Advancing a new method to evaluate this fragmentary evidence, the authors argue that almost all relevant ancient testimony is liable to have been distorted during transmission. They present two conclusions: first, that there exists no principle of pernicious luxury as a force of historical causation in Hellenic or Hellenistic literature. Rather, that idea is derived from early Latin prose historiography and introduced from that genre into the Greek writers of the Roman period, who in turn project the process back in time to explain events such as the fall of Sybaris. The second conclusion is methodological. The authors lay down a strategy to determine the content and extent of fragments of earlier authors found in cover texts such as Athenaeus, by examining the diction along synchronic and diachronic lines.
Serious scholars of intellectual history, the history of morality, and historiographical methodology will find this work of interest.
Publisher: The University of Michigan Press
Number of pages: 560
Weight: 771 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 32 mm
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