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No ancient writer has been so thoroughly subjected to all kinds of criticism as Horace. The number of those who, in ancient and modern times, have published editions of his whole works, or of detached portions, is so great, that the mere enumeration of them would require a volume. We might suppose at first glance that all the aids which can be desired in regard to an ancient author-grammarians, manuscripts, and commentators— exist in rich abundance for Horace; and yet, upon a closer examination, we find that much still remains to be done. Two ancient grammarians have left commentaries on Horace-namely, Helenius Acron and Pomponius Porphyrion. They lived towards the close of the fifth century after Christ; but their scholia, as they have come down to us, are to a great extent mixed up with later comments. Besides these, Jacob Cruquius, in his edition (Antwerp, 1578), has made up an ancient commentary from the marginal notes of four Codices Blandiniani, so called from the Blandin monastery on the Blandin Hill, in Ghent. These ancient scholia are not so good as those which we ssess on some other writers; but they are useful on account of the interesting and valuable information which they contain regarding persons mentioned by Horace, particularly in the Satires, and which these commentators had extracted from earlier books de personis Horatianis. Consequently, in every edition of the poet they must be mentioned and made use of
There are more than two hundred manuscripts of Horace in existence, some of them very good. The above-mentioned Blandiniani, made use of by Cruquius, were particularly excellent, but are now lost. Only a few of the others have been thoroughly collated; and it is matter of astonishment that, notwithstanding the number of editions, a text of the Horatian poems, really founded on the manuscripts, and critically amended, is still a desideratum. The first who published an edition of Horace with a commentary was Christophorus Landinus (Florence, 1482);
and after him many learned men directed their attention to the explanation of Horace's language and allusions, till the time of Richard Bentley, whose first edition was published at Cambridge in 1711. Bentley, by this edition, established his fame as a decided genius in criticism. He altered the text of Horace in about eight hundred passages, often according to the readings of manuscripts (for he had marry, and some were excellent); often also, however, upon simple conjecture. More modern critics have perceived that many of Bentley's corrections were not what the poet wrote, but merely what he might have written. But even in his unsuccessful emendations, he has afforded to later critics and commentators rich and interesting materials for debate, from which none has been able to escape. In the present edition, considering that it is intended chiefly for schools, we have seldom mentioned Bentley's name; but in many cases we have been unable to refrain from touching, generally in a very few words, upon points about which he has raised controversies. The direction that the criticism on Horace has taken since Bentley's time is the poetico-aesthetic, the character of which is best developed in Mitscherlich's somewhat diffuse, but yet erudite and judicious edition of the Odes (Leipzig, 1800.) Very recently, Jo. Casp. Orelli-whose third edition has appeared in the year 1850-has endeavoured to combine the explanatory and aesthetic style of commentary with a new critical recension. We have taken his text as the basis of ours; paying careful regard, however, both to former editions of all Horace's works, and also to the numerous editions of detached portions of them; among which L. F. Heindorf's edition of the Satires (Second, Leipzig, 1843) deserves particular notice.
The present edition contains nearly all the poems of Horace, those only having been excluded which cannot be made use of for educational purposes. The commentary was begun by Professor C. G. Zumpt. He died, however, without completing more than the notes on the Epodes. The remainder the undersigned has endeavoured to execute in his father's spirit.
A. W. ZUMPT.
BERLIN, November 30, 1850.
the most celebrated lyric poet of the Romans, and who in all ages, and among all nations which have felt an interest in poetry and intellectual culture, has been greatly admired and much imitated, was born in the year 65 B. C., in the consulship of L. Manlius Torquatus and L. Aurelius Cotta. Hence in Odes, iii. 21, he addresses to an amphora the words O nata mecum consule Manlio; and in Epist. i. 20, he mentions that in the December of 21 B. c., he had completed his forty-fourth year. December was therefore his birth-month; and we learn from a short notice of Horace's life, which probably formed a chapter in Suetonius' Lives of the Roman Poets, that the day was the 8th of the month (a. d. vi. Id. Dec.) Horace was consequently six years younger than Livy, five years younger than Virgil, and two years older than Augustus. His native place was Venusia, an ancient Latin colony, which, at the time of the Social War, 91 B. C., had received the full Roman franchise, and was consequently a municipium. Venusia was in Apulia, but just on the confines of Lucania; in which, indeed, a part of the territory belonging to it in later times was situated. Hence Horace, in Sat. ii. 1, 34, in speaking of himself, jokingly says, Lucanus an Appulus anceps. His father belonged to the lowest class of freemen: he was a freedman (libertinus), which indicates that he had formerly been a slave; and had, upon his manumission, assumed the name of his master-Horatius. Whether he had a cognomen or not, is unknown. That of Flaccus, which his son bore, was properly given to persons with long loose ears.