1. Who are the more noted historians of the ancient world?
2. What impact did the advent of early Christianity have upon a concept of history?
4. Discuss the historical orientations of the Renaissance and Reformation.
5. What was the influence of Marx?
6. Reflecting on the average person in society, how have historians tried to articulate this facet in history?
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AE 105878/Xenia Jones
European History Q & A
Q. Who are the more noted historians of the ancient world?
A. There are a number of noted personalities that have written about the people and society of their time in the Ancient Days. But surviving material from this period of human history pertain mostly to those works which have survived, preserved from the collection of ancient libraries that have ended up in the purview of the Roman Empire. The work of Greek historians then like Thucydides and Herodotus figure as they recounted the life and times of the Greeks and their world, with Thucydides recounting the wars of his time (The Peloponnesian War) and Herodotus writing about cultures, individuals and peoples that inhabited his Greek world. Then there is the Roman Plutarch who wrote biographies of important Greeks and Romans whose lives impacted civilization. If we are to include that of Easter culture - there is Liu Xiang of the Middle Kingdom (China) who catalogued the extensive library of the Chinese emperor in the Hand Dynasty. But since we are talking of European history here, you cannot go wrong with Herodotus, Thucydides and Plutarch. Herodotus work 'The Histories' recorded the stories he heard and the lives and cultures he has observed. He collected his information systematically and was critical about pieces of information he heard that he has not observed yet listed them which represented elements about the culture and the people. He looked into the origin of the Greco-Persian wars and was one of the pioneers of ethnographic information gathering. For this, he is known as 'The Father of History'. He lived from 484-425 BC. Thucydides meanwhile lived from 460-365 BC and was a soldier. His work, 'History of the Peloponnesian War' established the science of historiography where he ensured that chronology and social situatedness (description of society and people in a period in time) where practiced so that when he gathered evidence and analysed them, he followed a timeline as well as logic, free from references to religion and the supernatural. For this he is seen as the originator of scientific history. Plutarch meanwhile lived from 46-120 AD and his biographies of Roman Emperors from Augustus to Vitelius established the practice of chronicling periods in human history based on leadership and reign of those in power. He also looked into the lives of ancient figures like Alexander the Great and of cultures like that of the Spartans so that they gave a glimpse into the lives and times of the figure and their cultures. His interest is about their characters as he places them within a historic timeline.
For more on these, see:
1. Plutarch - Karamanolis, George (2010). "Plutarch", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2010 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2010/entries/plutarch/
2. Thucydides - University Press (2012). Thucydides. URL: http://www.ancientgreece.com/s/People/Thucydides/ ...
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