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A HISTORY OF GREECE IN GREEK,
BEGINNING WITH THE INVASION OF XERXES.
FROM THE INVASION OF XERXES TO THE SUPPRESSION OF
A SPACE OF FORTY YEARS,
AS RELATED BY DIODORUS AND THUCYDIDES.
JOSIAH WRIGHT, M.A.
HEAD MASTER OF SUTTON COLDFIELD SCHOOL;
THE object of the following compilation is twofold. It is intended to supply the student with easy Greek for translation, and at the same time with a consecutive history.
The Editor has always been at a loss what Greek book to lay first before his pupils. A Delectus may perhaps be useful in its earlier pages; but it soon becomes difficult, and is always dull. The λégis eipoμévn of Herodotus, however beautiful, is hardly fitted for learners of grammar. Xenophon is not unsuitable in point of style and facility of diction; but he writes too minutely, and on events scarcely prominent enough, for a beginner. It is, therefore, with the hope of supplying a deficiency, which he at any rate has felt, that the Editor has prepared the following pages.
The first thirty chapters are taken from the Eleventh Book of Diodorus Siculus, and embrace, perhaps, the most interesting event in ancient history, the Invasion
of Greece by Xerxes. Diodorus is not very well known, and possesses no very great merit as a historian. Altogether unphilosophical, he is sometimes even careless in his statements. Hence it has occasionally been found necessary to prevent misconception by referring in the Notes to the clear and simple details of Herodotus. Nor is the style of Diodorus very interesting; but his diction is both easy and correct. There are to be met with in his pages a few deviations from pure classical usage, which have for the most part been corrected in the Notes, and should always be observed by the tutor. But in general his Greek seems well fitted for boys beginning to translate, and well fitted also for practice in composition. Perhaps no author presents greater facilities for the very useful process of translation and re-translation.
The later Chapters comprise that masterly sketch of the Athenian Empire which Thucydides introduces into the First Book of his History. This extract, forming by itself an entire subject, narrates in clear outline the principal events which took place between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars, and is written for the most part in the simplest possible language. The pupil has thus an opportunity of being introduced, earlier than usual, to the study of the first historian of antiquity, without being impeded by the difficulties which generally beset his style.
The Notes require a few words of explanation. Some of them are historical, and a few critical; but most are simply grammatical, and confined to a single division of grammar. As it is hoped that this volume may be found useful by mere beginners, it is drawn up with especial reference to their use. In the Preliminary Observations an attempt has been made to explain the theory and laws of the Cases; and the Notes are chiefly intended to illustrate them. The pupil may well begin to translate without thoroughly comprehending the laws; but he should read the observations, by small portions, daily; and when he has mastered them, he should re-commence the text, and never be suffered to pass a single noun without referring it to one or other of the laws. By this means something of a scientific character will be imparted to his work; he will be taught from the first to look on words, not as isolated facts, but as parts of a system; capable of being referred, like the phenomena of natural science, to some distinct class, and of being explained in accordance with some known law.
For the Preliminary Observations and the Grammatical Notes the Editor is chiefly indebted to Rost's Greek Grammar; for the rest, he has availed himself of the assistance of the best editors of Thucydides, without thinking it necessary in each case to affix their names. The text, in the Chapters from Diodorus, is that of the