Notes On The Anabasis Of Xenophon In The Region Of Nineveh -- By: Henry Lobdell

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 014:54 (Apr 1857)
Article: Notes On The Anabasis Of Xenophon In The Region Of Nineveh
Author: Henry Lobdell


Notes On The Anabasis Of Xenophon In The Region Of Nineveh

Rev. Henry Lobdell

[These Notes were prepared without any reference to publication. They were designed simply to furnish materials, if not new yet original, because collected on the spot by an original observer, for the use of some teacher or editor of the Anabasis, and were submitted to my disposal, with the request, however, that our mutual friend, Mr. A. M. Gay, master of the High School at Charlestown, might have the benefit of them in his contemplated edition of Xenophon’s Anabasis, which we are happy to announce is in preparation, and which, we doubt not, will be a valuable addition to the abundant means which American students already possess for understanding and appreciating that favorite classic. After remaining in Mr. Gay’s hands for a time, the Notes are now published with his consent, and with the consent also of Dr. Lobdell, having been revised in accordance with instructions and suggestions furnished by himself for this purpose.

In a note accompanying these corrections and additions, Dr. L. says: “I should most assuredly have written in a much less familiar style, had I written for publication, especially in such a Journal. My sole object in sending the Notes, was to throw a little light upon the topics noticed, for the use of some commentator on the book. If you think, however, that with such a revision of style and matter as you may be willing to give it, the Paper will be worthy of publication, I cannot withhold my consent, with the understanding that you will preface it with a note stating that the writer communicated it to you for a more private purpose. Some apology is due for the topical character of the Notes. My whole design was to clear up obscure and doubtful passages, and that as briefly as possible.”

It will be seen that the Notes are chiefly archaeological and geographical or topographical; and, though they seem to be rather disconnected, yet they do, in fact, follow a natural order of arrangement. They begin at the writer’s own residence, which was on the Tigris opposite the site of ancient Nineveh, and, diverging from that centre, sweep in a widening circle over the whole field of Xenophon’s marches and observations in Mesopotamia.

Classical, not less than sacred geography, history, and antiquities, are deeply indebted to the observations and researches of Christian missionaries. Their residence in the country, their acquaintance with the language or languages there spoken; their repeated excursions and observations, on the spot, of localities, manners, and customs; their independent and impartial examinations, for themselves, of objects of historical or antiquarian interest...

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