The Greek Anthology, Volume I: Book 1: Christian Epigrams. Book 2: Christodorus of Thebes in Egypt. Book 3: The Cyzicene Epigrams. Book 4: The Proems of the Different Anthologies. Book 5: The Amatory Epigrams. Book 6: The Dedicatory Epigrams
LCL 67: x-xi
we know that Philippus’ Wreath was so arranged, as all the longer fragments of it retain this order. Curiously enough there are very few traces of such an order in the fragments of Meleager’s Wreath, none in the present volume. This is a fact I will not attempt to explain.
I would beg any possible, but improbable, reader who desires to peruse the Anthology as a whole, to read first the epigrams of Meleager’s Stephanus, then those of that of Philippus, and finally the Byzantine poems. In the intervals the iron hand of History had entirely recast and changed the spirit and the language of Greece, and much misunderstanding has been caused by people quoting anything from the “Greek Anthology” as specifically “Greek.” We have to deal with three ages almost as widely separated as the Roman conquest, the Saxon conquest, and the Norman conquest of England. It is true that the poems of all the epochs are written in a language that professes to be one, but this is only due to the consciousness of the learned Greeks, a consciousness we still respect in them to-day, that the glorious language of old Greece is their imperishable heritage, a heritage that the corruption of the ages should not be permitted to defile.
As regards the Greek text in Books I–VII and
IX, which had the advantage of being edited by Stadtmüller (the Teubner text), I do not give the sources of such changes from the long standard text of Dübner (the Didot text) as I think fit to make, except in cases where these sources are subsequent to Stadtmüller’s edition, in which all conjectures previously made are cited and in which full information is given about the tradition. This work of his life was cut short by his lamented death, and in the remaining books, though through the kindness of the Loeb Library I have the advantage of consulting the facsimile of the Palatine MS., I shall not have that of his learned aid.
W. R. PATON.