Historiography and Biography
ΕκδότηςJohn Wiley and Sons
Place of publicationChichester
SourceA companion to Greek literature
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MetadataΕμφάνιση πλήρους εγγραφής
Greek historiography shares with Ionian prose the spirit of rationalism and empiricism, and builds up on the tradition of geography, ethnography, genealogy and local history: this is evident in Herodotus, the “father of history” (Cicero). Despite its opposition to myth, it develops techniques to express the general, deeper truths about the human past and present. Political and military history is at first represented by the extant, influential works of Thucydides and Xenophon (classical times), Polybius (Hellenism). A concern for the best form of government is discernible in the works of all mentioned historians, in parallel with an attempt to make reality agree with their philosophy of history. Hellenistic monarchy, the conquests of Alexander and the Roman empire are variously reflected in the historiography of Hellenistic and Roman times, with the ongoing focus on the individual (historians of Alexander, lost), ecumenical perspective (Diodorus), dialogue with Greek and Roman traditions and culture (Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Plutarch's biographies).