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[v] TO tell "why," simply and clearly, is the
exceedingly ambitious aim of this book. Not "how,"
which is the archaeologistís affair, but "why,"—why
the Forum of Rome became the centre of the nationís
life, why the Romans wore white togas, why the public
Treasury was under Saturnís charge, why the basilicas
were built why the donkeys were decked with cakes
during Vestaís festival, why the temples stood on high
foundations, why the magnificent monuments crumbled
into ruins, and many other "whys" that travelers wish
to know, that historical readers seek, that young
students enjoy. The stories are but retold, the facts
restated, but no legend is narrated, no statement made,
that is unvouched for by a recognized authority. It
may be added that the illustrations have been inserted
more as aids to the imagination than as material for
[vii] TO the story-reader, one word; to the student, three
That he who reads for pleasure may go his way smoothly,
unhindered by bars of dates and foot-notes, this book
is as free from technicalities as possible, they having
been omitted also to give a more distinct impression of
Roman life, which was an inseparable mixture of stern
reality and idealistic religion, of fact and legend.
That he who reads to learn may feel sure of his road,
three precautions have been taken. All statements not
strictly historical, or purely legendary, or not well
authenticated, have been put in question form, or
followed or introduced by some such remark as, "so the
story goes," "men say that," "now we are told," etc.;
only when the gods have been directly mentioned, this
has been considered unnecessary. Also, no dates have
been inserted, but every story follows the same rule,
and begins with the very early times, and ends with
those of the Emperors, each incident being places in
exact chronological order. And
[viii] lastly, when first introduced, every unfamiliar
thing has been explained, although used there-after in
ordinary fashion; one has only to consult the index to
find page of definition.
May he who reads for pleasure, learn; and he who reads
to learn, have pleasure.
|Dionysius of Halicarnassus.
|P. Ovidius Naso.
|M. Valerius Martialis.
|Sextus Aurelius Propertius.
|C. Cornelius Tacitus.
||J. Henry Middleton.|
|C. Suetonius Tranquillus.
||Francis Morgan Nichols.|
|M. Fabius Quintilianus.
|M. Tullius Cicero.
|Dion Cassius Cocceianus.
|C. Sallustius Crispus.
|Pliny the Elder.
||Encyclopædias and Classical Dictionaries.
|Pliny the Younger.