This vast study, first published between 1784 and 1818, and written on an unprecedentedly large historical scale, was begun at the urging of the author's friend Edward Gibbon. William Mitford (1744-1827), a scholar of private means, a magistrate and an MP, was concerned for the preservation of national and military stability, and he in part used his work to draw parallels between the rise of Athenian democracy and the contemporary status of the British constitution. This stance drew some criticism initially, but Mitford's approach was later praised in the wake of the French Revolution. The History, therefore, offers fascinating insights into its own time as well as a study of ancient Greece. The four volumes reissued here are from the uniform edition of 1808. Volume 1 covers the period from Greece's earliest foundations to the time of Pericles and the end of the first Peloponnesian War in 445 BCE.
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