By Charles W. Hedrick Jr.
This e-book introduces scholars to the manager disciplines, equipment and assets hired in 'doing' old historical past, instead of 'reading' it. The book:
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Extra info for Ancient History: Monuments and Documents
The idea is expressed particularly frequently in connection with agriculture. Perhaps the most famous statement is to be found in one of the choruses of Sophocles’ drama, the Antigone. Man’s art, the ability to grow crops, navigate the seas, hunt, and build have raised him above creation: “there are many awesome things, but none more than man” (332–75). Comparable ideas can be found associated with the notion of homo faber, man the builder: it is through technology that man opposes nature. Strabo provides another Roman instance of the thought.
We have learned to temper her, to modify her, to fit her to our needs and our desires. ” Of course there is such a thing as “primeval” nature, a nature untouched by man. But this we seldom meet, for the history of man has been in large part the history of creating a new nature, distinct from this primeval nature. Primeval nature at no time controlled man; at most it imposed limits. The world is, so to speak, a blank canvas. We must paint on the canvas, but we can use whatever colors we have available to us on our palette.
Of course no Greek produced anything like it. And yet, if we apply to it the canon of historical research which the nineteenth century brought into vogue, it can only be called a work of research in the same qualified sense as the works of the ancients. Gibbon was no researcher in the strict sense. He made no inquiry into sources; he arrived at no new fact or datum. Despite all the labour he spent in reading his original authorities, despite all the freedom of his judgement, he walked in a prescribed path and he accepted a tradition.