Versions of History from Antiquity to the Enlightenment by Donald R. Kelley

By Donald R. Kelley

The issues, reasons and strategies of background writing were the topic of assorted debate for nearly 3 millennia. This ebook is a set of perspectives on a variety of basic ancient questions via Western historians from early Greece to the top of the 18th century.

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For if there appear to be certain omissions in my general exposition of it, the detailed discussion which follows will afford the reader ample compensation for any difficulties now left unsolved. What then are the beginnings I speak of and what is the first origin of political societies? When owing to floods, famines, 'failure of crops or other such causes there occurs such a destruction of the human race as tradition tells us has more than once happened, and as we must believe will often happen again, all arts and crafts perishing at the same time, then in the course of time, when springing from the survivors as from seeds men have again increased in numbers and just like other animals form herds-it being a matter of course that they too should herd together with those of their kind owing to their natural weakness-it is a necessary consequence that the man who excels in bodily strength and in courage will lead and rule over the rest.

Indeed, they could not unite for this expedition till they had, gained increased familiarity with the sea.... With respect to their towns, later on, at an era of increased facilities of navigation and a greater supply of capital, we find the shores becoming the site of walled towns, and the isthmuses being occupied for the purposes of commerce, and defence against a neighbour .... The coast populations now began to apply themselves more closely to the acquisition of wealth, and their life became more settled; some even began to build themselves walls on the strength of their newly acquired riches.

Your own eyes saw the preparations of Darius against these men; but death came upon him, and balked his hopes of revenge. In his behalf, therefore, and in behalf of all the Persians, I undertake the war, and pledge myself not to rest till I have taken and burned Athens, which has dared, unprovoked, to injure me and my father. Long since they came to Asia with Aristagoras of Miletus, who was one of our slaves, and entering Sardis, burnt its temples and its sa- MYTHISTORY cred groves; again, more lately, when we made a landing upon their coast under Datis and Artaphernes, how roughly they handled us you do not need to be told.

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