Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series II/Volume II/Socrates/Prefatory Note
The basis of the present edition of Socrates’ Ecclesiastical History is the translation in Bagster’s series mentioned in the Introduction, Part IV. The changes introduced, however, are numerous. The translation was found unnecessarily free; so far as the needs of the English idiom require freedom no fault could, of course, have been found with the translation; but the divergences from the original in multitudes of cases were not warranted by any such need; they were more probably induced by the prevailing style of rhetoric common in the days when the translation was made. The change which has gradually come about in this respect called for modifications in the present edition. Many more might have been introduced without damage to the work. But it was felt that the scope and purpose of the edition only called for the most necessary of these changes.
In the preparation of the notes the editions of Hussey and Reading, containing Valesius’ and Reading’s annotations, were freely used. Whenever a note was taken bodily from these, it has been quoted and duly credited. It was thought best, however, usually to condense and reduce the number and bulk of these notes and introduce sparingly such new notes as were suggested by more recent study in ecclesiastical history.
The Introduction is almost altogether dependent on the literature quoted in Part I. The writer claims no original discovery respecting Socrates or his work. The facts had been diligently collected by his predecessors; he has simply rearranged them and put them into expression such as, to his mind, suits the requirements of the plan of the series.