The Ancient Library

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.them recorded, and this enables the reader who is biassed by no national prepossessions to draw a correct inference for himself. Occasionally, espe­cially in the darker periods, we can scarcely doubt that he indulged in a little wilful blindness, and that when two conflicting traditions were current he did not very scrupulously weigh the evidence, but, adopting that which was most gratifying to his countrymen, passed, over the other in silence. He certainly could scarcely have been altogether ignorant that his story with regard to the con­clusion of the war with Porsena was not the only one entitled to consideration, although he was pro­bably unacquainted with the treaty from which Pliny (H. N. xxxiv. 39 ; comp. Tacit. Hist. iii. 72) extracted the humiliating conditions of the peace, and he must have been aware that there were good reasons for believing that the evacuation of Rome by the Gauls took place under circumstances very different from those celebrated in the songs and funeral orations of the Furian and other patrician clans.

The reproaches lavished on the alleged credulity of Livy in the matter of omens and prodigies scarcely deserve even a passing comment. No one can regret that he should have registered these curious memorials of superstition, which occupied so prominent a place ill the popular faith, and. formed an engine of such power in the hands of an un­scrupulous priesthood ; nor can any one who has read the simple and eloquent observation on this very topic, in the thirteenth chapter of the forty-third book, consider that either the sentiments pr the conduct of the historian stand in need of further apology or explanation.. (Comp. xxi. 62, xxiv. 10, 44, xxvii. 23.)

We must not omit to notice a question which has been debated with great eagerness,—whether Livy had read Dionysius or Dionysius had made use of Livy, Niebuhr unhesitatingly maintains that the Archaeologia of Dionysius was published before Livy began to compose his Annals, and that the latter received considerable assistance from the former. We must hesitate, however, to acknow­ledge the certainty of this conclusion, unless there are some arguments in reserve more cogent than those brought forward in the Lectures on Roman History. For there two reasons only are advanced, the one founded upon the opinion which we have already endeavoured to prove was scarcely tenable, —that Livy did not commence his task until he had attained the age of fifty ; the other founded upon the fact that Dionysius nowhere mentions Livy, which, it must be remembered, is counter­balanced by another fact, namely, that Livy no­where mentions Dionysius, and that all attempts to prove plagiarisms or trace allusions have failed. In reality it is most probable that while both were engaged in the same pursuit at the same time, each followed his own course independently, and both gave the result of their labours to the world with­out either having been previously acquainted with the researches of the other.

There is yet one topic to which we must advert. We are told by Quintilian twice (i. 5. § 56, viii. 1. § 3) that Asinius Pollio had remarked a certain Patavinity in Livy. Scholars have given them­selves a vast deal of trouble to discover what this term may indicate, and various hypotheses have been propounded ; but any one who will read the words of Quintilian with attention cannot fail to



perceive that they are susceptible of one interpret tation only, and that if there is any truth in the story, which Niebuhr altogether disbelieves, Pollio must have intended to censure some provincial peculiarities of expression, which we at all events are in no position to detect, as might have been anticipated, the conjectures collected and examined in the elaborate dissertation of Morhof being alike frivolous.

From what has now been said it will be evident that if our estimate is accurate, Livy must have been destitute of many qualifications essential in an historian of the highest class. He was, we fully believe, amiable, honest, and single-minded, sound in head and warm in heart, but not endowed with remarkable acuteness of intellect, nor with indefatigable industry. He was as incapable of taking broad, clear, and philosophic views of the progress and connection of events, as he was indis­ posed to prosecute laborious and profound inquiries at the expense of great personal toil. Although a mere man of letters, knowing little of the world except from books, he was not a man of deep learn­ ing, and indeed was but indifferently versed in many ordinary branches of a liberal education. Not only was he content to derive all he knew from secondary streams, but he usually repaired for his supplies to those which were nearest and most convenient, without being solicitous to ascertain that they were the most pure. The unbounded popularity which he has enjoyed must be ascribed partly to the fascinations of his subject, partly to his winning candour, but chiefly to. the extraordinary command which he wielded over the resources of his native tongue. ,

No manuscript of Livy has yet been discovered containing all the books now extant. Those which comprise the first and third decades do not extendt further. Of the first and third decades we have old as the tenth century; those of the fourth do not ascend higher than the fifteenth century* The text of the first decade depends entirely on, one original copy, revised in the fourth century by Flavianus Nicomachus Dexter and Victorianus, from which all the known MSS. of this portion of the work have flowed. Of these the two best are the Codex Mediceus or Florentinus of the eleventh century, and the Codex Parisinus, collated by Alchefski, of the tenth century, while perhaps superior to either was the codex made use of by Rhenanus, which has now disappeared. The text of the third decade rests upon the Codex Puteanus, employed by Gronovius, and which has been pro­nounced less corrupt than any MS. of the first, decade. The fourth decade is derived chiefly from the Codex Bambergensis and the Codex Moguntinus+ while the five books of the fifth decade are taken entirely from the MS. found at Lorsch, hence called Codex Laurishamensis, now preserved at; Vienna.

The Editio Princeps of Livy was printed at Rome, in folio by Sweynheym and Pannartz, about 1469, under the inspection of Andrew, bishop of Aleria ; the second edition also was printed at Rome in folio, by Udalricus Gallus, towards the close of the same year or the beginning of 1470 ; the third was from the press of Vindelin de Spiraj fol. Venet. 1470, being the first which bears a date. Of those which followed, the most notable, are, that of Bernard. Herasmius, fol. Venet. 1491, with the commentaries of M. Antonius Sabellicus,

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