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Many correct and magnificent editions of classic authors have been given to the public, by learned men, and literary institutions, in the course of the last age. These editions not only present specimens of great typographical elegance; but many of them are also enriched with various readings, faithfully collected from numerous manuscripts and printed copies; and with learned annotations, of great value to the student. To give a complete list of these editions in the present brief sketch is impossible. A few only of the most remarkable can be noticed, and these in a very transient manner.
Of the Greek classics, the works of Homer were edited, during this period, with great splendour, by WoLFius and CLARKE; Herodotus, by GRONOvius and WESSELING; Thucydides, by DUKER; Xenophon and Polybius, by ERNESTUS; Longinus, by TouP; Demosthenes, by REISKE; Hesiod, by KREBSIUS, BODINI, and LOESNER; Pindar, by HEYNE; Euripides, by MUSGRAVE; Sophocles, by CAPPERONIER; Aristophanes, by KUSTER ; Lucian, by Reitzius, HEMSTERHUIS, and GESNER; Plutarch, by REISKE; Theocritus, by REISKE and WHAR TON; Epictetus, by UPTON; Anacreon, by MATTAIRE; Æschylus, by Pauw and PoRSON; Diodorus Siculus, by WESSELING; Dion Cassius, by FABRICIUS and REIMARUS; Lysias, by TAYLOR; Isocrates, by BATTIE and AUGER; and Callimachus, by BENTLEY and ERNESTUS.
Of the Latin classics the following editions, made, during the period under review, are worthy of particular notice: Virgil, by BURMANN, HEYNE, and WAKEFIELD; Horace, by BaxTER, GESNER, and ZEUNIUS; Cicero, by VERBERGIUS, OLIVET, and LALLEMAND; Livy, by MATTAIRE, DRAKENBORCH, RUDDIMAN, and Homer; Tacitus, by GRONOVIUS, ERNESTUS, BROTIER, GRIERSON' and HOMER; Sallust, by HOMER; Quintilian, by BURMANN, ROLLIN, GESNER, and HOMER; Lucretius, by HAVERCAMP and WAKEFIELD; Ovid, by BURE MANN; Lucan, by BURMANN, BENTLEY, and CUMBERLAND; Persius, by CASAUBON and HOMER; Terence, by BENTLEY; Justin, by GRONOVIUS; Cæsar's Commentaries, by CLARKE; Phedrus and Petronius Arbiter, by BURMAN; Pliny, senior, by BROTIER; Pliny, junior, by LONGALIUS; Tibullus, Catullus, and Propertius, by VULPIUS; Suetonius, by Pitiscus, BURMANN, and OUDENORP; Eutropius, by HAVERCAMP; Claudian, by GESNER; Florus, by DUKER and FISCHER; Quintus Curtius, by SNAKENBURG; Aulus Gellius, by GRONOVIUS; and Silius Italicus, by DRAKENBORCH.
neum, that their contents might be ascertained. The authority was granted. Mr. Haiter encered on the task with great zeal and intelligence ; and soon discovered a work of EPICURUS, entitled, Of the Nature of Things, which was known only from the mention made of it by some writers of antiquity, and which appears to have served as the basis for the poem of LUCRETIUS, on the same subject. At the date of the account a copy of this manuscript was preparing for the presse
From the above very imperfect list it appears that classic literature has been cultivated, during the last century, with most zeal and success in Germany and Holland; Great-Britain is, perhaps, entitled to the next place; and afterwards, in succession, come France and other countries on the continent of Europe. Greek literature in France was at a low ebb during the greater part of the period of this retrospect, and is still but little cultivated in that country.
But the eighteenth century is especially distinguished by the number and value of the 'Transla
Mrs. GRIERSON, an Irish lady, who was “ possessed of singular eru. dition, and had an elegance of taste, and solidity of judgment, which justly rendered her one of the most wonderful as well as amiable of her
Her Tacitus is one of the best edited books ever delivered to the world.” See Harwood's View of the Classics.
tions of classic authors which it produced. The Greeks were almost, if not entirely strangers to this kind of literary labour. The Romans had a few translations, but they were little esteemed, and gained their authors but small consideration in the republic of letters. A number of performances of this kind were produced in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; but in the eighteenth they more than ever abounded, and attained a degree of excellence altogether without example. A few of the most valuable of these may be mentioned, without attempting to furnish a complete list.
The following translations of Greek classics into the English language, during the late century, deserve particular notice. The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, by Pope and CowPER; Herodotus, by LYTTLEBURY, BELOE, and LAMPRIERE; Thucydides and Xenophon, by Smith; parts of the works of Aristotle, by TWINING, Pye, Ellis, and GILLIES; Lucian, by FRANKLiN and Carr; Demosthenes, by LELAND; Epictetus, by CARTER; Plutarch, by LANGHORNE; Longinus, by Smith; Polybius, by HAMPTON; Isocrates, by GILLIES; Isæus, by JONES; Hesiod, by Cooke; Theocritus, by PolWHELE; Æschylus, by POTTER; Sophocles, by PotTER and FRANKLIN; Euripides, by Potter and WOODHULL; and Callimachus, by TYTLER.
The translations of Roman classics during the same period were still more numerous. Of a very long, list the following may be considered as a specimen. The Eneid of Virgil was presented in an English dress by Pitt and BERESFORD, and the Eclogues and Bucolics of the same illustrious Roman, by WHARTON; the works of Horace, by SMART, CREECH, FRANCIS, and BOSCAWEN; Juvenal, by MADAN; Persius, by BREWSTER, MADAN, and DRUMMOND; Livy, by HAYE and BAKER; Tacitus, by GORDON and MURPHY.; Lucan, by Rowe;' the Metamorphoses of Ovid, by GARTH, DAVIDSON, and CLARKE; the Orations of Cicero, by GUTHRIE; and selections from the same, by DunCAN; Sallust, by GORDON; the Commentaries of Cæsar, by BLADON; the Epistles of Pliny, by ORRERY and MELMOTH; the Epistles of Cicero, by MELMOTH; the Epistles of Seneca, by MORRELL; Terence, by Cooke and COLMAN; Tibullus, by GRAINGER; Aulus Gellius, by Beloe; and Plautus, by WARNER.
s The translation of the Iliad by Pope is pronounced, by Dr. JOHNSON, to be" a poetical wonder; a performance which no age or nation can pretend to equal; a work, the publication of which forms a grand era in tho
ory of learning.". Life of Pope. . * Mrs. ELIZABETH Carter is another instance of great classical erudi, tion and taste in a female of the cighteenth century.
The translations made into several of the languages of the continent of Europe, during the period under consideration, are numerous and respectable. But of these too little is known to attempt any thing like a discriminating selection. The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer were ably translated into German, by Voss; into Italian, by CÆSAROTTI," and CERUTI; into French, by RocheFORT; and into Spanish, by Malo. The Cyropædia of Xenophon was translated into French, by DACIER and Gail, and into German, by WIELAND; Thucydides, into French, by LEVESQUE, and Herodotus, into the same language, by LARCHER; the Politics of Aristotle, into French, by CHAMPAGNE; Theocritus, into the same language, by Gail; Demosthenes, also into French, by TOURREIL; Hesiod, into German, by Schutze; and Plutarch, also into German, by PENZEL.
or " The version of Lucan," says Dr. JOHNSON, " is one of the greatest productions of English poetry; for there is perhaps none that so completely exhibits the genius and spirit of the original. It deserves more notice than it obtains; and as it is more read will be more esteemed.”
u Several of the translations above mentioned, made on the continent of Europe, are said to possess first rate excellence. In particular those of Voss and CÆSAROTTI, both poctical, are represented as having merit of a super fior kind.
Versions of Virgil were made, in the period of this retrospect, into Italian, by BENDI; 'and into German, by Voss and SPITZENBERGEN; of Horace, into French, by SANADON and Darcu; of Sallust, into German, by SCHLUTER; and of Tacitus, into French, by GUERRIN, BLETTERIE, and DOTTER
But notwithstanding all the labours of learned men to promote the knowledge of the Greek and Latin classics, the study of them was almost uniformly declining from the beginning to the end of the century. And in the course of little more than two centuries, this kind of knowledge, from being considered the most interesting and important that could occupy the attention of man, came to be regarded, by a large portion of the literary world, as among the most useless objects of pursuit.
THE literature of Asia, the birth-place and cradle of our species, where Philosophy first reared her head, and whence Greece and Rome borrowed a large portion of their knowledge, cannot be otherwise than highly interesting to the enlightened and inquisitive mind, At the beginning of the eighteenth century much had been written, but comparatively little was really known concerning that important part of the globe. The works.