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THE Classical Association recently resolved to publish an annual volume giving in a concise and readable form an account of the year's progress in classical studies. It was to contain a brief summary of discoveries, and of new and interesting matter touching the history, life, and thought of Greece and Rome and the methods of classical teaching. Notices also of books and papers of importance were to be included, with such comments as might enable those who are not specialists to appreciate their bearing. The work done in the several departments was to be treated under the following heads: (1) Methods of Teaching; (2) Excavation, Greek and Roman; (3) Archaeology—(a) Prehistoric, (b) Sculpture and Other Arts, (c) Coins, (d) Mythology and Religion, Greek and Roman, (e) Private Antiquities; (4) Inscriptions; (5) History, Greek and Roman; (6) Comparative Philology; (7) Grammar; (8) Textual Criticism and Palaeography; (9) Papyri; (10) Literature.
The present volume is the first instalment of this projected series, and is brought out under the general editorship of Dr. W. H. D. Rouse, who, in response to the request of the Council, has kindly undertaken the task. The volume slightly differs in its plan from that contemplated for succeeding numbers, its contents not being strictly confined to the record of the preceding year. In the case of certain investigations the survey extends over an earlier period, so that the readers may be placed at the proper point for appreciating the subsequent course of the inquiry.
The scope and purpose of the volume may be somewhat
more closely defined. The book is designed in the first instance for the use of classical teachers, especially in schools, who, not being themselves specialists, look for guidance to those who are. Scattered through the country are numberless teachers who have few opportunities of intercourse with other scholars and are without access to good classical libraries. Catalogues alone tell them but little. Even if learned periodicals were within their reach, they have not time to study them to advantage; indeed, they would probably lose themselves in a mass of bewildering detail. Yet they would gladly learn what is being done in the everwidening domain of classical antiquity; and they desire, if we mistake not, to have the results so presented to them that, while retaining a broad outlook over the whole field, they may keep abreast of modern research in each department. Teachers are becoming aware that to teach well they must learn much more than they have to teach, and that anything that deepens their insight or enriches their knowledge of their own subject is likely to make them better teachers. It may be that little or none of the information so acquired will be imparted to the pupil. A wise man will probably be chary of giving out scraps of information about art or archaeology or inscriptions. There are, it is true, occasions when this or that fact gathered from some outlying region of classical study may serve to light up an otherwise dull lesson, or give concrete reality to an abstract statement, or introduce one of those brief digressions which arrest the attention of a class. But apart altogether from any direct advantage to the pupil, the teacher, in adding to his own store of learning, gets a quickened interest in his subject; he sees it in larger perspective; avenues open out for him on various sides. Whatever helps to keep his own intelligence alert and his interest unjaded is of untold value, for no more deadly peril besets him than that arising from monotony of work. A freshening current of new ideas is, perhaps, the most effectual means of saving routine from becoming a depressing drudgery.
In another respect, too, a volume such as the present may be of service. The case is far from unknown of a schoolmaster who would like to do a bit of research on his own account, or who, without hoping to make any original contribution to learning, desires to take up some special study towards which he has a natural bent. It makes a grateful change in the sameness of the day, and releases energies which otherwise would find no proper outlet. Nor can anything exercise a more invigorating effect on teaching than the keen prosecution of an independent piece of work outside the school curriculum. The hours, however, that can be spared from normal duties are few; and a solitary worker may after all discover himself to be toiling in the dark, imperfectly acquainted with the material at his disposal and with the labours of others in the same department. He stands, therefore, in urgent need of expert guidance to put him on the right lines. The survey of studies offered in these pages may, it is hoped, suffice to indicate some of the many directions in which inquiry may be fruitful. Moreover, the influence of such an attitude of mind on the pupil must not be overlooked. An eager exploring spirit in the teacher soon communicates itself to the taught. He feels a contagious glow. He has entered, as it were, into an intellectual partnership, and has the pride and pleasure of joint discovery. He believes in the teacher who believes in his subject, and all the more if he adds something, however small, to the sum of knowledge.
Such a student may see, for instance, what gaps need filling in several branches of work. The study of art offers the thorny question of the origin and meaning of types, and the relation of ancient to modern symbolism. Mr. Macdonald has advanced this question by one step in his book on Coin Types, but much remains to be done in this and other departments. Comparative philology, for many years barren, has grown into new life with the study of Semantic. Great as are the discoveries of papyri, only one book has attempted to take a general account of them. Private