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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1835,


In the Clerk's office of the District Court of Connecticut


THE increasing interest which of late years has been felt in regard to educa tion, among all classes of the community, has given rise to new, and it is believed in many instances, improved methods of advancing this great object. Books have been written with a special view of imparting instruction to youthful minds, as well as of directing the inquiries and gratifying the curiosity of riper understandings. In these works, so far as they have been elementary, the principle of comparison and classification has extensively prevailed; particular attention has been paid to the selection and arrangement of topics: things differing in kind have been kept separate as much as possible; and, in general, there has been a marked effort to observe the methods of science, and the laws by which the mind is usually governed in the acquisition of knowledge. In this way, ideas correctly arranged, and happily associated, have been communicated to learners and readers, on the various subjects presented to their consideration.*

"Ancient History," to which the reader is here introduced, "may be treated either ethnographically, that is, according to the different nations and states, or synchronically, that is, according to certain general periods of time. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages; both may, however, to a certain extent, be united." This is a remark of Heeren,t and the last was the arrangement which he adopted in his admirable History of the States of Antiquity, as well as in that which bears the title of the Political System of Europe. In the present volume, the subject has been treated under an ar rangement somewhat similar, both methods being combined, as far as could be done with convenience. The synchronical method, however, predominates, and that almost necessarily, in consequence of the very distinct eras which have been observed in the work. If, therefore, the general reader should experience any inconvenience, or diminution of interest, from the temporary suspension of the history of any single nation, he still can pursue the account of such nation in continuity, provided he will take it up in the successive periods, and omit, at the same time, the history of other nations. But it is believed, that the interest arising from the history of individual states, is very little less on this plan, than on the ethnographical, and even that, should it be considerably less, the clearer and more comprehensive views thence derived, would be an ample indemnification for the loss.

But it is time that the plan of the present work should be more particularly explained. It is briefly as follows. In the first place, political history, or the

As subservient to the improvements above alluded to, we must acknowledge the agency of numerous contrivances by means of maps, charts, engravings, and copious statistical tables, and also of a distinction of type between what is more and what is less essential in the subject matter of a treatise. Several of these contrivances, as well as of the more general improvements, have been extended to historical productions, as books designed for education; and especially great help has been derived from the last named particular-the use of different sizes of type. This auxiliary was suggested by the success which attended the Rev. David Blair's celebrated works for education, by whom it has been extensively employed. Accordingly, early use of it was made in this country, in a series of historical productions, of which the present was one, announced as developed on the plan of that gentleman, with the avowal, however, that they were wholly original, and with the reasons of the common name which they bore. These reasons have now ceased to operate in regard to the present work.

† Professor of History in Gottingen.

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