Cicero's letters are of such wide range and varied interest that it is an exceptionally difficult task to edit a limited number which shall be fairly representative of the whole, and it is hoped that those readers who fail to find some of their favorite letters in this volume will bear this difficulty in mind. The editor has chosen in particular the letters which Cicero wrote to the members of his own family and to his intimate friends upon personal subjects, in the hope of throwing as much light as possible upon Cicero's private character, his tastes, his daily life, and his relations with his personal and literary friends. At the same time it is hoped that letters bearing upon political matters have been included in sufficient number to present a good outline of Cicero's public life and of his times. The letters are arranged chronologically.

The text of the Epistulae ad familiares is that of Mendelssohn, with slight changes in a few passages generally recognized as corrupt and not readable. C. F. W. Muller's edition is the basis for the text of the Epistulae ad Quintum fratrem, and Wesenberg's for that of the Epistulae ad Atticum, Bks. I.-XI. and XIV.-XVI., but in very many cases the reading of the Medicean MS., which Wesenberg rejects, has been restored, and in certain other cases the more probable conjectures of Lehmann and others have been substituted for the emendations accepted by Wesenberg. The text of Bks. XII. and XIII. of the Epistulae ad Atticum is that of O. E. Schmidt. For further particulars the reader may Consult the Introduction and the statement in the Critical Appendix.

The orthography has been, in general, conformed to the standards established by Brambach and by Georges in his Lexikon der lateinischen Wortformen.

In the Introduction and the Commentary attention has been directed in particular to the characteristics of epistolary and colloquial Latin. A full discussion of these peculiarities would have far transcended the limits of this book. The editor has therefore contented himself with a statement in the Introduction of the most important divergencies which the Letters show in lexicography, syntax, and style from the standard in those matters in formal Latin, and has supplemented this general statement by more detailed notes at the proper points in the Commentary.

The works which the editor has found of most service in the preparation of the Introduction and Commentary are mentioned in the list given on a subsequent page, and although his indebtedness is usually noted specifically in the Commentary, he feels under special obligation to the editions of Tyrrell, Watson, Süpfle-Böckel, and Hofmann-Andresen, and to the writings of O. E. Schmidt and Landgraf.

But, above all, the editor would gratefully acknowledge the deep obligation which he is under to Professors C. L. Smith and Tracy Peck, the editors-in-chief of this Series, for the careful criticism which they have given to this work while it has been passing through the press.

F. F. A. Chicago, Illinois, August 2, 1897. Omnes autem Ciceronis epistulas legendas censeo, mea sententia vel magis quam omnes eius orationes. Epistulis Ciceronis nihil est perfectius. Fronto ad Antoninum, 2.5

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