Blog, Historiography

Greek Historians

As a matter of the fact, historiography is the product of  Greek mind, which made it as a powerful a branch of knowledge as literature and philosophy. For a long, ancient Greece was lost in politics and conflicts. Until the climax of her civilization, the country produced no real history. Yet, the circumstances appeared favourable for the development of historical sense and historical writing.

  1. Situated on the higway between the East and the west, greeece served as the meeting ground of peoples and civilzations. The rapaidly with which their own civilization developed and the frequency with which they came into contact with other cultures firnished tehm with historical material of varied interest.
  2. Secondly, the ancient Greeks discovered the importance of change.  On account of the frequent changes in the modules of life of eth people because earthquakes, sea erosion and change in political systems of the city states, they realized that nothing could remain unchanged. A study of these changes appeared essential for theirguidance in future.
  3. In the meatime, they gained experience in analyseis and criticism, necessary for historicalthinking and writing. Unitil the fifth century BCE, the Greek historical interest remained centered on the city states of Greece. The geopgraphical area was a political unit and what happened wthin the city states engaged the thinking of historians. As foreigner like the Macedonians and Persians wree considered as enemies, their doing did not figure in their writing. However, this attitude appeared outmoduled when the greek forces and Greek idea crossed the geographical frontier and conquered alien lands. Alexander the great led his force eastward to the Indus.  The Greek general carved out empires of their own. The boundaries which appeared to have xisted between  the Greek and the barbarians, according to Greek jugdement, crumbled. These changes of great magnitude had their natural impact upon the historical attitude of eth Greeks.

Beside personal obersvation and eyewitness accounts wee no longer found essential for the acquisition of authentic knowledge. As  local his was  no found fascinating, wider areas were to be taken as subjects of  historical study. Thes rendered  the writing of history complex.

To begin with, the Greek treated history as branch of literature and gave importance to rhetoric. The early writers reproduced in simple form the tradition and legends about the origin of towns about people and about political events. Known as logographers, they wrote in prose form and recited their accounts at the festivals with a view to giving delight to the people. However, by the sixth century BCE the chronicles of the Ionian cities initiated the wring of works, which were more of a historical nature.

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