The other Ancient Greek Historians

XENOPHON:

          He was a soldier and historian. His work is Memorabilia. It preserves the recollections of his master Socrates, but Plato’s work. His work Pictures socio economic life of ancient Greeks. His other works includes Arabasis and Hellenica. He continued where Thucydides left it.

         Other historians were Ephorus who wrote General history of Greek. Teopompus gave a survey of Greek politics.

POLYBIUS:

               He was the greatest of later historians. He represents the transition of historical thought from the Greek to the Roman. He wrote 40 books that cover 53 years from 221 BC to 144 BC and deals with Roman expansion and fall of Greece, only the first five books survive all others lost.

  • His writing mainly focused on criticism and objective writing.
  • He felt a comprehensive view of human development can be attained only by the study of universal history and not regional history.
  • He rejected the theocratic conception of history that believed causes of events were by divine or mysterious. He tried to ascertain the geographical, social, economic, military causes of the event.
  • He influenced the Roman historiography. He discovered and preserved the greatness of Roman institutions, to the benefit of the generation to come.
  • He wants history to serve as philosophy teaching by experience and example. So it can be a practical guide.

It can explain why a policy failed or succeeded – so it can be instructive. So it can be used as a means and basis for learning from part for calculating the future. So, history is not a theoretical branch but a guide to wisdom.

CRITICISMS:

  • His writing lacked the easy grace of Herodotus and material touch of Thucydides.
  • His language was vague.
  •  Used more words and many repetitions.
  • He lacked the skill of presenting a story effectively.