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In a series of books intended for schools, it requires no apology that Ovid is presented only in extracts. However little this method may recommend itself in general, it was unavoidable in the present case, and the utmost that could be attempted was to introduce, as far as possible, lengthened and connected pieces. The collection is divided into two parts : the first and larger, consisting of hexameters taken from the Metamorphoses, and the second, of elegiac verses from most of the remaining works. The extracts are given in the order in which they stand in the books, and the original numbering of the lines has been preserved. I imagined that by this means a tolerable idea of the whole might be more easily conveyed to the student, while at the same time the teacher who may be disposed to follow a different order, as that according to the historical or mythological connection of the fables, can have no difficulty in doing so.
In the text I have followed the edition of Jahn (Leipzig, 1828–1832, two parts in 3 vols. 8vo) as far as it extends : it presents the advantage of a text, in some measure authentic, which had, properly speaking, been lost since the otherwise valuable editions of Heinsius and Burmann. Merkel's edition of the Metamorphoses did not appear till the greater part of the manuscript, so far as this poem is concerned, was out of my hands. For the Fasti I have employed the edition of Merkel, and for the Tristia that of Loers. I have departed from these authorities only in a few passages, where the immediate design of the work seemed to require it.
. : M. ISLER. HAMBURGH, July 1850.