Download PDF by Andrew Erskine: A Companion to Ancient History (Blackwell Companions to the

By Andrew Erskine

ISBN-10: 1405131500

ISBN-13: 9781405131506

This Companion offers a entire advent to key issues within the learn of historical history.

* Examines the types of proof, difficulties, ways, and significant issues within the learn of old heritage
* contains greater than forty essays, written by way of major overseas students
* strikes past the first concentrate on Greece and Rome with assurance of a few of the cultures in the historical Mediterranean
* attracts at the most modern study within the box
* offers an important source for any pupil of old historical past

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Additional resources for A Companion to Ancient History (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World)

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After the fifth century BC, no era of antiquity lacked historians. Contemporary history, inaugurated by Thucydides, seems to have been preferred by the ancients (D. H. Ant. Rom. 1; Livy praef. 4) and its practitioners included Xenophon, Polybius, Sallust (in the Catiline and Histories), Tacitus (in the Histories) and A Companion to Ancient History Edited by Andrew Erskine © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. ISBN: 978-1-405-13150-6 14 John Marincola Ammianus. Even those historians known for their non-contemporary history – Diodorus, Livy, and Dio – wrote histories that began in the dim past but extended to their own day.

We can recognize, of course, that this mistaken perception of resemblance did not always have negative consequences: it has sustained intellectual curiosity, stimulated research, and favored the preservation of documents and monuments. Even in the political realm, it has at times provided authority and even some good ideas to both medieval and modern proponents of reform and change. All of this is indisputable. We must recognize, however, that much more often, the Roman mirror, in addition to dissolving into a sea of rhetoric and worthless bibliography, has fuelled passions of conquest, imperialistic tendencies and tyrannies.

As to documents, ancient historians seem never to have used these in the ongoing way that modern scholars since the eighteenth century have – that is, as a reliable underlying basis for an historical account. There were several reasons for this: first, documentary evidence was not systematically kept and was not easy to use in any regular way (Sickinger 1999; Bucher 1987); second, historians always preferred to inquire of eyewitnesses and participants (Lucian, Hist. conscr. 47); third, the focus on great individuals and great battles – on a great story, in short – meant that documents would have little importance in the fashioning of such a narrative; and finally, the ancients did not see documents as dispassionate witnesses, but as just another form of testimony that might or might not be reliable (Momigliano 1950; Marincola 1997: 103–5; but cf.

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A Companion to Ancient History (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World) by Andrew Erskine


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