The Histories of Polybius - Vol. 1

The Histories of Polybius - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

The Histories of Polybius - Vol. 1

The Histories of Polybius - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Fortune cast the life of Polybius in stirring times. His special claim to our admiration is that he understood the importance in the history of the world of the changes which were passing under his eyes, and exerted himself to trace the events which immediately preceded them, and from which they sprang, while it was yet possible to see and question surviving participators in them; to examine places, before they had lost all marks of the great events of which they had been the scene; and records or monuments before time had cast a doubt upon their meaning or authenticity. Nor is this ordinary praise. Men are apt to turn their eyes upon the past, as holding all that is worthy of contemplation, while they fail to take note of history "in the making," or to grasp the importance of the transactions of their own day. But as every year has its decisive influence on the years which succeed it, the greatest benefactor of posterity is the man who understands and records events as they pass with care and sincerity. Laborious compilation, from the study and comparison of ancient records and monuments, has its value: it may often be all that it is possible to obtain; it may not unfrequently even serve to correct statements of contemporaries which have been deformed by carelessness or coloured by prejudice. But the best compilation is infinitely inferior in interest and instructiveness to the barest report of a contemporary. And when such a man is also an eye-witness of much that he relates; when he knew and conversed with many of the chief actors in the great events which he records . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.