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Francis To Warhburic.

Millou

THE HISTORY OF

TACITUS.

Cambridge: PRINTED BY C. J. CLAY, M.A. AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS.

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WILLIAM JACKSON BRODRIBB, M.A.

LATE FELLOW OF ST JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.

SECOND EDITION, REVISED.

WITH NOTES AND A MAP.

London:
MACMILLAN AND CO.

[AU Rights reserved.]

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PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.

İT has been said that Tacitus never has been translated, and probably never will be. No one can know better than ourselves that in the present work we have attempted a task of peculiar difficulty. The genius and idiom of the Latin language are so different from our own, as to be a source of perpetual embarrassment to the translator. There is a neat conciseness and terse vigour about it which it is almost impossible to represent adequately in English. Especially is this the case with the writings of Tacitus. The chief merit of his style is that it possesses these qualities in a very high degree; its fault is that they sometimes degenerate into obscurity and affectation. Thus its principal characteristic is even to exaggerate the special difficulties which always beset the task of translation from Latin into English. But if no Roman author is more intractable in the hands of a translator, no one, we believe, better repays any labour that may be spent upon him. His writings are indeed of the utmost interest both for their subject-matter and their style. They may be chargeable with many faults; it may be true, that, as an historian, he has at times sacrificed strict impartiality to his thorough love of freedom, to his intense hatred of the imperial despotism and of the corruption inseparable from it; it may be equally true, that, as a writer, he is often led astray by the love of effect, and even occasionally prefers obscurity to the least departure from conciseness. But this last, we must remember, was not so much the fault of Tacitus as that of the age, which regarded point and antithesis as the first merits of style. Lucan and Martial, to say the least,

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