Ancient Greece could not produce history due to politics and conflicts. Greece was a meeting place of people and civilizations. The development go shape in the surrounding regions of Asia, Europe and Africa.
- Their own civilization and contacts with other cultures furnished historical material of varieties.
- The changes which occurred due to earthquakes, soil erosion, political system and city states compelled them to record for their guidance in future.
- The court system and practices trained them to search for truth and study of evidences.
Development in writing:
Till 5th century BC, focused on city states of Greece. The geographical area was a political unit.
- The happenings of the state only impacted the historical writings – The Macedonians and Persians were enemies. It did not impact their writing.
- But Greeks crossed their geographical borders – Alexander the Great conquered Greece and led his forces eastward, hence the Greek culture and custom spread and this expansion called Hellenism. Their impaction historical attitude changed. The Greek historians discovered the outsides not as strangers but also had their own customs and tradition.
- Travels also contributed to historical writings.
- Local history was out modelled.
- Wider history and areas began to be found.
But though it was complex, yet challenging.
HISTORY OF GREEK WRITING:
- Greek treated history as a branch of literature and gave importance of rhetoric.
- Early writers reproduced the tradition, legends.
- On origin of towns, people and political events in simple form. It was known as logo graphics – written and recited in festivals to delight the people.
- In 6th century chronicles of the Ionian cities initiated writing in historical nature and it was the turning point in writing history.
HOMER TO HECTACUS:
- Homer wrote one of the most popular chronicles, Iliad and Odyssey which narrate the splendour of ancient Greek.
- Dionysius wrote Persica – list of Persia in 5 books.
- Charon was his contemporary who wrote ‘History of Greece & history of Persia.’
- Foundation of Greek historical writing laid by Hecataeus. He was a witness for Persian invasion of Greece, a diplomat, a traveller, he himself have a rich historical experience.
- He felt the ancient myths were ridiculous and he attempted to correct the wrong trend of historical and hence wrote – ‘History of Persian Empire and Western Europe’.
NATURE OF ANCIENT WRITING:
- This initiated the historical writing. Their contemporaries and fellow writers wrote on narrative history on men, things, cities, nations, political, military, literature and regional importance..
- Just to provide information.
- It was not critical.
- Persian war gave a new outlook to historical writing. The victory over Persia gave a confidence to Greek writers to write on them and people around.
- The social, economic and political changes gave rise to practical type writing in historical writing.
- The climax arrived during Herodotus, Thucydides and Polybius.