Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. J. A. Harrison), “Review of A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. XII: Literary Criticism - part 04 (1902), pp. 129-130


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[page 129, continued:]

A DICTIONARY OF GREEK AND ROMAN ANTIQUITIES. EDITED BY WILLIAM SMITH, PH. D., AND ILLUSTRATED BY NUMEROUS ENGRAVINGS ON WOOD. THIRD AMERICAN EDITION, CAREFULLY REVISED, AND CONTAINING NUMEROUS ADDITIONAL ARTICLES RELATIVE TO THE BOTANY, MINERALOGY, AND ZOOLOGY OF THE ANCIENTS. BY CHARLES ANTHON, LL. D. NEW YORK: HARPER AND BROTHERS.

[Broadway Journal, April 12, 1845.]

THIS invaluable work is designed to supersede, and must entirely supersede the compilations of Potter and Adams. In order to facilitate this design, there is appended an Index Raisonné, in which the whole subject (of Greek and Roman Antiquities) is classified under appropriate heads, so that, by means of the Index, the book, although retaining the advantages of a dictionary, may be made to answer readily all the college purposes of a text-book. In every respect this work is the most valuable of its class — or rather it is a class by itself. It includes all the recent discoveries of the Germans, and has all the fulness and accuracy for which the German scholars are noted. Dr. Anthon has enriched the American edition by a fund of information on scientific topics, distinguishing his own matter by [page 130:] asterisks. He has also introduced some most obvious improvements in form and method, of which latter he is a master at all points. He is not only the best scholar in America — but perhaps the most absolutely accurate one in the world. Independently of the high opinion we cannot help entertaining of his erudition and acumen, we would stand by his decision in any mere matter of classical fact, in preference to that of any man in Europe, or elsewhere. His books are universally circulated, and universally approved, except by those who have an obvious interest in decrying them. Dr. Anthon would, no doubt, have given more satisfaction, in certain quarters, had he thought more of his own merely literary reputation, and kept his eye less steadily fixed on the true purpose of compilations such as he has undertaken — the purpose of making a useful book. His talents, nevertheless, have long ago placed him in a position at which he is left free to pursue this good purpose, in his own manner, and without fear of doing injury to his reputation as an original writer, in the opinion of any one having sense enough to understand that there is a point at which originality ceases to be a virtue. We presume he is by no means ambitious of the fame of a mere littérateur.

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - JAHCW, 1902] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (J. A. Harrison) (Review of A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities)