Johann Joachim Eschenburg.

Manual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions online

. (page 1 of 153)
Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 1 of 153)
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in (he Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Fiini.ei '; y T. S. ec P G Collins


It will be natural to ask, why this book is offered to the public
The translator knows not how to introduce, the reasons, in a better
way, than by first allowing the author himself to explain the design
and character of the original work. For this purpose, the reader
is requested to peruse the following extracts from the Prefaces of


From the Preface to the Ffth Edition.— Twenty-seven years ago, I was induced
to commence a revision and enlargement of that portion of Hederick's Introduction
to the Historical Sciences which treats of Classical Literature, Mythology, and Ro-
man Antiquities. In doing this I expected to aid an esteemed friend, who had been
requested by the booksellers to prepare an improved edition of the whole work. But
what determined me to the attempt, was a conviction that it was undertaking a work
of very useful tendency, and a hope that by it a want, long felt in elementary instruc-
tion, might be supplied. Other duties hindered the sea^jonable accomplishment of
this purpose, and I was led to enlarge the original plan, so as to include the Grecian
Antiquities, and what is embraced under the head of Archaeology of Literature and
Art. Thus it formed a complete Manual, furnishing the most essential aids in read-
ing the classical authors, and with sufficient fullness for all elementary purposes
My work so designed has, therefore, now scarcely a trace in it of the treatise of

My aim, in this work, was to furnish both Learners and Teachers with a book
which might at the same time serve as a general introduction to the reading of classi-
cal authors, and likewise aflibrd further and constant help in understanding and ex-
plaining them. It surely is unnecessary to prove that a knowledge of Greek and
Roman Mythology and Antiquities, and some acquaintance with the Archaeology
of Literature and Art, and also with the general History and Criticism of the An
cient Authors, are not only useful, but absolutely indispensable, in the pursuit of
classical study. And it appears to me, that it must greatly facilitate the acquisition
of this knowledge to have the whole range of it brought into one collected system,
as it is in this work, and all digested with one common end in view, and reduced as
far as possible to one uniform method, with a careful selection of what is most essen-
tial, and omission of what is comparatively unimportant, and a constant reference
to its appropriate use. The Teacher will find presented to him throughout the work
occasions and hints for further illustrations and additions ; while the Learner has in
the book itself what is of indispensable importance, and in such a form that he may
easily re-peruse and review it.

The Archaeology of Literature and Art had never, previously to the attempt in
this work, been exhibited in a form adapted for general instruction. Yet some such
acquaintance with the subject as this work may furnish is of the highest importance
to the scholar. It may be expected that the glance which he will here obtain of the
rich monuments of antiquity, will lead him to seek the pleasure of a more complete
and full knowledge, especially of Grecian art. And certainly the classical teacher
needs to be in some degree familiar with the objects presented in this field of study,
in order to do justice to his pupils. — The View of the Classical Authors was neces-
sarily confined within brief limits. I preferred to arrange them in Departments, in-
stead of following purely chronological order, because I could therebv more conve-


niently introduce the brief remarks I wished to offer respecting the form which each
department of writing assumed among the Greeks and Romans. In giving the edi-
tions of the classics, and the works helping to illustrate them, I confined myself
chiefly to such as are most suitable for scholars, and best calculated in my view for
their advancement. In describing the authors, only a short and condensed summary
could be given, not including a complete enumeration of their works, but merely
naming the most important. — The sketch of Greek and Roman Mythology is that
which I first drew up for use in my own lectures, and which has been separately
printed. Here I have endeavored to separate the circumstances most important
for the scholar's notice from those of minor consequence ; introducing the historical
or traditional part of the fables, without saying much of the theories and speculations
employed in solving them ; yet presenting hints at explanations worthy of the scho-
lar's notice. The references to the Metamorphoses of Ovid are added, because '.
deem it highly useful to connect a reading of these with the study of Mythology. —
A new system of GieeJi and Roman Antiquities might seem, at first view, less
needed than the other parts of this work, since there are other systems and compends
easily accessible, especially of Roman Antiquities. But it was necessary to the com-
pleteness of the Manual to include these branches. Nor was this all. I hoped
here, as in the rest of my work, to furnish something especially valuable on account
of its embracing all that is most essential to the subject, with the exclusion of ex-
traneous and unimportant matter.

Since the last edition of this Manual, there have appeared some performances of a
similar kind, in which I thankfully find evidence of the utiUty of my own work, and
am ready to acknowledge their excellence in some particulars. These works might
render a new impression of mine superfluous ; but the very frequent call for the
Manual, the urgent request of the booksellers, and the apprehension of a second
counterfeit emission of the vpork, have persuaded me to prepare this fifth edition. In
the emendations and improvements, I have been guided by the same considerations
which controlled me in the preceding editions. In the additions in the part treating
of the classic authors, I have received very friendly assistance from Professor Schef-
FLKR, of this place.

From the Preface to the Sixth Edition. — In a former preface, the occasion, de-
sign, and plan of this Manual have been stated. In each successive edition I have
endeavored to make useful improvements ; but have throughout adhered to the
original design, and confined myself, of course, to substantially the same limits. Al-
though much progress has been made in classical studies in Germany during the last
thirty years, and there are now several books of great merit which may serve as
guides and introductions to such studies, yet the demand for another impression of
this Manual has compelled me again to take it in hand, and to perform the renewed
labor of revision. In this labor I must agam gratefully mention the assistance kindly
rendered me by Professor Scheffler.

The sixth edition was the last published during the life of the author. But the
work has been printed once or twice since his death. The following is taken from
the Remarks prefixed to the seventh edition (Berlin, Nov. 1, 1824). — The con-
tinued acknowledgment of the great excellence of this Manual of Classical Litera-
ture, which is proved by the constant demand for the book, renders it unnecessary to
say much by way of preface to a new edition. After the death v^f Eschenburg, the
society of booksellers employed a well qualified editor, who has revised the work, and
superintended it with great care and fidelity. An examination will show that, in
doing this, advantage has been taken of the important results of modern classical
researches. It is, therefore, confidently believed that this work will still be found one
of the most useful of the kind ; perhaps the very best manual, both for the Gymnasia
and other Seminaries, and also for private use.

In view of this account of the character, design, and reputation of

the original work, it is easy to see the reasons why it should be pre-

.vented to the scholars of our country. Many instructors have felt

ihe want of a Comprehensive Text-hook in the department of Clas-

ncal Literature and Antiquities. After much inquir}^ the trans-


lato'r has been able to find no work, which, on the whole, seemed so
well adapted for the object as Eschenburg^s Manual.

It will be seen, by a mere glance, that the general design and
plan of the work, in its present form, is to exhibit in a condensed
but comprehensive summary, what is most essential on all promi-
nent topics belonging to the department of Classical Literature and
Antiquities, and at the same time give references to various sources
of information, to which the scholar may go when he wishes to pur-
sue any of the subjects by further investigations. I cannot doubt
that a Manual on this plan, thoroughly executed, would prove one
of the greatest aids to the classical student which it is possible to put
into his hands ; and I cherish the hope that, in the entire want of a
book of this sort, not only in our country, but also in the English
language hitherto, the present attempt to introduce one from abroad
will meet with a candid reception ; especially as it is one whose
value has been so fully attested in the land most of all celebrated
for classical attainments.

Here it may be proper to mention, that some years since this work was translated
into the French. The translator, after some preliminary remarks, says, "from such
considerations, I supposed I should render the public a service, by making known in
France a series of elementary works universally esteemed and circulated in Ger-
many. I begin with the Manual of Classical Literature, hy Eschexbt:rg. This
author is Councillor in the Court of the Duke of Brunswick, and Professor in the
public seminary called the Carolinum. As estimable for his moral character as for
the variety of his attainments, known as editor of the posthumous writings of Les-
sing, and dear to all the celebrated men of the country ; living also in the vicinity
of one of the richest libraries ; he united, along with these advantages, all the Ught
and experience derived from a long series of years devoted to instruction, and that
good judgment, admirable but rare, which knows how to avoid the superfluous with-
out omitting the necessary and the useful. I shall not attempt an encomium on the
book, of which I here offer a translation ; it is sufficient to refer to the public suffrage
and decision, by which this Manual has been adopted as the basis of public and pri-
vate instruction in a major part of the universities and colleges in Germany." — Sub-
sequently to the time of this translation, in a report made to the French Institute
respecting the literary labors of the Germans, by Charles Villers, the distinguished
author of the Essay on the Reformation of Luther, the Manual of Escheaburg was
noticed as a valuable gift to the world.

I feel at liberty also to state, as evincing the value of this work in the estimation
of competent judges, that the present translation was commenced with the warm ap
probation and encouragement of Prof. Stuart, of Andover, and Pnf. RoBiJJsojr,
now of Boston. In fact, under the advice of these eminent scholars, Mr. Isaac Stu
art, Professor of Languages in the University of S. Carolina, had made prepara-
tions for translating the same work, and wholly without my knowledge, but had been
compelled to renounce the design just before I consulted their views of the utiUty and
expediency of my attempt. It is likewise worthy of notice here, that, from a con-
viction 6f the great value of the Manual, and of its fitness to be useful in our country,
it had actually been translated, before I entered upon the work, by Mr. Cruse, whose
translation of the part pertaining to Roman Authors is introduced into the present

No more needs to be said respecting the design and merits of the

original work, and its claims to be introduced to the knowledge of

* In the first edition; see the note on page ix.


American scholars. But something more may be desired respecting
the author himself. This desire I am able to gratify, through the
friendship oiProf. Robinson, whose repeated advice and assistance
in the present work I here gratefully acknowledge, and who has fur-
nished the following brief notice of Eschenburg.

" The name of Eschenburg stands high in Germany, as one of their best writers
on taste and the theory of the fine arts, including fine writing. The article [below]
is condensed in the Encyclopaedia Americana ; but I have preferred to translate the
original [from the Conversations-Lexicon] as being more full.

^^Jolin Joachim Eschenburg, Professor in the Carolinu7n at Brunswick, was born
1743 at Hamburg, and died at Brunswick, 1820. This distinguished scholeur and
writer received his earliest education in the Johanneum at Hamburg ; afterwards in
Leipzig, where Ernesti, Gellert, Morus, and Clodius were his instructors; then under
Heyne and Michiilis in Gottingen. He then came, through the agency of Jerusalem,
as a private tutor, to Brunswick ; where he afterwards received the Professorship in
the Carolinum, vacated by the death of the poet Zachariii. This post he held during
his life. To him Germany is indebted for a nearer acquaintance with many good
English writers in the department of Esthetics ; e. g. Brown, Webb, Burney, and
Hurd, whom he translated and in part accompanied with notes and additions. He
published, moreover, at diiferent times, in journals and magazines, accounts of the
most remarkable appearances in English Literature, by means of which a love and
taste for the literary treasures of that island and people were greatly promoted among
the Germans. His greatest desert, however, lies in his translation of Shakspeare.
(Zurich, 1775-87, 14 vols.; 1798-1806, 12 vols.) Although not the first in this
great undertaking, since Wieland had already begun a similar, yet he has long had
the merit of being the most complete ; even though so many excellent translations
of the great tragic writer have been since begun. Indeed his version of the collected
works of this poet is to this moment sought after, although not possessing the charm
of meter nor the literal fidelity which others exhibit. In making his translation,
moreover, by means of his literary and social connections, he enjoyed many advan-
tages which another would with difficulty possess in an equal degree ; and his own
private library contained, so long ago as 1807, more than 400 volumes in reference
to Shakspeare, exclusive of engravings, &c. Another great benefit confen-ed on the
public by Eschenburg, was the publication of his Lectures in the Carolinum, his
Theorie und Literaiur der schonen Wissenschaften, his Lehrhuch der Wissenschafts-
hunde, and his Hundhuch der Classischen Literatur ,• of the last work a seventh
edition was published in 1825. In social intercourse, Eschenburg was exceedingly
amiable, and, notwithstanding his occasional satirical remarks, generally beloved.
Three years before his death he celebrated his official jubilee, or 50th anniversary.
He was also Senior of the Cyriacus-foundation, and a knight of the Guelphic order.
— In the sixth Supplementary Volume of Jorhen's Lexicon deutscher Dichter und
Prosaisten, there is a minute catalogue of his works, both original and translated,
and also of his editions of other authors of former or recent times."

It remains for the translator to speak briefly of the principles and

method by which he has attempted to execute his task, in preparing

the work in its present form ; and the following remarks contain all

that it seems important for him to say on this point. For the rest,

those who use the book must judge.

As to the translation itself, my aim has been throughout to express the author's
meaning with strict fidelity ; but in doing this I have endeavored to avoid the long
periods and involved arrangement of words and clauses, for which the German lan-
guage is of known celebrity ; I have almost uniformly employed shorter sentences,
and have sometimes departed very much from the phraseology of the original. The
alterations are not many ; in some instances I have omitted a clause or sentence,
and in a few a whole section or paragraph, without any notice to the reader ; in a


few rases, also, I have altered the arrangement of the sections. Otherwise, wherever
I have not presented the author entire and unaltered, a distinct intimation of some
change by the translator is given to the reader, by one of the marks which will be
explained below. — The additions are very considerable ; and, whatever may be their
pertinency or their value, they certainly have cost some labor. In making them, I
have endeavored to keep constantly in mind the grand design of the work, and to
render it more complete in the respects which, as has been before remarked, consti-
tute its peculiarity, distinguishing it from every other work on these subjects in our
language. The additions may generally be distinguished from the original, either
by the size of the type or by particular marks, as will be described under the Expla-
nations on page x. It will be seen that large additions have been made in the portion
relating to the Greek Literature and Authors ; it was my intention to make similar
additions to the View of the Roman Authors, but the design was renounced for the
reasons stated in the Advertisement on page 290.* I regretted, on receiving Mr.
Cruses Translation, to find that it did not include the notices of editions and illus-
trative works mentioned by Eschenburg ; and should the present effort meet with
approbation, it is my purpose to prepare for separate publication something more
complete on the Roman Literature. I flatter myself that the condensed view of the
sacred writings and the writings of the early Christians, as found in the Greek lan-
guage, will be considered a useful addition. — The whole of the part treating of Clas
sical Geography and Chronology is also added by the translator, as explained on
page 572 \\ only it ought to be further remarked, that a few paragraphs pertaining
to the remains of Athens and Rome, placed under Antiquities by Eschenburg, and
omitted in the translation, are introduced, with alterations, in this part under the
Topography of those cities.

The work is now offered as an humble contribution to the service
of the public, and commended to the candid examination of the
scholar ; in the hope that, under the blessing of Him in whom is the
fountain of all wisdom and knowledge, it may prove an aaxiliary
of some value in the cause of liberal and good education.

Amherst College, April 12, 1836.

• This refers to page 290 of the first edition. The advertisement there given was, in snbstance, that the present ti »ii . jtor, when
his work was far advanced in the printing, entered into an arranarement with Rev. C. F. Cnai, in consequence of a notice then
received from the latter, that he had already translated the whole of Eschenburg, with the previously announced design of publish-
ing it. By this arrangement it was engaged that Mr. Cruse's translation should be used in the part of the work which treats of th«
Roman Authors ; with the understanding that, if a new edition should be demanded, the present translator might omit or retain it,
according to his own choice. Mr. C.'s translation is now entirely dropped ; see the Preface to the Third Edition, on page xi.

t The explanation (here referred to as on page 572 of the first edition) was simply an acknowledgment that the Ej)it<me -f
Classical Geography, contained in Part First of this Manual, is chiefly drawn from an English treatise, bearing the same title, o»
W. C. Taylor; with a considerable change in the divisions and arrangement, and with more full descriptions of ancient RomSj
Athens, and Sparta, collected from other sources.


The following statement will enable the reader to know in general what is from
the author and what from the translator. A star annexed to the number of a section
always indicates that the section is added by the translator. The Italic letter / always
denotes that the section or paragraph to whose number it may be annexed is altered
so as to differ more or less from the original. All the matter in the largest of the
four sizes of type is translated directly from Eschenburg, excepting such sections as
may have one or the other of those marks. All the matter in the smaller type is added
by the translator, with the following exceptions: (1) sections or paragraphs having
the Italic letter u annexed to their number, which ai'e all translated from Eschen-
burg; (2) the first paragraphs of the several sections on the individual Roman
authors, which are also translated from Eschenburg, unless their number is accom-
panied by a star or the letter t, as above described ; and (3) part of the mere re-
ferences to books and authors, a majority perhaps of which are taken from him. As
to these references, it did not seem of much consequence to discriminate carefully
between those given by the author and those introduced by the translator; if any one
should find some of them irrelevant or unimportant, he may safely charge such upon
the translator rather than Eschenburg ; if any inquire why the numerous references
to German works are retained, a sufficient reason is furnished by the fact, that it is
becoming more and more common to import such works into this country, and more
and more important for our scholars to be acquainted with the German language ;
and if any deem it superfluous to have given so many references, let such consider,
that the same books are not accessible to all students, and an increased number of re-
ferences must increase the probability of presenting some to books within the reach
of every reader; and it should be borne in mind, also, that some references are given
chiefly as bibliographical statistics, which is the case especially with respect to some
of the editions of Greek and Roman classics : moreover, some of the references, it was
supposed, might be of special service in studies pursued after the completion of the
academic and collegiate course ; since the work is designed to be useful to the student
not only during that course, but also in his subsequent life.*

In using this book, the student will find that he is frequently referred from one
place to another ; and the division into Parts, sections, and sub-sections, all sepa-
rately numbered, makes the reference very easy; thus, e. g. the abbreviations cf. P. 111.
§ 182. 4. direct the reader to the paragraph numbered 4, under section 182, in Part
III. Instead of the word see, or the abbreviation v. (for the Latin vide), the abbre-
viation cf. (for the Latin confer) is commonly used. In order to facilitate the turn-
ing to any passage, the number of the Part is continued as a sort of running title
on the top of the even or right-hand page ; in following the reference above given,
e. g. the reader will first turn to Part III., denoted by P. III. seen at the top of the
right-hand page; then, under that Part, will look for § 182; then, under that sec-
tion, look for the paragraph numbered 4. Whenever the section to which a reference

Online LibraryJohann Joachim EschenburgManual of classical literature : from the German of J.J. Eschenburg, with additions → online text (page 1 of 153)