicero was undertaken at the suggestion of a well-known scholar, who expressed his surprise that this celebrated extract had not been edited for the use of schools in this country.
Whether one regards the nature of the subject, the mode of its treatment, the history of the characters in the dialogue, or the vicissitudes of the work of which the Somnium formed part, it is hardly conceivable that a youthful reader could fail to find in it something, which would excite in him that curiosity, the absence of which too often distinguishes the student of a Classic from the peruser of a Novel.
In preparing my notes I have made constant use of the old commentary of Macrobius, and of the editions of Moser and Creuzer (Francof. ad M. 1826), the great storehouse, from which later editors must continue to draw,-of Osann (Gotting. 1847), and of Dr Carl Meissner (Leipzig, 1878): I have also consulted, but with little profit, one or two French editions.
The original plan of my work included a translation of the Somnium; which, under certain safeguards, such as the exaction by the teacher of a rigorous grammatical analysis from his scholars, seemed to me to present many advantages: but the general opinion of teachers appears to be adverse to the use of translations in Schools; and, in compliance with the advice of my friends, I have decided to publish it separately.
The text of this edition will not be found to differ materially from that of Meissner, who has based his text on that of Baiter and Kayser (Leipzig, 1865): although I have felt myself bound to make some changes in the orthography. My own experience in examination work has led me to think it highly desirable that a youth should be introduced to the classical forms of Latin words, elsewhere than in an examination-room. I have therefore not scrupled, invariably in the textthough not so in the notes-to make no distinction. between the consonantal and vowel forms of i and u: I have also adopted the spelling i for ii, in the genitive singular of substantives ending in -ius, -ium; e.g. Mercuri not Mercurii § 9, consili not consiiii § 4. With regard to other forms: e.g. -uo and -cu for -uu and -quu, although I have occasionally admitted such forms, I have generally been content to sacrifice consistency to the desire to present as few difficulties as possible: consecuntur § 9, and locuntur § 14, for consequuntur and loquuntur, are, I
think, the only cases in which a young reader will find any difficulty on this score.
It remains to express my gratitude to the Syndics of the University Press, who have generously undertaken the publication: my best thanks are also due to their adviser for many useful hints, and especially to Mr J. S. Reid, Fellow and Assistant Tutor of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, who has given himself much trouble in revising and making suggestions.
W. D. PEARMAN.