The Ancient Historians


Book Details

Author  Michael Grant
Publisher  Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd
Publication Date   November 30, 1995
ISBN  0715626949
Pages  486


If Greece and Rome are held to be the cradles of Western civilization, this is in part due to the fact that they are the cradles of written history. Between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D. men such as Herodotus, Thucydides and Tacitus virtually invented the discipline of history as we know it. To these men history was a dual art; the art of recording the truth as accurately as possible and the art of writing as lucidly as the great men of letters. This text offers an examination of the primary chroniclers of the ancient world. Beginning with Herodotus and Thucydides and their very different approaches to narration, the book discusses the works and methods of the founders of the historical discipline. After a further discussion of the important later Greek historians, Xenophon and Polybius, the book then examines the Roman masters of the form - Cato, Sallust and Julius Caesar, Livy, Josephus and Tacitus. It then encompasses two masters of biographical history, Plutarch and Suetonius, before concluding with a very different view of the later Empire, Eusebius and Ammianus. It records the thousand-year struggle to create a durable record of human affairs.

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