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Penseroso, the Tractate on Education, and the Answer to Smectymnus, of the former. The poems of Gray bear likewise an evident impression of the peculiar philosophical bent of the author's taste. This will appear still more obvious upon reference to his posthumous works, published by Mr. Matthias, in quarto, 1814, which evince upon the subject of Plato's writings, the most earnest study and laborious research.
EDITIONS OF PLATO'S WORKS.a
ALDUS. Venet. 1513. fol. Græce.
EDITIO PRINCEPS. Edited by Musurus. (See Roscoe's Leo X. vol. ii. 238-9. 4to. edit.) Although the editorial talents in this edition have been greatly excelled by subsequent scholars, it is still entitled to attention from the number of good manuscripts and ancient publications which were consulted in its compilation.
GRYNAI. Basil. 1534. fol. Gr.
An elegant, rare, and respectable edition, the joint production. of Valderus the printer, and Simon Grynæus, a well known scholar and critic. The Timæus and Politicus have the commentary of Proclus. The text is not so pure as that of the Aldine edition.
ARLENII. Basil. 1556. fol. Gr.
This edition, which, upon the whole, copies the preceding, has many curious passages and remarks. It was compiled by Arnoldus Arlenius, who, in travelling through Italy, collected some manuscripts of Plato, and in his own copy of Grynæus' edition marked down the corrupt passages of that work, supplied the chasms, and sent the copy thus corrected to HOPPERUS, the son-in-law of the printer Petrus, to have it published accordingly. Still it has many errors in common with that of Grynæus.
SERRANI. Paris, 1578. fol. 3 vols. Gr. et Lat.
a For the subjoined list and the accompanying remarks the Editor is indebted to that valuable work, "Introduction to the Classics," by the Rev. T. F. Dibdin, London, 1827.
Printed by H. STEPHEN. This celebrated and magnificent edition is well known in the history of classical literature. The first vol. is dedicated to Queen Elizabeth; the second to James the Sixth of Scotland, (then a boy, and subsequently James the First of England;) and the third to the Republic of Berne. This edition has been subjected to some animadversion. The assistance professed to have been received from different sources, is, in fact, from Ficinus, Aldus, Arlenius, Hopperus, and Cornarius, although their names are studiously suppressed. The Latin version is said not to be so faithful as that of Ficinus. See preface to Fischer's Dialog. Platonis, Lips. 8vo. 1783; R. Simon's Bibl. Choisie, t. i. 360; Brucker, Hist. Philosoph. Crit. t. i. c. xii. p. 659; and Harles, Introd. L. Gr. t. i. 397. The text of this edition is deemed very accurate and faithful.
Lugduni. 1590. fol. Gr. et Lat.
Francof. 1602. fol. Gr. et Lat.
These editions follow the order of Ficinus in the arrangement of the books, and contain his notes and commentaries. In the opinion of John Fabricius (Hist. Bibl. Fabric. t. iii. 189.) they are the best editions of Plato, and preferable to that of Serranus; from which, however, Harles dissents.
CROLLII, &c. Bipont. 1781. 12. vols. Gr. et Lat.
One of the few Greek writers, edited by the Bipont Society. The Greek text is taken from Serranus, and the Latin version from Ficinus. The first vol. contains an account of the manuscripts and editions of Plato; the ninth vol. has an excellent tract, or "Introduction to the Reading of the Works of Plato," the illustrations and arguments of the Dialogues, in a separate volume, are by Professor Tiedemann. It is considered as one of the most beautiful productions of the Deux Ponts press.
BEKKERI. Berol. 1816. 8vo. 10 vols. Gr. et Lat.
The united labours of BEKKER, WOLF, and HEINDORF, appear in this truly critical and valuable edition. The Latin version is by Wolf. In the arrangement of the text numerous MSS. have been consulted. All the ancient scholia, deserving of being collected, are incorporated. One volume is devoted to an account of the life, doctrine, and writings of Plato.
ASTH. Lipsia. 1819-24. 7 vols. Gr. et Lat.
A very excellent edition. The version, with the exception of the earlier part, which is that of Cornarius, is by the editor. The annotations are admirable, and the indices full and complete.
STALBAUMII. Lipsia. 1821-25. 8vo. 8 vols. Gr.
These volumes form part of the series of Greek prose-writers, published at Leipsic. They contain the ancient scholia, "from a MS. in the Bodleian library, with the annotations of RUHNKEN." The prolegomena and annotations are ample and learned.
There have been three Latin editions of Plato; the first by Marsilius Ficinus, Florence, 1491; the second by J. Cornarius, Basle, 1558; and the third by J. Serranus, Paris, 1578.
DETACHED WORKS OF PLATO.
ASTIUS. Politeia sive de Republ. Lips. 1804: reprinted in 1814 8vo. Gr. Phædrus, Lips. 1810, 8vo. Gr. with the scholia of Hermias, and a most ample editorial commentary.
BEISTER. Mario, Crito, Alcibiades: Uterque Berol, 1780. 8vo. Gr. with some notes of Gottleber and Schneider. Reprinted in 1790, 1812, and 1822. 8vo.
BEKKER. Dialogi, Berol. 1816. 8vo. 2 vols. Commentaria Critica in Platonem a se editum. Accedunt Scholia. Berol. 1821-3. 8vo. Gr. et Lat.
ETWALL. Alcibiades et Hipparchus. Oxon. 1771. 8vo. Gr. et Lat. to which is prefixed the life of Plato by Olympiodorus. FINDEISEN. Gorgias. Gothæ, 1796. 8vo. Gr. The editor having died before the completion of his labours, the work was continued and completed by HAAS. An excellent edition; with the scholia of Hermias.
FISCHER. Euthyphro, Apologia Socratis, Crito, Phædo. Lips. 1770. 8vo. Gr. Cratylus et Theætetus. Lips. 1770. 8vo. Gr. Sophista, Politicus, Parmenides. Lips. 1774. 8vo. Gr. Philebus et Symposium. Lips. 1776. 8vo. Gr. Euthyphro, Apologia Socratis, Crito, Phædo. Lips. 1783. 8vo. Gr. Such are the labours of the celebrated FISCHER upon Plato. Of these the
last performance, which contains much more than its title announces, is in all respects, the most valuable as well as copious. FORSTER. Dialogi V. Oxon. 1745. 8vo. Gr. et Lat. First and best edition. It was inaccurately reprinted in 1752. HEINDORF. Dial. IV. Lysis, Charmides, Hippias Major, Phædrus. Berol. 1802. 8vo. Second edition, greatly improved from the publications of Bekker. The latter has a critical annotation on the Apologia Socratis. The same editor also published the Gorgias, Theaetetus, Parmenides, and Euthydemus. Berol. 1806, 8vo. The labours of Heindorf, inasmuch as they contain according to Fuhrmann, many happy illustrations of difficult passages, are indispensable to the student of Plato.
MULLER. Chrestomathia Platonica. Turici, 1756. 8vo. Gr. et Lat. The Latin version is that of Serranus.
NITZSCH. Ion. Lips. 1822. 8vo. Gr. with learned prolegomena and annotations. The best separate edition of this work
NORTH. Socratis Apologia, Crito, Phædo, de Legib. 1. x. Alcibiades Secundus. Cantab. 1673. with the Latin version of Ficinus.
ROUTH. Euthydemus et Gorgias. Oxon. 1784. 8vo. Gr. et
THOMSON. Parmenides. Oxon. 1728. 8vo. Gr. et Lat. with learned prolegomena and running notes.
WYTTENBACH. Phædon. Lugd. Bat. 1810. 8vo. Gr. "We dismiss this volume by stating that the perusal of it has by no means diminished the respect which we had always entertained for the talents and erudition of the learned editor." Mus. Crit. p. 258— 61.
A VARIORUM EDITION of the works of Plato has been published by Mr. Priestly, whose name stands deservedly high in the annals of Greek classical literature; in nine vols. 8vo. Gr. et Lat. Lond. 1826, comprising the annotations of the following editors: Bekker, Astius, Beister, Buttmann, Bockh, Baumgarten, Crusius, Cornarius, Creuzerus, Etwall, Faehse, Findeisen, Fischer, Forster, Gottleber, Heindorf, Heussoe, Korner, Lange, Massey, Morgenstein, Muller, Nitzsch, Nurnberger, Pinzger, Raabe, Routh, Stallbaum, Stutzmann, Thomson, Winckler, Wyttenbach, and Zeunius.
The works of Plato have been translated into English by Floyer Sydenham, Taylor, and Spens. "Of Sydenham's translation," observes an accomplished writer, "every scholar will speak with respect, and every man of taste with fondness and regard. Its imperfect and unfinished condition bears with it a deep interest as a memorial of Sydenham's melancholy fate; when a man of the highest talents and most elegant accomplishments, after struggling with the inequalities of fortune, and suffering mortifications, not the less galling because concealed and uncommunicated, gave way to the sudden impulse of his indignant spirit, and quitted a world which he disdained to flatter."
Spens' work bears the marks of being a version from the French, and not from the original. Taylor's translation is a lamentable contrast to the work of his predecessor Sydenham. It is deficient both in spirit and taste, and the difficulties of the original are not only increased by the translator's grammatical ignorance, but its obscurities are rendered still more impenetrable by idle comments written in the unintelligible jargon of the Alexandrian school."
A. Dacier has translated ten of Plato's dialogues intò French, with a life of Plato, and an introduction to his Philosophy prefixed, Paris, 1699. Some of these dialogues had been previously translated by F. de Maucroix, Euvres de Prose et de Poesie. t. i. 1685. From the French of Dacier an English version was published in 1701, called "Plato abridged." Dardi Bembo published an Italian translation in three vols. Venet. 1601. Selected dialogues were translated also by Sebast. Erici, with notes. The works of Plato were translated into Persian, according to Agathias, lib. ii. by command of Chosroes, king of Persia. Fabricius mentions also a translation of the Republic into the Hebrew tongue, as extant in Bibl.
a The subject of this beautiful eulogy was a Master of Arts in Wadham College, Oxford. He proposed to publish a translation of the whole works of Plato, but nine dialogues only were completed. He was thrown into prison for a debt to a victualler, and died in 1787 or '88. He was generally beloved for the candour of his temper and gentleness of his manners. His circumstances excited sympathy among the friends of literature in England, and are said to have occasioned the institution of the benevolent Literary Fund.