The original translation, with its many excellences, seems to belong to an earlier school. It is free both in enlargement and in compression; words at times, and occasionally clauses, are inverted. The editor felt the difficulty of recasting such a flowing style; yet, in spite of the resulting infelicity, he felt constrained to make every possible correction, and these have been very numerous and extended in caption and text.
Sozomen uniformly describes the ancient heathen cult, of whatever form it might be, as Hellenism, and its followers, Hellenists. It seemed advisable to retain the rendering |paganism,| which the first translator used toward the middle and the end of his work, although he had not been uniform in the beginning; any other translation would cause a constant confusion between nationality and religion.
In order to give a better impression of the author and text, the spelling of the proper names indicated by the text has been adhered to; the orthography |Novatus| is not a real exception. Where the spelling of a proper name in the caption differs from that of the text, the differences of origin between the two must be borne in mind. To the Pseudo-Nicephorus are due the headings; these variations have been preserved purposely.
The notes have been for the greater part limited to the sources, previous or contemporary. It has not been deemed necessary to load the text with references to the literature, ancient or modern, sufficiently indicated in the Bibliography. It is just for the editor to say, that while the literature is not unfamiliar to him, he does not believe in the modern German method of annotation and allusion to every book under the sun, to the grave impediment of individual study. Similarly, the dictionaries show the biography and archæology in a better form than can be compressed into a note. Nor did the editor think it best to introduce into the translation any technical discussion as to the errors of Sozomen.