A Companion to School Classics

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This little book is founded, in the main, on notes which I have from time to time dictated to my pupils. Its scope has thus been limited by practical considerations, which I have vaguely indicated by calling it, "A Companion to School Classics." By 'school classics' I mean classics with commentaries for use in schools, and by describing the book as a 'companion' to these, I mean that it attempts to give the information which a commentator is, from the nature of his task, compelled to assume even in a young student. There are subjects which are of constant and vital interest for very large groups of familiar authors. Textual criticism is obviously one, the customs of the Theatre another. Similarly, the historians and orators can hardly be understood without a clear grasp of the Public Economy of Athens and Rome, and (not to mention Plato or Lucretius) Euripides, Aristophanes, Cicero, and Horace, teem with allusions to Philosophy. A commentary on a particular text cannot deal at large with these subjects, or any of them; neither does a dictionary, in which the articles are dislocated by their alphabetical order. In works of either kind, a vast mass of details is presented, but not the history or theory by which such details can be correlated, and through which they are most easily remembered.

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