This is an accessible and concise overview of Greek and Roman history writing. The ancient historians were not always objective or accurate, and their intentions for writing were very different from those of modern historians. This introductory guide helps to unravel some of the difficulties involved in dealing with ancient source material, placing the work of ancient historians in its political, social and historical context for the contemporary reader. The chapters survey all of the major historians whose works are encountered most often by students during their period of study, including Herodotus, Thucydides, Sallust and Livy, as well as more minor Greek and Roman historians. Further chapters assess works of biography and literature as historical source material. "Alexander the Great", the subject of multiple works of history, biography and fiction, provides an enlightening case study in ancient historiography. Timelines of major historical events will place the writers within their historical context, and each chapter includes a full bibliography for ease of reference.
Susan Sorek is a research affiliate at the Open University, UK. Her volume The Jews Against Rome was published by Continuum in 2008.
Introduction; 1. The Early Historians - Greece Fifth and Fourth Century BC; 2. Herodotus, Father of History; 3. Thucydides; 4. Xenophon; 5. Minor Greek Historians; 6. The Roman Republic; 7. Polybius; 8. Caesar; 9. Sallust; 10. Livy; 11. The Imperial period to the fall of Rome; 12. Josephus; 13. Tacitus; 14. Dio Cassius; 15. Ammianus Marcellinus; 16. Early Church Historians; 17. Minor Roman Historians; 18. Biography as History - Suetonius and Plutarch; 19. Men of Letters - the historical value of Cicero and Pliny the Younger; 20. Literature as History; 21. Other Sources; 22. Alexander the Great - a Case Study; 23. Summary and Conclusions.