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The Roman Historians

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9780415117746
Author(s): Ronald Mellor
Format: Paperback
Year: 1999
Edition: 1st
Publisher: Routledge
Dimensions: 139 x 217 x 18 (w x l x h)
Pages: 224

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The Roman's devotion to their past pervades almost every aspect of their culture: art, poetry, law and religion. But the clearest image of how the Romans wished to interpret their past, and thus define themselves as a people, can be found in their historical writings. It is in these works that we find momentous events in the history of the people: Romulus' foundation of Rome; the madness of Caligula; Nero's burning of Rome; and the Civil War of 69 AD. The Romans did not record these events dispassionately, but their historical writings were passionate statements linking the past and the preseent. This book examines in detail the ideas and presentation of the mahor Roman historians - Sallust, Livy, Tacitus and Ammianus - as well as other genres of historical writing. The biographies written by Nepos, Tacitus, Suetonius, and those called the Augustan History and the autobiographies of Julius Caesar and the Emperor Augustus are also analysed to explore how these genres differ in the Roman mind from narrative history.
Ronald Mellor demonstrates that Roman historical writing was regarded by its authors as a literary, not a scholarly exercise, and how it must be evaluated in that context. He shows that history writing was, political structures of ancient Rome is reflected in the histories produced under different regimes.

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