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BTEXDED TO ELUCIDATE ALL THE IMPORTANT POINTS CONNECTED WITH THE
GREEKS AND ROMANS.
A» ACCOUNT OF COINS, WEIGHTS, AND MEASURES,
•WITH TABULAR VALUES OF THE SAME.
HARPER & BROTHERS, PUBLISHERS,
JOHN A N T H 0 N, E S Q,
CUUNSELLOR AT LAW. Ac,
THO, AMID THE DUTIES OF A LABORIOUS PROFESSION, CAN STILL FIND LEISURE
A FEFBJ.E RETURN FOR MANY ACTS OF FRATERNAL KINDNESS, AND (iF A BROTHER
TO THE FOURTH EDITION.
Lv laying the result of his labours before the public, the author wishes it to be distinctly
un.:r:?tood, that the present volume is not, as some might perhaps imagine, merely an im
pr.TcJ edition of the Classical Dictionary of Lempriere, hut a work entirely new, and re
scnUinH its predecessor in nothing but the name. The author owes it, in fact, to himself
: te thus explicit in his statement, since he would feel but poorly compensated for the
k«Ty toil expended on the present work, were he regarded as having merely remodelled,
i'-r given a neve arrangement to, the labours of another. So far from this having been
done, there are, in truth, but few articles, and those not very important ones, wherein any
resemblance can be traced between Lempriere's work and the present. In every other
respect, the Classical Dictionary now offered to the public will be found to be as different
from Lempriere's as the nature of the case can possibly admit.
It cannot be denied that Lempriere's Classical Dictionary was a very popular work in its day. The numerous editions through which it ran would show this very conclusively, w.-hout the necessity of any farther proof. Still, however, it may be asserted with equal safety, that this same popularity was mainly owing to the circumstance of there being no competitor in the field. Considered in itself, indeed, the work put forth but very feeble claims to patronage, for its scholarship was superficial and inaccurate, and its language vis frequently marked by a grossness of allusion, which rendered the book a very unfit ene to be put into the hands of the young. And yet so strong a hold had it taken of public iivow both at home ana in our own country, that not only were no additions or correction* made in the work, but the very idea itself of making such was deemed altogether viiionarv. The author of the present volume remembers very well what surprise was excited, when, on having been employed to prepare a new edition of Lempriere in 1825, he hinted the propriety of making some alterations in the text. The answer received from * eeruin quarter was, that one might as well think of making alterations in the Scriptures is in the pages of Dr. Lempriere! and that all an editor had to do was merely to revise the references contained in the English work. When, however, several palpable errors, ca the part of Lempriere, had been pointed out by him, and the editor was allowed to correct these and others of a similar kind, he still felt the impossibility of presenting the f::rk to the American public in that state in which alone it ought to have appeared, partly from the undue estimation in which the labours of Dr. Lempriere were as yet generally ieM, and partly from a consciousness of his own inability, through the want of a more extended course of reading, to do justice to such a task. With all its imperfections, however, the edition referred to was well received; and when a second one was soon after called for, the publisher felt himself imboldened to allow the editor the privilege of introducing more extensive improvements, and of making the work, in every point of view, nnre deserving of patronage.
The republication of this latter edition in England, and the implied confession, connected w.ifi §nch a step, that the original work of Lempriere stood in need of improvement, now broke the charm -which had fettered the judgments of so many of our own countrymen, aad it then began to be conceded on all sides that the Classical Dictionary of Dr. Lempriere was by no means entitled to the claim of infallibility; nay, indeed, that it was de feftire throughout. When the ownership of the work, therefore, passed into the hands <~-f the Messrs. Carvill, and a new edition was again wanted, those intelligent and enterprising' publishers gave the editor permission to make whatever alterations and improveasnts he might see fit; and the Classical Dictionary now appeared in two octavo volumes, enriched "with new materials derived from various sources, and presenting a much Uirer claim than before to the attention of the student.
This last-mentioned edition became, in its turn, soon exhausted, and a new one was iemanded • when the copyright of the work passed from the Messrs. Carvill to the Brothers To individuals of less liberal spirit, and more alive to the prospect of immediate