Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Lukian of Samosata on Historiography

Lukian wrote at least one essay that has to do with historiography.

In The Way to Write History, he pours his scorn on the side shows, stylistic imitations, inability to speak the military vocabulary, and pretentiousness of the historical writing of his day, being overly concerned with the present-day effect and not with the long range insights for humanity. The perfect historian is above all else a student of truth, and reports it in as stylistically straight-forward way as possible, without taking sides or condemning the actors, telling the important and shortening the unimportant, hopping to the place of the most interesting as needed, and giving the implausible as is, without commenting on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment