A companion to classical texts
The more readable parts of this book have been delivered from time to time as lectures to the few among those who care for such things. They are published, together with certain chapters which cannot claim to be easy reading, in the hope that the whole book will prove useful to a wider circle of students,— especially to those who, without wishing to become specialists in textual criticism, yet find that textual problems inevitably enter into their studies.
Many people tend to regard textual criticism as a disease. But it is neither a disease nor a science, but simply the application of common sense to a class of problems which beset all inquirers whose evidence rests upon the authority of manuscript documents.
And I shall be well content if I have succeeded in doing for the ordinar}^student of the classical and mediaeval writers what has been done so admirably for students of the New Testament by Sir Frederic Kenyon's Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament and by Eberhard Nestle's Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the Greek New Testament.
The author of a manual of this kind is necessarily carried into many departments of learning where the credentials that he can exhibit are more than doubtful. Though I have endeavoured wherever possible to go back to the original authorities and have rarely quoted what I have not been able to verify, yet in a book which deals with so man}' questions of controversy and contains such a mass of references I am well aware that many errors may have escaped my notice. I shall be fortunate if my readers will point them out to me (if possible without undue brutality) in order that I may correct them when I have the opportunity.
Contents:The ancient book.--The text of Greek authors in ancient times.--The text of Latin authors in ancient times.--The history of Latin texts from the age of Charlemagne to the Italian renaissance.--Recension.--Emendation.--Manuscript authorities for the text of the chief classical writers.--The nomenclature of manuscript, with the names of former possessors.--Index
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