By Charles W. Hedrick Jr.
This e-book introduces scholars to the manager disciplines, tools and assets hired in 'doing' historical heritage, in place of 'reading' it. The book:
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Additional info for Ancient History: Monuments and Documents
Edu/bmcr/). html). org) includes useful information of all kinds, including notably “Diotima,” a collection devoted to the study of women in classical antiquity. html). htm), will repay examination, even for those who do not read French. Introduction For the metaphor of history-writing as the invocation of ghosts, see U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Greek Historical Writing, and Apollo: Two Lectures Delivered Before the University of Oxford June 3 and 4, 1908, 25–6, who uses it to make a point entirely opposed to the one I make here: The tradition yields us only ruins.
In the modern conception, however, human culture is imagined as existing in opposition to the environment. People have it in their power to change and even destroy the natural world – indeed they have always done so, by domesticating plants and animals in the Neolithic, for example. Modern thought about man and the environment begins with the eighteenth century, when the focus of interpretation shifts from nature to the human; both came to be regarded as subject to change and history. The interpretation is characterized by an increasing acknowledgment that human activity has shaped the geography and climate of the world as much as natural events, such as floods and ice ages.
The commitment to a systematic approach to the sources is perhaps the defining methodological commitment of nineteenth-century historicism. Scholars of the nineteenth century had a keen sense that their work was distinct from all that had gone before. The uniqueness of their approach, they believed, was manifested most significantly in their practices of sourcecriticism. Here is Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (1848–1931), who may be regarded as one of the eminences of the nineteenth-century tradition of classical scholarship, discussing in 1908 the greatest ancient historian of the eighteenth century, Edward Gibbon (1737–94), the author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–88): Of course his work is admirable.
Ancient History: Monuments and Documents by Charles W. Hedrick Jr.