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of familiar words, such as prepositions (to say nothing of particles), of simple and familiar phrases, simple and normal constructions, especially of moods and tenses, that would surprise many critics and reviewers, who judge from their own different stand-point. And this ignorance is seen not only in unprepared passages, to be translated at sight, but in prescribed books for the study of which ample time is given. This may be accounted for, in some degree, by the use of editions got up in a careless and slovenly manner, which too often directly and indirectly, positively and negatively, do harm to those for whose benefit they are intended, leaving as they do out of consideration the object for which a knowledge of the Greek language is presumed to be worth cultivating. The use of the particle ån for instance may surely be made intelligible to a student of average understanding, and yet in such editions as I speak of it will be too often found either left altogether unnoticed or else explained in such a clumsy manner as to betray the Editor's own want of familiarity with the use of it, regular or irregular. I hold that an Editor should make it his prime object to impart an interest in the language and matter of the author, whom he undertakes to edit, and not pass over difficulties with a light and superficial touch, too often veiling his own incompetence for the task before him and, to use the words of Plutarch, όλως τις όψιΜΔΘΗc και ΜειΡακιώδHC φINOMENOC έN τούτοιc. It is enough for me παραιτείcθαι και παρακαλείΝ YTTèp ÉMOY toyCÉNTY XÁNONTAC, TWC MHAÈN Himac Υπολάβωσι πεποNθέNAI τοτο τοιούτοις πάθος OMOTON. .
Even the two English translations of Plutarch's Parallel Lives generally accepted as the best, that of the Langhornes, and that commonly known as Dryden's edited by Clough, are not exempt from mistakes arising from ignorance not merely of the niceties of the language but too frequently of its most common idioms: while the most recent version of the Greek Lives, issued in Bohn's Series as a companion to a new edition of Long's excellent version of the Roman Lives, is considerably below the level of these, teeming, as it does, with inaccuracies and misrenderings, and, what with its additions and omissions, not even serving the purpose of a paraphrase.
Mr Hailstone's Nikias of Plutarch did not reach me, until the bulk of my notes had been passed for press. This version being specially intended for students preparing for the Previous Examination, I have, for their use and benefit, pointed out the chief errors and undoubted mistranslations of some passages, which disfigure its general accuracy, and drawn their attention to others in which the Translator seems to me at least to have missed his Author's meaning. Most of these corrections and criticisms will be found in the Table of Addenda and Corrigenda pp. xi-xv, some few in the Notes and Lexical Index.
In marked contrast to our English translations of Plutarch's Lives is the French version by James Amyot, from which, and not from the original Greek, Sir Thomas North made his famous translation (1579). Amyot is seldom at fault in his scholarship, and his work is not only useful for the object which it was intended to serve, but valuable to critics, as an evidence of the readings of MSS to which the learned Translator had access. I have occasionally quoted his scholarly version in the quaint old French, where he appears to me to have understood his Author's meaning better than the English translators. I have retained, with as much consistency as is possible at present, the Greek spelling in English of Greek words: accordingly the hero of this biography appears as Nikias, not as written in Latin Nicias-a mode of spelling which has led to the mispronunciation of the word as if it were spelt Nisias; and I have written Dionysios, Hipparchos, Thapsos etc. rather than Dionysius, Hipparchus, Thapsus, reserving the Latin termination -us for the Greek -ous. This method-or fad, as some reviewers are pleased to call it-has been adopted in public institutions, such as the British and South Kensington Museums, where classical archaeology has a place: it has one advantage over the old method, that a name is recognised at once as being Greek by the English reader. In more familiar names such as Thucydides, the historian, I have deferred to ancient usage, and let the spelling follow the accepted pronunciation, whether right or wrong.
The Grammars to which occasional reference has been made are Goodwin's Greek Grammar (Macmillan & Co.) denoted by G., and Hadley's Greek Grammar as revised by Allen (Macmillan & Co.), denoted by HA.
In conclusion, I have to thank the officials of the University Press for the skill and care with which the printing of this volume has been executed.
Η. Α. Η.
Sept. 26th, 1887