The Ancient Library

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Mutlna, 14th April, 43 b.c., when he was consul. Of the three works, the Bettum Alexanilrlnum, Bellum Africum, and Bel-lum Hispdnlense, which have come down to us with Caesar's Commentaries, the first may have been written by him. Of the other two, it has been conjectured that they were composed at his request, in pre­paration for his intended work on mili­tary commanders, and that having been found at his death among his papers, they were added, with his own writings, to the works of Caesar himself. (See caesar.)

History. (I) The composition of history, and indeed of all prose among the Greeks, originated with the lonians of Asia Minor, who also created the SpOs, the elegy, and iambic poetry. It was among them that, in the 6th century b.c., the Logogr&phl (g.v.), made their appearance. These writers treated the materials supplied by family and local stories in a style which gradually approached more and more to prose, but without any attempt at critical investigation or scientific arrangement. The most con­siderable writers in this style are also its latest representatives, HficAx^us of Miletus, hellanicus of Lesbos. The latter was a contemporary of herodotus of Halicar-uassus (about 486-424 b.c.), the Father of History. His work, written like the others in the Ionic dialect, was founded upon a vast collection of historical and geogra­phical material gathered in distant travels, and through the researches of many years. This mass of information he has, with great art, moulded into a homogeneous work, the main theme of which is the struggle of the <jreeks against the barbarians. The narra­tive is simple, but always attractive. The line of historians who wrote in the Attic dialect is headed by the Athenian thocy-DlDES, whose history of the Peloponnesian War is a masterpiece of the first order, grand alike in style and in matter. A con­tinuation of Thucydides was written by his countryman XENdPHON (about 431-355 b.c.) in his HeUeMca ; in his Aii&b&sls, Xenophon described the famous retreat of the Ten Thousand in a style as masterly as his generalship. In the Cyropaedla he gives a picture, idealized indeed, but not without foundation in fact, of the history of Cyrus. His contemporary ctesias of Cnldus, writ­ing in Ionic Greek, introduced his country­men to the history of the Persian empire. At the same time philistus of Syracuse, an imitator of Thucydides, compiled the history of Sicily from the earliest times

down to his own. In the second half of the 4th century b.c. appeared two cele­brated historians, theopompus of Chios' and EpHGRtrs of Cyme, both disciples of the rhetorician Isocrates. The chief work of Theopompus was a history of Philip of Macedon, from his accession to his death. Ephorus, in a great work embracing the whole course of events from the invasion of the Peloponnesus by the Heraclidse, to 345 b.c., was the first writer who attempted a universal history. To this period belong the numerous chronicles of Attic history, called Atthldls (see atthis). lu these compara­tively little regard is paid to style, less certainly than is paid by the historians just mentioned as succeeding Xenophon. The period of Alexander the Great and his suc­cessors was very fertile in historical writing. We may mention callisthenes, aristo-Bt?Lns, chares, onesicritus, clitarchus, and hieronymus (q.v.), who narrated contem­porary events in a style sometimes plain and simple, sometimes exaggerated. This was the age of the Sicilian TlM^EtJS, whose great work on the history of his native island won him little recognition, but who simplified chronology by introducing the method of reckoning by Olympiads, and thus estab­lished a lasting claim on the gratitude of historians. Among the better histories should be named the great work of phylar-ohus (about 210 B.C.), which began at the invasion of the Peloponnesus by Pyrrhus, and ended at the death of C166menes.

The Alexandrian scholar eratosthenes conferred an immense boon on historical investigation by his attempt to place chro­nology on the firm scientific foundation of mathematics and astronomy. His labours were continued by apollodorus, whose ChrSntca was the most important work on chronology produced in antiquity. This was a brief enumeration of the most important events, from the taking of Troy, which he dated b.c. 1183, till his own time (b.c. 144). Only isolated fragments of the histories written after Xenophon have, in the great number of instances, come down to us. But we have a considerable part of the work of PoLYBins of Megalopolis (died about 122). This was a general history of the known world from the beginning of the second Punic War to the destruction of Carthage Its style has no just claim to artistic merit, but its contents make it one of the most remarkable of ancient Greek histories. In about 40 b.c. the Sicilian writer diodorus compiled a valuable general history from

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