1. Although Addison first gained a reputation as an author and editor of Latin verse, NOTE 1 Dr. Johnson’s severe and unsympathetic remarks (in his Life of Addison) have probably done much to discourage interest in this body of work:

Three of his Latin poems are upon subjects on which, perhaps, he would not have ventured to have written in his own language: The Battle of the Pigmies and Cranes; The Barometer; and a Bowling Green. When the matter is low or scanty, a dead language, in which nothing is mean because nothing is familiar, affords great conveniences; and by the sonorous magnificence of Roman syllables, the writer conceals penury of thought and want of novelty often from the reader and often from himself.

Addison’s Latin poems lack a modern edition; with one partial exception, they have never been translated or annotated, and are in general neglected by modern scholarship. NOTE 2 Hence the need for a modern presentation.
2. Beginning with the 1587 Oxford and Cambridge memorial volumes on the death of Sir Philip Sidney, the two English universities issued a long series of anthologies of Latin verse, almost all compiled in connection with events of national significance, usually involving the sovereign and other members of the royal family: births, accessions, marriages, deaths, and so forth. The publication of such official anthologies was of considerable institutional value to the universities, as they provided opportunities not only for putting their premium wares in the shop window, but also for demonstrating institutional and individual loyalty to the crown and to the state religion. Indeed, it would appear that, after many decades when they had been forbidden, the government and the universities entered into some manner of understanding whereby university presses were sanctioned in exchange for their agreement to publish a certain amount of more or less frankly propagandistic material. This conclusion is suggested by the fact that a number of the earliest volumes issued by Joseph Barnes, printer to the University of Oxford, were of this nature. This political stuff, almost invariably consisting of Latin poetry, was intended to mould the opinion of England’s educated class, of crucial importance because this was, if not the class that ran things, at least the class that made things run. Production of anthologies was an important way in which the universities kept their part of the bargain. Such anthologies were also useful for the individuals whose works appeared in them, in an age where the writing of such poetry was a recognized means of advancing a career. NOTE 3
3. The reader who comes to these volumes looking for great literature will be severely disappointed. Their public nature severely excluded the realm of the personal, and, with the possible exception of the very first (for Sidney’s death did evoke genuine shock and sorrow), the occasions which produced these anthologies did not tend to arouse any depth of feeling. But the reader willing to settle for displays — occasionally astonishing ones — of technical pyrotechnics, cleverness, erudition, and sometimes genuine entertainment and delight, will be amply rewarded. Then too, one occasionally comes across contributions by writers — Robert Burton and George Herbert, for example — who distinguished themselves in other literary arenas. Only a couple of Addison’s Latin poems (IX and X) appeared in anthologies of this traditional type, and these were youthful efforts of which their author must have entertained no high opinion; the fact that, unlike his maturer work, they were never reprinted in more conspicuous places suggests a desire to suppress them.
4. Towards the end of the seventeenth century a new kind of academic anthology came into being, not compiled in response to a specific event and, although sometimes coming from university presses, not official academic publications. Earlier in the century, a series of Delitiae had been edited by J. Gruter at Frankfurt, representing the best contemporary Neo-Latin poetry of various European nations and even Scotland. NOTE 4 England, curiously, went unrepresented. Evidently to make up for this lack, a volume entitled Musarum Anglicanarum Analecta was published at Oxford in 1692; as was only be expected, it was heavily weighted in favor of Oxonian poets, although the inclusion of a handful of items by Cambridge men gave it a “national” coloration. NOTE 5 The popularity of this volume justified several reprints and inspired imitations. The first such one was Examen Poeticum Duplex, issued by the London publisher Richard Wellington (1698); this contained six items by Addison. NOTE 6 A year later Oxford put out a second volume of Musarum Anglicanarum Analecta, NOTE 7 containing more or less substantially revised versions of these same six poems together with two new ones.
5. The evident consensus omnium is that Addison was the editor of this anthology. This supposition may indeed be true, but his name does not appear on the title page. The book’s first item, standing even before its official preface, is a dedicatory epistle written to Charles Montagu, William’s powerful Chancellor of the Exchequer, and signed with Addison’s name. The casual reader might jump to the conclusion that this letter settles the matter, but in fact the epistle is one dedicating Addison’s poem on the peace of Rijswick, the first item in the anthology, and scarcely the volume as a whole, to Montagu. The letter also stands in its proper place immediately before the poem in question, and one can only conclude that it was repeated prior to the book’s preface by a printer’s error. The reader wanting to find internal evidence for Addison’s editorship can find comfort only in the fact that his aforementioned poem takes pride of place as the first in the volume, a fact liable to the alternate explanation that he was Oxford’s premier contemporary poet. So his editorship can only be accepted as a hypothesis; the volume’s preface (not included in any previous edition of Addison’s works) is printed here, but with this caveat.
6. In any event, it is worth paying momentary attention to the editor’s policies. Any pretense of making this volume representative of the nation was dropped. All the items it contains are by Oxford men, and the editor’s protest that he had tried unsuccessfully to elicit Cambridge contributions perhaps has a disingenuous ring. Bradner wrote: NOTE 8

In making his selections Addison followed in general the method of his predecessor. Eleven of the poems were taken from university anthologies on state occasions, eleven more had been recited in the Theatre, and the remaining twenty-seven came from unpublished sources…The most striking differences between [this volume and the previous one] lie in the increase in the number of odes and in the larger space devoted to humorous or descriptive verse. As Addison’s own contributions are found mainly in these two categories we may be witnessing simply the result of his own taste.

7. Examination of the volume’s table of contents reveals that many of its poems fall into a few recognizable categories, and that Addison’s own poems can readily be assigned to one or another of these. Let us consider them seriatim.
8. Although Musarum Anglicarum Analecta was not an anthology published to mark a state occasion, the tradition of writing patriotic literature continued. The volume which contains Addison’s poem on the Treaty of Rijswick (poem I) NOTE 9 also contains a number of other items praising the sovereign, the current royal family and its accomplishments: most like it are descriptions of naval victories (Hugh Parker, Philip Fell) and the Battle of the Boyne (William Percivale); one also encounters, inter alia, poems on such royal subjects as the death of Charles II (James Harrington), the coronation of William and Mary (Henry Aldrich, and an item co-authored by Udal Corbet, John Sprot, and William Barber), Mary’s administration (Richard Vernon), the birth of the Prince of Wales (Vincent Corbet, George Dixon), and the death of Mary (Henry Sacheverel, G. Adams, Anthony Alsop).
9. At first sight, the present poem might be dismissed as little more than an especially elaborated and adroit specimen of such stuff, replete with standard flattery of the sovereign. Any such disdainful response is precluded by the critical analysis of R. D. Williams and Malcolm Kelsall, which may enthusiastically be recommended to the reader both as a reading of this poem and as a model for the way Neo-Latin poetry can be discussed with profit. NOTE 10 The poem also displays a few personalizing touches. Addison appears to have been addicted to descriptions of spectacular catastrophes: in later poems in this series we shall encounter entertainingly lurid representations of the Last Judgment and great geological upheavals. The present poem contains lovingly drawn descriptions of an exploding powder magazine (36ff.) and a fireworks display (155ff.). At the other end of the spectrum, our poet took equal delight in the picturesque world of the miniature: his Latin poems are populated with Pygmies, puppets, and faeries. Something of this same enthusiasm for the diminutive can be discerned in the picture of the young Prince of Wales replicating the great events of the Continental war with his toy soldiers (140ff.). NOTE 11
10. If patriotic themes always abounded in academic verse, the next item reflects another common theme: poems in which the author exhibits his facility by expatiating in Latin on modern advances in science and technology. In the present volume, Addison’s poem on the barometer (poem II) finds companion-pieces in Thomas Bisse’s description of a microscope, and Henry Stephens’ Experimenta Machinae Pneumaticae ab Honoratissimo D. D. Boylaeo Inventae, about the vacuum pump. Of these efforts Bradner wrote: NOTE 12

A further extension of the descriptive type which gives an account of some scientific instrument…The writers we are now concerned with did not have any serious purpose for or against science. They merely regarded new instruments as something of popular interest which might be made to yield a little amusement…The point of these jeux d’esprit is in the polished style and the slightly supercilious tone of simulated wonder assumed by the author.

This may be true enough, but the final poem in this series, on Burnet’s geological theories (VIII), suggests a somewhat deeper interest in scientific matters, and works of this sort paved the way for more serious academic verse written on scientific and philosophical subjects, such as Thomas Gray’s hexameter poem on the classification of insects, and ultimately the great tripos prize poems written at Cambridge by Robert Percy Smith in the early 1790’s, Cartesii Principia and Newtoni Systema Mundanum. NOTE 13
11. The story of the Cranes waging war against the Pygmies, narrated in poem III, appears to have been an ancient Greek folk-tale, sufficiently well known that Homer could rather casually allude to it in a simile at the beginning of Book III of the Iliad, and was a familiar tale to various subsequent Greek authors. But Addison’s The Battle of the Pygmies and the Cranes (III) is squarely based on two Roman sources. Pliny the Elder (Natural History VII.xxvi.5) gave the story an Indian setting and specified the Pygmies’ devastation of their chicks as the reason the Cranes declared war, and Juvenal (Satire xiii.168ff.) supplied the detail of the Pygmy warrior (transformed here into a hero-king) being snatched up into the sky by a hostile Crane. The final transformation of the dead Pygmies into lemures — surely to be translated “faeries” — is the poet’s own contribution to the tale. This poem won Leicester Bradner’s particular admiration: NOTE 14

There is in this poem…an element of imaginative fancy which separates it from other mock heroics of the time. Addison is not noted for any great degree of poetic genius, yet curiously enough it is in this poem that he comes the nearest to showing that quality…[it is] one of the most delightful mock-heroics ever penned.

12. The writing of this poem gave Addison a magnificent opportunity for indulging his delight in the world of the miniature. One might nevertheless be tempted to wonder, at least momentarily, whether it is in any sense an allegorical representation of the contemporary War of the Grand Alliance. The Pygmies, who so mercilessly oppress the Cranes and thus invite their own ultimate ruin, are at one point (143) described as a wicked race (gentem nefandam). Are they supposed to represent the French, and their doughty warrior-king Louis XIV? Is the great bird who eventually bears him off in his talons supposed to stand for William III? The principal objection to any allegorical interpretation is that authors of allegory usually plant hints inviting such a reading, and it is difficult to discern any in the poem. To be sure, it contains an allusion to the mythological assault of the Giants on Olympus (III.132ff.), as does the previous poem on the Treaty of Rijswick (I.42ff.). Likewise his one describing a puppet-show contains an allusion to the war between the Pygmies and Cranes (VII.43ff.); thus, one could reason, the items of this series contain some deliberate system of cross-references designed to create a sense of intertextual connectedness. NOTE 15 But this all seems a bit tenuous, and the intention of such a cross-reference may simply be Addison’s enthusiasm for the miniature. Then too, the final transformation of the defeated Pygmies scarcely accords with any allegorical reading of the poem. A more plausible view is simply this. Bradner NOTE 16 observed that the Batrachomyomachia, a mock-heroic piece falsely attributed to Homer in antiquity, NOTE 17 was often translated into Latin as an exercise by young poets in the Renaissance (there survives, for example, one such translation by William Gager). The Battle Between the Pygmies and the Cranes (which, significantly, contains a reference to that pseudo-Homeric work) is a variation on the same idea.
13. Addison’s poem on the depiction of the Last Judgment in his college chapel (poem IV) is another exercise in ecphrasis. At the same time, it also represents another recognizable category of university verse: poems about the academic life. The present volume contains other specimens of the type: a humorous description of a Comitia session (co-authored by Charles Boyle, William Hayes, and Walter Gough), a description of the Westminster School (anonymous), a memorial poem about Dr. John Fell, former Dean of Christ Church (anonymous), and a similar one for Edward Pockock, professor of Oriental languages (E. Smith).
14. Academic drama and poetry was written by active young men with a lively interest in sports. Several Elizabethan writers had managed to work descriptions of the hunt into their works (for example William Gager in his tragedy Meleager, and his Oxford contemporary Richard Eedes in a satiric travelogue entitled Iter Boreale). Tastes in recreation had changed, and such passages were replaced by ones on more modern forms of gentlemanly recreation. Addison’s description of a bowling match (poem V) — the closest one comes to broad comedy in his Latin poems — finds a parallel in the same volume in Philip Frowde’s poem Cursus Glacialis, a description of ice skating.
15. Edward Hannes M. D. [d. 1710] of Christ Church, Oxon., later knighted, was the university reader of Chemistry. He contributed Latin poetry to at least two Oxford commemorative anthologies, on the death of Charles II (1685) and on William’s return from Ireland (1690); the former one is reprinted in the present volume. Addison’s ode in praise of an Oxford notable (poem VI) finds parallels of a sort elsewhere in the volume, in the form of memorial poems written on deceased Christ Church personalities: the aforementioned one on Dean Fell, and one by E. Smith on Edward Pockock, a Christ Church Canon. Unlike some of Addison’s previous efforts, this one is entirely serious. The Horatian contents of the latter stanzas are highly suitable for an Alcaic ode.
16. Addison’s description of a sidewalk puppet show (poem VII) is similar to that on the bowling game in that both describe a humble feature of contemporary life in Latin verse. Bradner wrote: NOTE 18

The Machinae gesticulantes…was probably written after the poem about the pygmies, for in lines 40 - 49 there are obvious references to the latter. It is a clever and amusing piece of work, in which the incongruity between the human appearance of the puppets and their actual wooden construction forms the basis of some excellent touches. This is best illustrated by the comment on Punch’s amorous proclivities

17. As suggested above, the Alcaic ode addressed to Thomas Burnet (poem VIII) may perhaps in part have been composed because Burnet’s visions of geological cataclysms appealed to Addison’s propensity for writing descriptive set-pieces about spectacular catastrophes; NOTE 19 nevertheless, this poem may also betoken a serious interest in contemporary scientific speculation unmatched by any other poems in this volume. Bradner commented rather tartly that: NOTE 20

The magnitude of the subject and the enthusiasm of Addison’s praise would perhaps have found better expression in the heroic eloquence of hexameters or elegiacs than in the traditionally moderated urbanity of the alcaic ode.

It might be fairer to say that, in an age witnessing something of a resurgence of interest in the form of the Horatian ode — attested by a number of other items in the present volume — the poet is making an interesting, and remarkably successful, experiment in putting a traditional literary form to a new purpose.
18.We may pass in silence over poems IX and X, competent but reasonably typical specimens of the sort of courtly flattery that served as the standard fare for academic anthologies. The first was written to celebrate the accession of William and Mary, the second to commemorate William’s successful Irish campaign. The latter is evidently rescued from the tedium this kind of obsequious effusion normally induces by a broadly satirical eulogy of the recently-deceased Duke of Buckingham.
19. Now that this survey of the individual items in the collection has been completed, we may return to Johnson’s observation that “When the matter is low or scanty, a dead language, in which nothing is mean because nothing is familiar, affords great conveniences; and by the sonorous magnificence of Roman syllables, the writer conceals penury of thought and want of novelty.” The verdict is seriously misguided. The first poem in the series was of course written in earnest, and, as Williams and Kelsall pointed out, Addison’s choice of Latin to celebrate William’s imposition of peace on Europe was in essence a political one: “…in Virgil a style had already been polished, venerable by precedent…which magically united heroic myth and present achievement,” NOTE 21 thereby imbuing the king’s success with a dignity and significance that would have been difficult if not impossible to achieve in a vernacular poem. In writing about such humble and everyday things as the battle of the Pygmies and the Cranes, a barometer, a bowling green, or a puppet show (and also, for that matter, a fireworks display or a boy playing with toy soldiers) Addison — in the company of other writers included in this anthology — employs variations on a single strategy. The ironically inappropriate — sometimes approaching burlesque — use of “the sonorous magnificence of Roman syllables” to create whimsical and occasionally comical incongruity is precisely what supplies the novelty and delight Johnson failed to appreciate. Only a reader capable of regarding the spectacle of a cultivated mind at play as “penury of thought” can complain, for these poems display a most highly civilized order of playfulness.

20. The text employed here is that of A. C. Guthkelch’s edition, NOTE 22 founded on collation of the various sources in which Addison’s Latin appeared (sometimes in more than one source, with alterations). When possible, Guthkelch took his texts from the 1721 authorized edition of Addison’s works put out by the writer’s friend, the poet William Tickell, which “may be regarded as the final authority for everything contained in it” (p. v). The original sources in which Addisons’ Latin poetry appears are:

1. Vota Oxoniensia pro serenissimis Guilhelmo rege et Maria regina M. Britanniæ &c. nuncupata quibus accesserunt Panegyrica oratio & carmina gratulatoria, comitiis in Theatro Sheldoniano habitis, ipso inaugurationis die XI april, MDCLXXXIX. Oxonii e Theatro Sheldoniano, 1689 [Early English Books, 1641-1700 mic cademiæ Oxoniensis gratulatio pro exoptato serenissimi regis Guilielmi ex Hibernia reditu Oxoniæ E Theatro Sheldoniano, 1690 [Early English Books, 1641-1700 microfilm series, reel 1024, item 9]

3. Examen poeticum duplex, sive, Musarum anglicanarum delectus alter cui subjicitur Epigrammatum seu poematum minorum specimen novum.Londini Impensis Ric. Wellington, 1698 [Early English Books, 1641-1700 microfilm series, reel 530, item14]

4. The second volume of Musarum Anglicanarum Analecta (1699), as described above. 

In citing sources of individual poems and variant readings, these publications will be identified simply by reference to their dates of publication.
20. The sources for the individual poems may be summarized in the following table:






















 21. I should like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Professor Dirk Sacré for valuable suggestion of ways in which this edition could be corrected and improved. 

22. Since this edition was first posted, Estelle Haan has published Vergilius Redivivus: Studies in Joseph Addison’s Latin Poetry (Philadelphia, 2005). Although the primary subject of this highly illuminating work is the influence of Vergil on Addison, Professor Haan has taken the opportunity to publish, for the first time, Addison’s cycle of epigrams on the British victory at Vigo Bay in 1702, preserved in British Library ms. Add. 37349, fols. 57f. (Whitworth Papers); in her book, the poems are printed (with facing English translations) on pp. 172 - 175, discussed in Chapter 7 (pp. 125 - 138), and the relevant pages of the manuscript are photographically reproduced as Plates 5 and 6 (following p. 138). Professor Haan has graciously given her permission for me to add these items to the present edition, where they are numbered as XI - XV.
23. Addison wrote this cycle during his stay in Vienna in autumn 1702, and they are preserved among the diplomatic dispatches of Charles Whitworth, who was stationed there at the time, in Whitworth’s own handwriting. It celebrates the victory of the Anglo-Dutch fleet commanded by Sir George Rooke over a combined French and Spanish fleet on October 23, 1702. The French and Spanish warships were stationed to protect a treasure fleet riding in the harbor and Rooke’s attack was a brilliant success: all of the enemy warships were either captured or burned, and about a million pounds of treasure taken. The fact that fire figured prominently in the battle serves to explain the recurrent use of fire imagery throughout Addison’s cycle. The poems are preceded by a quotation of Aeneid I.361ff.,

Conveniunt, quibus aut odium crudele tyranni
Aut metus acer erat; naves, quae forte paratae,
Corripiunt onerantque auro, portantur avari
Pygmalionis opes pelago; dux femina facti.

These are prefaced by a note, Application: the affair of Vigo. Haan prints this immediately before Addison’s cycle, as if were placed there by the poet’s own choice, but it is highly unlikely that this is so. As she herself notes (p. 130), the effect of applying these Vergilian lines to the Vigo situation is implicitly to equate Queen Anne with Dido. So juxtaposing this Application with the cycle would have the effect of sabotaging one of the things Addison is attempting to do. Contemporary poets who wrote in Latin frequently called Elizabeth Elisa, often merely for metrical convenience, but at times to draw some kind of explicit comparison between Elizabeth and Dido (Elissa is her other name in Vergil). This is true, for example, of the Epilogue to William Gager’s well-known 1583 Oxford tragedy Dido. Surely Addison’s intention was to maintain that traditional identification of “Elisa” as Elizabeth at XI.1 as a means of comparing Anne’s victory at Vigo Bay to Elizabeth’s defeat of the Armada. This idea seems reinforced by the concluding item in the cycle, XV, which appears to imply that, just as Dido and Anna were sisters in Vergil, so Queen Anne is a kindred spirit to Elizabeth in the modern world.



NOTE 1 The instrumentality of this body of Latin verse for making Addison’s name both at home and on the Continent is described in the first pages of Macauley’s Life and Writings of Addison.
NOTE 2 The only modern critical appraisal is found in the pages devoted to Addison by Leicester Bradner, Musae Anglicanae: A History of Anglo-Latin Poetry 1500 - 1925 ( New York, 1940, reprinted New York, 1966) 210 - 12, 222f. See also Bradner’s “The Composition and Publication of Addison’s Latin Poems,” Modern Philology 35 (1937 - 38) 359 - 67.
NOTE 3 For the instrumentality of writing Latin poetry in career advancement, see the illuminating remarks of Philip Clarence Dust, Carmen Gratulans Adventu Serenissimi Principis Frederici Comitis Palatini ad Academiam Cantabrigiensem: An Edition with Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (two vols., published collectively as Vol. 8 of the Salzburg Studies in English Literature: Elizabethan and Renaissance Studies, Salzburg, 1975 ) I.xviii., and also those of J. A. W. Bennett and H. R. Trevor-Roper, The Poems of Richard Corbett (Oxford, 1955) xii. These writers, to be sure, were writing about earlier generations, but their remarks may nonetheless retain a certain applicability for the young Addison’s times.
NOTE 4 Bradner lists these items, op. cit 213. The 1612 Delitiae Poetarum Germanorum is available here .
spacer NOTE 5 Described by Bradner, pp. 212 - 16. As he pointed out, a striking feature of this anthology is that no Anglo-Latin poets prior to Milton are represented. Surely this is at least in part due to the havoc worked on the universities by the Civil War, Commonwealth, and Restoration, which caused massive and abrupt changes in their populations, and so deranged the continuity of their traditions and internal cultures.
NOTE 6 A volume criticized in the Preface to the present collection with a severity difficult to understand as it included several Addison poems.
NOTE 7 Printed at Oxford in 1699 E Theatro Sheldonio, impensis Joh. Crosley; reprints in 1714, 1721, 1741 (this one prepared by Vincent Bourne), and 1761. Although this volume was the principal vehicle by which Addison achieved visibility, it is not the only one in which his Latin poetry appeared. See the description of textual sources later in the Introduction.
NOTE 8 Op. cit. 219.
NOTE 9 For convenience of citation the poems are numbered sequentially here.
NOTE 10 R. D. Williams and Malcolm Kelsall, “Critical Appreciations V: Joseph Addison, Pax Gulielmi Auspiciis Europae Reddita, 1697, Lines 96 - 132 and 167 - End,” Greece and Rome 27 (1980) 48 - 59.
NOTE 11 In his life of Addison, Macauley compared Addison’s description of the Pygmy king at III.75ff. with Swift’s one of the king of Lilliput; the comparison could readily be generalized.
NOTE 12 Op. cit. 221.
NOTE 13 Published posthumously in Early Writings of Robert Percy Smith (Chiswick, 1850).
NOTE 14 Op. cit. 222f.
NOTE 15 For the same reason, it is conceivable that at I.71 Addison states that Christopher Codrington was born in India rather than the West Indies, because India is the setting of his war between the Pygmies and the Cranes (III.19). Yet one hastens to admit that, if he did deliberately attempt to build a system of intertextuality into some of these poems, that would have been disguised by the fact this set of poems were not printed contiguously, but rather distributed throughout the volume.
NOTE 16 Other Latin translations of this work were published by Christopher Johnson (1580) and Huntingdon Pomptre (1629): cf. J. W. Binns, Intellectual Culture in Elizabethan and Jacobean England: The Latin Writing of the Age (Leeds, 1990) 229. Such translations also exist outside of England, beginning with the one published by Johannes Reuchlin (Rome, 1474)
NOTE 17 According to the Suda lexicon, its actual author was Pigres the Carian, who wrote in the early fifth century B. C. But this work has been appraised as Alexandrian by H. Wölke, Untersuchungen zur Batrachomyomachia (Meisenheim am Glan, 1978) 46 - 70.
NOTE 18 Op. cit. 223.
NOTE 19 Bradner (p. 211) suggested that it may have been written in response to the final version of Barnet’s treatise, in 1689. He noted that, although the poem takes the form of a Horatian ode, Addison completely violates Horace’s precept nil admirari.
NOTE 20 Ib. 212.
NOTE 21 Op. cit. 54.
NOTE 22 A. C. Guthkelch, The Miscellaneous Works of Joseph Addison (London, 1914) I.236 - 298.