A Companion to Ancient History (Blackwell Companions to the by Andrew Erskine

By Andrew Erskine

This Companion offers a complete advent to key subject matters within the examine of historical history.

* Examines the varieties of proof, difficulties, techniques, and significant subject matters within the examine of historical historical past
* includes greater than forty essays, written by way of best overseas students
* strikes past the first specialize in Greece and Rome with assurance of a few of the cultures in the historic Mediterranean
* attracts at the most modern study within the box
* presents a necessary source for any scholar of historic heritage

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One spoke of “the most complex and enthralling narratives of all time,” another of its interconnection with directly neighboring fields. Perhaps the most honest stated that it helped him win at Trivia. But that just suggests that ancient history is as firmly entrenched in popular culture as it is in the New South Wales school curriculum. It is part of the fabric of who we are and where we are. PART I Evidence A Companion to Ancient History Edited by Andrew Erskine © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

The chapters in this Companion show ancient historians and their colleagues at work, but by way of introduction I have asked several scholars to reflect on their experience of ancient history and what it means for them. Why I Study Ancient History, and Why I Suppose it Matters Josiah Ober, Professor of Classics and Political Science, Stanford University I have always been fascinated by politics – not parties or elections, but the play of power, legitimacy, and justice. Politics, in this extended sense, is at once a practical issue, an interpretative problem, and a moral concern: understanding any given political system or regime requires describing how it actually works, explaining why it works that way, and offering defensible reasons for why it ought to be otherwise (if in fact it ought).

The ancient world – and especially the world of the classical Greek poleis – seemed to offer the raw materials for understanding politics. Not surprisingly, reading Thucydides was a A Companion to Ancient History Edited by Andrew Erskine © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. ISBN: 978-1-405-13150-6 2 Personal Perspectives revelation. I realized, as have so many others, that Thucydides’ narrative of the events of the Peloponnesian war was the product of a profoundly powerful intelligence working at the descriptive and analytical sides of the power and legitimacy equation.

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