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The Greek Historians

by T. James Luce

  • ISBN: 9780415105934
  • ISBN10: 0415105935

The Greek Historians

by T. James Luce

  • List Price: $46.95
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Publish date: 02/01/1997
  • ISBN: 9780415105934
  • ISBN10: 0415105935
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Description: The Greeks invented history as a literary genre in the fifth century B.C.: the first historians owing much to Homer and adopting his vivid and direct style in narrating historical events. Despite the influence of Homer, however, the birth of history was fundamentally a reaction against mythical accounts of the past. Homer wrote about war and travel in foreign lands, in the distant and mythical past; in contrast, the Greek historians of the fifth century wrote about contemporary or very recent events, where eyewitnesses could be interviewed and facts checked.

The Greek Historians follows the development of history from Herodotus, via Thucydides, Xenophon and Polybius, until the Hellenistic age. It introduces the individual writers and their topics, and outlines their attitudes to historiography and their mutual criticisms. Such themes as the uses and value of truth and causation are traced, as well as the growing constraints on free speech under Hellenistic monarchs and the Romans.

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