|Author||Ulrich Von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff|
|Publication Date||June 23, 2012|
Magdalen College offered me hospitality; for a very famous Magdalen man has been an intimate friend of mine since my first years as a student. It is now forty years since I first acquired for my library, as my first book of learning in theE nglish language, Edward Gibbon simmortal history. And now that I am here to expound to you my thoughts about the growth and the nature of historical writing in Greece, I gladly make Gibbon my starting-point. Of course his work is admirable. Of course noG reek produced anything like it. And yet, if we apply to it the canon of historical research which the nineteenth century brought into vogue, it can only be called a work of research in the same qualified sense as the works of the ancients. Gibbon was no researcher in the strict sense. He made no inquiry into sources ;he arrived at no new fact or datum. Despite all the labour he spent in reading his original authorities, despite all the freedom of his judgement, he walked in a prescribed path and he accepted a tradition. Without the laborious compilations which were achieved in the age of polyhistory ,without, for instance, the unsurpassable industry and learning ofT illemont, Gibbon swork would be unthinkable.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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