Hindsight in Greek and Roman History (Hardback)Anton Powell (editor)
Hardback 300 Pages / Published: 30/11/2013
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One of the most fertile and fast-developing themes of recent historiography is treated by the 10 new papers in this volume. The history of the ancient world has traditionally been studied with a view to tracing the origins of those grand developments which eventually occurred. The writing of history is often simplified, by modern scholars as by some ancient sources, so as to read almost teleologically. 'Who', it may have been asked, 'wants to understand what did not happen?' But the most respected of our ancient sources, Herodotos, Thucydides, Tacitus and others, frequently describe the actors in their narratives as guided by fears and hopes concerning developments which did not happen, or by reflection on events which had happened but which subsequently did not play out as anticipated. As Tacitus wrote of Boudicca's revolt, the Britons were motivated by past Roman offences 'and the fear of worse'. Such - superficially - sterile, even vague, expectations tend to be neglected in scholarly discourse. But not only were unfulfilled expectations facts in themselves; they generated real actions. Further, even real and quite grand events - such as a battle won in a campaign eventually unsuccessful - are likely to be neglected if they do not seem to have led to larger developments still: in short, if they are inconvenient for a grand narrative or a syllabus. Yet, history cannot be understood without such things. Restoring them to their due prominence offers scope for a wide-ranging scholarly activity which is not only legitimate but necessary.
Publisher: Classical Press of Wales
Number of pages: 300
Weight: 567 g
Dimensions: 236 x 157 x 23 mm
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