The insertion of death notices for significant historical figures is a typical feature of ancient historical writing. This study investigates the subject matter of such obituaries and its connection with other memorials for the dead. In particular, it traces the use of various topoi in successive authors to shed light on their aims and methods. The individualism of major historians, such as Polybius, Livy, and Tacitus, becomes especially apparent when their efforts are contrasted with the mechanical application of commonplaces by lesser writers.
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