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THE present edition of the de officiis has been so much altered and enlarged that it may fairly lay claim to be considered a new work rather than a second edition of the volume published fifteen years ago. The latter laboured under so many blemishes and imperfections, which time and, I trust, more matured scholarship have enabled me to correct, that I could not rest satisfied without subjecting it to a thorough revision, notwithstanding the scanty leisure left me by arduous professional duties : under this process the commentary on the text has grown to double its original bulk, a large amount of explanation and illustration having been added to the notes, which have themselves been

bridged and otherwise modified, in many cases entirely re-written.

I trust that the volume in its new form may satisfy the wants of more than one class of readers—I may now venture to add of both sexes.


army of commentators has at various times been employed in explaining this which may perhaps be called the most popular of Cicero's writings; Orelli in his first edition of our author's entire works Vol. VI p. 334 ff. enumerates more than 250 separate editions: so that an editor has at his command a rich store of materials. The editions on which I have chiefly levied contributions are those of Heusinger, Zumpt, Beier and Heine. (See p. xliii). Of the first his latest editor Zumpt justly remarks (ed. mai. praef. p. i) 'communi hominum doctorum opinione inter praestantissimas Latinorum scriptorum editiones censetur,' as exhibiting 'rectum iudicium et elegantem interpretandi simplicitatem. Habet enim in interpretando hoc praecipuum, quod et acute invenit in quo possis haerere et inventam difficultatem breviter ac dilucide explanat,' and again (ed. min. praef. p. v) 'perpauci libri sunt, quos magis cupiam in manibus eorum, quibus antiquae litterae curae cordique sunt, versari. I have used with great advantage Zumpt's smaller edition of Heusinger which is enriched with some valuable remarks which are not to be found in the larger work. That of Beier contains amidst much irrelevant matter a profuse amount of more or less useful illustration, and, praiseworthy as it is in many respects, Zumpt, I think, rightly characterises it, when he says (ed. mai. praef. p. vii) 'sacco serens vera falsis, utilia inutilibus ita permiscet, ut ab ea quasi cena dubia libenter ad sobriam Heusingerorum disciplinam refugias.' The edition of Otto Heine, one of the excellent Haupt-Sauppe Classics, is a much enlarged and improved edition of that before published by Unger. I have found great assistance from his commentary, which leaves few difficulties unnoticed. The Introduction prefixed to this edition is substantially a translation of his Einleitung. However much the possession of these aids and appliances has diminished editorial work, the mere task of selection and compression of materials, easy as it may appear to those who have had no experience of it, is a constant strain upon the judgment which requires no inconsiderable expenditure of time and labour.

Wherever the actual words of the annotator have been quoted, I have given his name: where the derived notes have undergone a change of form, I have not made any special acknowledgment of the original source from which they are taken. In the text I have followed for the most part the recension of Orelli's Cicero by Baiter and Halm, which must at present be considered the standard edition. In some passages, where a different reading has commended itself to my judgment, I have given that of Baiter in the adnotatio critica, and in any variations of importance added the readings of the principal editors.


Jan. 28, 1869



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HEN Brutus and Cassius failed in their attempts to 1

establish the Republic on its old foundations, though they had succeeded in taking the life of the Dictator, Cicero being debarred from taking part in public affairs by Antonius and feeling the insecurity of his own position left Rome towards the end of March A.U.C. 710, B.C. 44.

He betook himself to his country houses, of which he possessed several in the West of Italy, and spent the summer first in one and then in another. During this period of compulsory leisure, full of anxiety, disappointed in the hopes which the death of Caesar had awakened in him and depressed by sorrow for the degradation of his country, Cicero sought and found distraction from politics and relief from gloom and disappointment in literary pursuits. He had been a student of philosophy from early youth and had improved himself in it partly by reading, partly by conversing with eminent philosophers'; even during Caesar's usurpation it had been his chief diversion, and his devotion to it was alike honourable to himself and profitable to his countrymen. The Tusculanae disputationes which he had already begun, and the books de natura deorum, were finished in the course of the summer of B.C. 44; during the same period he composed the essays de senectute, de amicitia, de divinatione,

i See n. to I § 155 1. 18. Cic. de Oft.


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