Translator's Preface

This volume furnishes one span of a bridge ultimately to connect the Vth (1929) with the IXth (1935), that is, to link book XXII, the last of those translated by Professor Foster, with book XXXI, where the late Professor Sage began his work upon the Fourth Decade. In these three books (XXIII-XXV) are covered the years 216-212 B.C., including the consequences of disaster at Cannae, also Capua taken, Syracuse besieged for two years and finally captured, and the successes of Publius and Gnaeus Scipio in Spain, until they were separately overwhelmed by numbers.

For works dealing with this period of the Second Punic War the reader is referred to the Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. VIII, and the bibliographies for its chapters ii-iv, pp. 721 if. Lists so recent and so generally accessible make it unnecessary to insert here a bibliography, to supplement those already contained in Vols. V (pp. xiii ff.) and IX (p. xv ff.). A recent work of Professor Fabricius, of Copenhagen, correcting current errors in the topography of Syracuse, is discussed in the Appendix.

The text here offered represents careful and oft-repeated consideration of its many problems. Obligations to a long line of previous editors, including Madvig, Weissenborn, H. J. Müller, Riemann, are gratefully acknowledged. In particular every student of Livy is now constantly aware of his great indebtedness to the labours of the late Professors Walters and [p. viii] Conway, whose Oxford text edition reached a third volume in 1928 (books XXI-XXV). Every citation of the Puteanus made by them has been verified for the present volume by collation of the facsimile published by the Bibliotheque Nationale, with corrections in a very few instances.

Limited space for critical notes on so small a page obviously forbade the inclusion of the mass of interesting conjectures, often of recent date, especially many of the plausible supplementa suggested by Conway or Walters, where a short line (14-22 letters) may have been omitted in P or its archetype; also such emendations as Professor G. H. Hirst's aries for acies in XXIII. xvi. 12 (p. 54; Classical Review XXV, 109), or Professor E. H. Warmington's suggestion that in XXV. xxxvii. 11 (p. 480) ad arma may originally have been directly followed by ad portas, which in the MSS. and in our text follows the second discurrunt, suspiciously repeated and hence, he thinks, to be omitted (as also ac, which may have been inserted later before velut).

The translator is indebted to the publishers of the Cambridge Ancient History for permission to use three maps from Vol. VIII, with such alterations as were deemed necessary. The map of Syracuse is based upon a large Italian sheet (Catania, 1931), with important additions and radical changes due chiefly to the map of the Danish historian Fabricius mentioned above.

It may be added that this translation was begun, as it happened, at Syracuse, with the passages in XXIV and XXV dealing with the siege and capture of the city, and that such an opportunity was due to a second visit after an interval of forty years.

[p. ix]

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