John Conington’s three-volume edition of The Works of Virgil, begun in 1852, has long been unavailable except in rare second-hand sets. The whole work is now being reissued in six affordable paperbacks, with new introductions setting the commentary in its context. Well into the twentieth century Conington’s Virgil remained the sine qua non for school and undergraduate students and their teachers; Conington’s commentary is remarkably close and uncompromising in its engagement with the detail of Virgil’s Latin, as well as its literary sensitivity; it still has much to offer the modern reader. This volume includes Conington’s general introduction to Virgil and his introduction to the Eclogues, with Virgil’s text and Conington’s commentary on the text, and with index. In addition, Philip Hardie introduces the work of Conington as a whole (and of his pupil Nettleship, who completed the Works in 1871), while Brian W. Breed assesses their approaches to the Eclogues in particular, outlining the directions in which scholarship has subsequently led, and may lead. The new introductions also include substantial bibliographies.
John Conington was Corpus Christi Professor of Latin in Oxford. Philip Hardie is a Senior Research Fellow and Honorary Professor of Latin at Trinity College, Cambridge, and author of Virgil’s Aeneid: Cosmos and Imperium (1986), Virgil’s Epic Successors (1993) and Ovid’s Poetics of Illusion (2002). Brian W. Breed is Assistant Professor of Classics in the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; he is author of articles on Virgil’s Eclogues, Propertius, Horace and Homer. Monica Gale is Lecturer in Classics at Trinity College, Dublin; she is author of Myth and Poetry in Lucretius (1994), Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (2000), and articles on Lucretius, Virgil and Propertius. Anne Rogerson has her doctorate on the Aeneid from the University of Cambridge and is author of several articles on the epic; she is Wrigley Fellow and College Lecturer in Classics at Cambridge.