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A Manual of Ancient History by A. H. L. Heeren


Particularly with Regard to the Constitutions, the Commerce, and the Colonies, of the States of Antiquity.



Knight of the North Star and Guelphic Order; Aulic Counsellor and Professor of History in the University of Goettingen; and Member of Several Other Learned Societies.

Translated from the German.


Oxford: Published By D. A. Talboys. M DCCC XXXIII.

Oxford: Printed by Talboys and Browne.



It is to the patient industry of the historians of Germany, that we are indebted for the first production of Manuals of history, and for those synchronistic tables which have so much facilitated the systematic study of ancient history; and among the various and profound treatises of this class which enrich and adorn their literature, the works of Heeren are distinguished by their extended range of enquiry, as well as by the minute accuracy of their details.

The work before us embodies the result of his laborious researches during the long period in which he has been engaged as public lecturer and professor of history in the university of Goettingen; and if it be any recommendation of a work to know that its writer has had ample time, ability, and opportunity to collect and elaborate his materials, it may be asserted, without fear of contradiction, that the author of the present work possessed all these advantages in an eminent degree. He has spent the greater portion of his life in lecturing upon the subjects of which it treats, and has in every case gone for his information immediately to the fountain head. It forms, too, an important feature of his work, that a list of the original sources, whence his own knowledge has been drawn, is placed at the head of each section; another is added of the principal writers who have touched upon or illustrated the particular portion of history under notice; both being generally accompanied with a few words of judicious criticism, in which the value of the writer's authority is estimated, and his sources, circumstances, and prejudices, briefly, but fairly set forth. Besides this advantage, the work possesses the merit of combining the convenience of the Manuals with the synchronistic method of instruction; as the geography, chronology, and biography of the countries and states of the ancient world are brought at once under the eye of the reader; and so lucid is the arrangement, that the darkest and most entangled portions of history are seen in a clear and perspicuous light. Professor Heeren seems, moreover, to possess in a more eminent degree than any other writer, the power of forcing, by a very few words, the attention of the reader upon the most important facts of history; and of conjuring up in his thoughts a train of reflections calculated at once to instruct and enlarge the mind. His work is not only admirably adapted to become a text-book in the study of history, but will be found equally serviceable as a book of reference--it will guide the student in his untried and intricate course, and enable the more advanced scholar to methodize his collected stores. Perhaps in no work has so much important information been condensed into so small a compass.

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