Writing Ancient History

Writing Ancient History


By (author) Neville Morley

List price $28.95

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  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 176 pages
  • Dimensions: 132mm x 211mm x 15mm | 227g
  • Publication date: 1 October 1999
  • Publication City/Country: Ithaca
  • ISBN 10: 0801486335
  • ISBN 13: 9780801486333
  • Edition statement: New.

Product description

How do ancient historians pursue their craft? From the evidence of coins, pottery shards, remains of buildings, works of art, and, above all, literary texts all of which have survived more or less accidentally from antiquity they fashion works of history. But how exactly do they go about reconstructing and representing the past? How should history be written? These and related questions are the subject of Neville Morley's engaging introduction to the theory and philosophy of history. Intended for students and teachers not only of ancient history but of historiography, the philosophy of history, and classics, his book addresses the implications of debates over methodological and theoretical issues for the practice of ancient history. At the present time, Morley says, students of ancient history are left to come to their own understanding of the field through a process of trial and error. In his view, too many professors regard "questions of theory and methodology . . . as pointless distractions from the business of actually doing history. Worse, [these questions] may even be perceived as a threat to the subject." Asserting that more attention must be given to fundamental matters, Morley considers such topics as the nature of historical narrative, style in historical writing, the use and abuse of sources, and the reasons for studying history."

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Review quote

"Morley has a gift for informative exposition that is 'reader friendly' and engaging as he addresses the methodological and theoretical issues for the practice of interpreting and recording ancient history. Writing Ancient History is a highly recommended introduction to how history is written and prepared for both academic and non-specialist general readers and will prove of immense interest and value to students, teachers, and history buffs." Midwest Book Review"