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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. VI:
Prefaces.: Preface to the Book on the Sites and...

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Preface to the Book on the Sites and Names of Hebrew Places.

For the scope and value of this book see Prolegomena. It was written a.d. 388.

Eusebius, who took his second name from the blessed Martyr Pamphilus, after he had written the ten books of his “Ecclesiastical History,” the Chronicle of Dates, of which I published a Latin version, the book in which he set forth the names of the different nations and those given to them of old by the Jews and by those of the present day, the topography of the land of Judæa and the portions allotted to the tribes, together with a representation of Jerusalem itself and its temple, which he accompanied with a very short explanation, bestowed his labour at the end of his life upon this little work, of which the design is to gather for us out of the Holy Scriptures the names of almost all the cities, mountains, rivers, hamlets, and other places, whether they remain the same or have since been changed or in some degree corrupted. I have taken up the work of this admirable man, and have translated it, following the arrangement of the Greeks, and taking the words in the order of their initial letters, but p. 486 leaving out those names which did not seem worthy of mention, and making a considerable number of alterations. I have explained my method once for all in the Preface to my translation of the Chronicle, where I said that I might be called at once a translator and the composer of a new work; but I repeat this especially because one who had hardly the first tincture of letters has ventured upon a translation of this very book into Latin, though his language is hardly to be called Latin. His lack of scholarship will be seen by the observant reader as soon as he compares it with my translation. I do not pretend to a style which soars to the skies; but I hope that I can rise above one which grovels on the earth.

Next: Preface to the Book of Hebrew Questions.

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