In this study, the author challenges the prevailing traditions of researching and writing about ancient civilizations. He questions, for example, the special status accorded to classic texts, exposes the false assumptions historians have made, based on limited information, and presents the flaws inherent in conventional explanations of the Greek city-state. Emphasizing the need to ask the right questions in order to expand our understanding of life in the ancient world, this work shows how historians might better deal with the evidence that is available and offers alternative methods that can be used to reconstruct history.
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In ancient times war was universally held to be a natural condition, so Rome's claim to fight only just wars, hypocritical though it may have been, reflected a genuine conflict of values. University of Cambridge historian Finley brings to these reflections on ancient history an insistence that we avoid imposing our own preconceptions on the way things actually were. His short polemic reminds us that primary sources are inexact, archeological evidence is scanty, statistics are suspect, and that the ancients liked to invent; Thucydides' chronicles notwithstanding, we will never be certain what Pericles told the Athenian assembly in 430 b.c. Finley knocks sociologist Max Weber for putting too much emphasis on Greek demagogues' charisma; rabble-rousers' platforms and promises are what swayed the masses, he maintains. He asserts that it is up to each historian to ask the right questions and supply a meaningful conceptual framework, and this underlying credo gives these scholarly essays point and pith. February
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
'The most influential ancient historian of our time Indisputably the most valuable writing on ancient history since 1945.', New York Review of Books
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. All orders are dispatched the following working day from our UK warehouse. Established in 2004, we have over 500,000 books in stock. No quibble refund if not completely satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # mon0002535387
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Book Description Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1987. Original Pictorial Wrappers. Book Condition: Used - Very Good. No Jacket. Fourth Impression. 131 pages. Paperback edition. Very minor soiling and creasing to covers else in very good condition. Size: Octavo (standard book size). Item Type: Paperback. Quantity Available: 1. Shipped Weight: Under 250 grams. Category: Penguin Classics; Anthropology & Archaeology; Ancient Greece; Britain/UK; 1980s; ISBN: 0140134425. ISBN/EAN: 9780140134421. Pictures of this item not already displayed here available upon request. Inventory No: 005698. Bookseller Inventory # 005698
Book Description Penguin Books, 1992. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Near Fine. NF. Tight, clean and unmarked. Bookseller Inventory # 010992
Book Description Penguin, London, 1987. Soft Cover. Book Condition: Very Good. No Jacket. Reprint. 131pp. 7.6 inches. Stiff plasticised card covers, library reinforced binding of the pb. Illustration of Athena the Thinker from the Acropolis. Ex-university lib bookplate etc, else vg. Interesting discussion of how to treat the various kinds of evidence in reconstructing ancient civilizations. (History, Ancient, Archaeology). Bookseller Inventory # C10761
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