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Preface

The Palatine Anthology, so called because it is contained only in the unique manuscript of the Palatine Library at Heidelberg, was composed in the tenth century by Constantine Cephalas. He drew chiefly from three older Anthologies of widely different date: (1) the Stephanus, or Wreath, of Meleager, collected in the beginning of the first century b.c. by this master of the elegiac epigram and comprising all that is most worthy of preservation in these pages. Meleager was a quite unique personality in his own age, and his collection comprises no poems (as far as we know) of that age, except his own.1 It consists of poems of the seventh to third centuries b.c., i.e. of all the great or classical period of Greek literature. (2) The Stephanus of Philippus, made probably in the reign of Augustus. The spirit of poesy had in the interval descended on Italy, rather than on Greece, and here the most Roman poets, such as Crinagoras of Mytilene, are those who please the most. (3) The Cycle of Agathias, made in the age of Justinian and comprising strictly contemporary work. There is

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