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CAT U L L US
ELMER TRUESDELL MERRILL
ENTERED AT STATIONERS' HALL
COPYRIGHT, 1893, BY
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
This reappearance of Merrill's Catullus perhaps calls for a word of explanation. A few years ago, when the book was allowed to go out of print, classical studies suffered a severe blow. For this was the only brief, sufficiently annotated edition available in English of the complete works of one of antiquity's most attractive poets.
Admittedly, one may always find fault with notes written in the knowledge and taste of half a century ago. For example, one may now tend to deplore the emphasis given to matters concerned with the chronology of the poems. But a later generation may not. Then, too, some today may possibly, on grounds of aesthetic improbability, reject Merrill's inclination to "partition the poet's Muse," so that two Catulluses emerge, the learned and the lyrical. More serious, certainly, is the considerable increase in our knowledge since 1893 of Catullus' relation to his Greek models. But our chief need is to have such basic commentaries as those of Ellis or Kroll brought up to date. Finally, some would inevitably have Merrill's text changed here and there. Still, in the case of so thorny a text quot doctores tot lectiones.
The alternative, then, to reprinting would have been a novus libellus—a new recension and commentary—and to that proposal the answer is simply nummi desunt. In any case Merrill's notes furnish ample and pertinent assistance on all points that are likely to bother the student, and for the instructor they offer now and then the not wholly undesirable challenge to differ from another scholar in interpretation and to try to supplement him in information. All in all, this edition indeed deserves to last plus uno saeclo, and one is very glad to have it back.
J. P. ELDER CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS
The text of this edition of Catullus is constituted upon the conviction that only codices Sangermanensis (G) and Oxoniensis (O) are of ultimate authority in determining the readings of the lost codex Veronensis (V), and that the readings of the other known MSS. (except T) that differ from those of G and O have the value of conjectural emendations merely.
In the Critical Appendix are exhibited in full the readings of G and 0, with the omission, however, of such as present only unimportant orthographical peculiarities. For the readings of G I have depended mainly upon the published collations of Baehrens, Ellis, and Schwabe (in his last edition), together with the photolithographic fac-simile of the MS. published at Paris in 1890. For the readings of 0 I have followed a collation and complete transcript of that MS. made by me in July, 1889, by the courtesy of the Librarian of the Bodleian. This collation was carefully compared on the spot with the collations of Ellis and Schwabe, and is therefore, I trust, reasonably free from error.
A fac-simile of a page of codex 0, reduced one-third in size, follows this preface.
My especial thanks are due to the editors-in-chief of this Series for their unfailing kindness and invaluable criticisms, and to my friend and associate, Mr. Frank W. Nicolson, for his assistance in proof-reading and in the preparation of the Critical Appendix.
E. T. M. MIDDLETOWN, CONN.
Jan. I, 1893.