The Western Time of Ancient History

The Western Time of Ancient History : Historiographical Encounters with the Greek and Roman Pasts

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This book examines the conceptual and temporal frames through which modern Western historiography has linked itself to classical antiquity. In doing so, it articulates a genealogical problematic of what history is and a more strictly focused reappraisal of Greek and Roman historical thought. Ancient ideas of history have played a key role in modern debates about history writing, from Kant through Hegel to Nietzsche and Heidegger, and from Friedrich Creuzer through George Grote and Theodor Mommsen to Momigliano and Moses Finley; yet scholarship has paid little attention to the theoretical implications of the reception of these ideas. The essays in this collection cover a wide range of relevant topics and approaches and boast distinguished authors from across Europe in the fields of classics, ancient and modern history and the theory of historiography.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139007718
  • 9781139007719

Review quote

'This book of essays, uniformly learned, perspicuous, and philosophically sophisticated, constitutes a genuine revision of traditional notions of the relation between Greek and Roman ideas about temporality and historicity and their modern counterparts. The essays question the presumed genealogical affiliation between the Greek 'founders' of a historical idea of time and their modern avatars. Not only is history shown to have taken on many different forms and modes in antiquity, but the mainstream tradition begun by Herodotus and Thucydides is shown to have been quite alien to much of what is taken to be the orthodoxy of modern, post-Rankean historiography. The 'past' of the classical age will never look quite the same again.' Hayden White, University Professor of the History of Consciousness, Emeritus, University of California
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Table of contents

Introduction. Unfounding times: the idea and ideal of ancient history in Western historical thought Alexandra Lianeri; Part I. Theorising Western Time: Concepts and Models: 1. Time's authority Francois Hartog; 2. Exemplarity and anti-exemplarity in Early Modern Europe Peter Burke; 3. Greek philosophy and Western history: a philosophy-centred temporality Giuseppe Cambiano; 4. Historiography and political theology: Momigliano and the end of history Howard Caygill; Part II. Ancient History and Modern Temporalities: 5. The making of a bourgeois antiquity. Wilhelm von Humboldt and Greek history Stefan Rebenich; 6. Modern histories of Ancient Greece: genealogies, contexts and eighteenth-century narrative historiography Giovanna Ceserani; 7. Acquiring (a) historicity: Greek history, temporalities and eurocentrism in the Sattelzeit Kostas Vlassopoulos; 8. Herodotus and Thucydides in the view of nineteenth-century German historians Ulrich Muhlack; 9. Monumentality and the meaning of the past in ancient and modern historiography Neville Morley; Part III. Unfounding Time In and Through Ancient Historical Thought: 10. Thucydides and social change: between akribeia and universality Rosalind Thomas; 11. Historia magistra vitae in Herodotus and Thucydides? The exemplary use of the past, and ancient and modern temporalities Jonas Grethlein; 12. Repetition and exemplarity in historical thought: ancient Rome and the ghosts of modernity Ellen O'Gorman; 13. Time and authority in the chronicle of Sulpicius Severus Michael Williams; Part IV. Afterword: 14. Ancient history in the eighteenth century Oswyn Murray; 15. Seeing in and through time John Dunn.
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