Download A History of Histories: Epics, Chronicles, Romances and by John Burrow PDF

By John Burrow

This extraordinary ebook via one in all Britain’s so much well known historians describes the highbrow effect that the research and attention of heritage has had within the Western international over the last 2,500 years.

Treating the perform of historical past now not as an remoted pursuit yet as a side of human society and a vital a part of the tradition of Europe and the USA, John Burrow magnificently brings to lifestyles and explains the specific traits present in the paintings of historians from the traditional Egyptians and Greeks to the current, together with Livy, Tacitus, Bede, Froissart, Clarendon, Gibbon, Macaulay, Michelet, Prescott and Parkman. the writer units out to not supply us the background of educational self-discipline yet a background of selections: the alternative of pasts, and the methods they've been demarcated, investigated, awarded or even occasionally realized from as they've got replaced in accordance with political, spiritual, cultural, and (often most crucial) partisan and patriotic situations. Burrow goals, in addition, to alter our perceptions of the the most important turning issues within the historical past of historical past, permitting the information that historians have had approximately either their very own instances and their founding civilizations to emerge with unforeseen freshness.

Burrow argues that the background of heritage is among the best methods we need to comprehend the prior. definitely, this quantity stands on my own in its ambition, scale and fascination.

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Read Online or Download A History of Histories: Epics, Chronicles, Romances and Inquiries from Herodotus and Thucydides to the Twentieth Century PDF

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Additional info for A History of Histories: Epics, Chronicles, Romances and Inquiries from Herodotus and Thucydides to the Twentieth Century

Sample text

M o s t of their w o r k has 2,0 HERODOTUS been lost, but w h a t we k n o w of them, and the existing fragments, makes i t unlikely that anything like another Herodotus lies beyond the horizon of our knowledge. The best-known and probably most noteworthy precursor, Hecataeus of Miletus (b. 549 в с ) , was a geo­ grapher, mythographer and ethnographer of the Mediterranean and the countries around i t . He wrote surveys of Europe, Asia, N o r t h Africa (called by the Greeks Libya) and Ethiopia.

Herodotus is a garru­ lous, highly personal and conversational writer, w i t h no aversion to the first person; one meets h i m face t o face, as i t were, so that i t is not difficult t o imagine the readings he gave i n Athens by w h i c h his w o r k was apparently first made public. We k n o w his opinions, and hear of his travels, the wonders he has seen, the stories t o l d t o h i m , and his not infrequent scepticism about them. We can even reconstruct a good deal of his religious views, though here he is sometimes reticent.

I have heard before now that he also sent people to brand it with hot irons. He certainly instructed the men with the whips to utter, as they wielded them, the barbarous and presumptuous words: 'You salt and bitter stream, your master lays this punishment upon you for injuring him, who never injured you. '. In addition to punishing the Hellespont Xerxes gave orders that the men responsible for building the bridges should have their heads cut off. 35) Herodotus then goes on to give a technical description of h o w the bridges were rebuilt.

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