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BY

HERBERT WEIR SMYTH

Ph.D. GÖTTINGEN

PROFESSOR OF GREEK AT BRYN MAWR COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA

London
MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED

NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

All rights reserved

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GLASGOW : PRINTED AT THE UNIVERSITY PRESS BY

ROBERT MACLEHOSE AND CO.

To

BASIL LANNEAU GILDERSLEEVE

PREFACE.

It is usually the fate of the maker of an anthology to please none of the judicious because each is convinced that his taste is superior to that of the editor. The possibility of escaping this fate on the part of the author of the present volume, which aims at collecting those fragments of the song writers of Greece that have a distinctly human interest, is all too great: an untoward chance has bequeathed to us such a meagre portion of the wealth of Greek song that the task of selection is comparatively easy. The triumphal odes of Pindar have indeed been handed down fairly complete and are elsewhere accessible. Only in the case of Bacchylides, who has now almost passed from his position as a fragmentary poet, is the material over abundant for the purpose of an anthology. If I have not included all that is best in him, it is because a few of his finer odes are mutilated in parts beyond all hope of certain restoration. Of the rest of the song poetry of Greece only broken columns and ruined architraves remain to attest the beauty of the unshattered edifice.

Though I have refrained from inserting in the text much that is of importance to the student of mythology, metre, and language--indeed the briefest fragments acquire a value incommensurate with their size when all we possess is so little, I have not hesitated in the commentary to draw upon the whole

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