From Xenophon’s Ephesian History: or the Love-Adventures of Abrocomas and Anthia, in Five Books. Translated from the Greek by Mr. Rooke [the Second Edition], London: Printed for J. Millan at Locke’s Head in Shug-Lane; 1727, pp. 1-8.




Abrocomas and Anthia.



Translated from the Greek.

By Mr. R O O K E.

Vitantur Venti, Pluviæ vitantur & Æstus,
Non vitatur Amor. —

                                   Sannazarii Ecloga Secunda.


L O N D O N :

Printed for J. MILLAN at Locke’s Head in Shug-Lane, and the next Bookseller to the Horse-Guards. M. DCC. XXVII.

Price stitch’d 1s. 6d. Bound 2s. 6d.


Testimonies of Authors concerning Xenophon the Ephesian.


Xenophon, the Ephesian Historian, wrote his Ephesiacs in *Ten Books. They contain the Love-Adventures of Abrocomas and Anthia. He also wrote of the City of Ephesus, &c.

Miscel. Chap. 51.

So Xenophon writes, not the Athenian, but another no less Eloquent, I mean the Ephesian.

in his Diarum Italicum.

A little Volume (says he) of the thirteenth Century, in a silken Cover, wrote with a small Character, conatins Xenophon’s Ephesiacs in five Books. They are Love-Adventures like Heliodorus’s Æthiopics. The Work is not published. Of this Xenophon Suidas takes notice..

* It may seem strange to some readers, why Suidas should mention this Work, as containing Ten Books, and Montfaucon as only Five. Mr. Cocchi imagines a Mistake in the Impression of Suidas, and thinks it ought to be an E instead of an I, which is not improbable. Allow me to add another Conjecture, which is, that the Copies of this Work, in Suidas’s Days might be differently divided, viz. some into Ten Books, and others into Five, of which last this Florentine Manuscript is one. But as the Story, excepting some few Chasms, is still entire, and the Number of Sections of small Importance, I shall pass it over without further Notice.

[publisher’s book-ads]


P R E F A C E.

TO presume to apologize for this small Piece would be impertinent, it having already received the Approbation of the greatest Wits, and the Sanction of the ablest Judges, Suidas, in his Lexicon, mentions several Xenophons, who were all famous in the most learned Age and Nation of the World, viz. Xenophon the Athenian, Author of the Cyropædia; Xenophon the Cyprian, who wrote the Cyprian History; Xenophon the Antiochian, the Babylonian History; and Xenophon the Ephesian, the Ephesian History. All these, except the first and last, have been torn from us by the Injuries of Time, or the Ravages of barbarous Nations; and no wonder, since so many hundreds of antient Authors [6] famous in Greece and Rome have shared their fate, whose Name are still rever’d, by the honourable mention made of them by their Cotemporaries, tho’ their Works are lost: Yet I am apt to believe some of them, like this Piece, might still be brought to light, if publick and private Libraries were throughly search’d for that Purpose. This was found in the Library of Monte Cassino in Florence, and is, undoubtedly, one of the greatest curiosities this Age has produced. Angelus Politianus admir’d it so much that he scrupled not to rank the Author with Xenophon the Athenian; and Salvinius, one of the most learned Men in Italy, took the pains to translate the whole Work into Italian. Henry Davenant Esq; sent his Copy of the Florentine Manuscript to Signor Antonio Cocchi who gave it a Latin Version, and communicated it to the publick. I have now attempted it in English, and I hope the Present may not be unnacceptable. I shall not pretend to boast [7] of my Performance, tho’ had I not imagin’d my self equal to the Task, I had not undertaken it. I may truly affirm, I have neither willingly mistaken, nor willfully misrepresented my Author in any material Point; nor have I varied from him in any Circumstance farther than was necessary for the Embellishment of the Story, and turning it into polite English.

All the Manners and customs of Countries there describ’d; and all the various Scenes of Action, thro’ which the Adventurers passed, I have faithfully copied. I must not however omit acquainting my Readers, that I have given a different Turn to one Passage, towards the beginning of the third Book, because it would not have sounded well in an English Ear; and whatever Toleration the ancient Greeks might plead, it is entirely repugnant to the Genius and Customs of our Country. Whosoever understands the Original may easily find out the Deviation, and to those who do not, the Knowledge thereof is no ways [8] material: This I only add, lest any should pretend to accuse me for want of Skill in the Language, and take this Passage for a Handle. However, I am pretty easy, even in that case, being well assured, that as we live in a learned Age we live in a lazy one, and tho’ many have Wit and Judgment enough to condemn a Performance, few are willing to undergo the Penance of such a tedious Piece of Drudgery. I heartily wish all my fair Readers may receive an Entertainment, in their Perusal of this Work, equal to what I had in the translating. It was for their sakes chiefly, it was attempted, and to them I must fly for Refuge, if I should be attack’d by any Adversary. Beneath their Umbrage I shall be screen’d from the Criticik’s Rage, and under their Protection I shall slight all the little Cavils which Partiality or Prejudice can raise against me. While they smile I shall be secure, and think I have obtain’d an ample Reward for a small and inconsiderable piece of Service.