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View Poll Results: Was there a "Decline & Fall" of the Classical Historian in the 4th century?
NO 6 46.15%
YES 7 53.85%
OTHER 0 0%
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 12:41 AM   #11

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Originally Posted by El Cid View Post
And I made it clearly that I was talking about the Gibberish fabrication of a supposedly destruction of the great library of Alexandria in which you have perpetuated, which of course is utterly nonsense as it is a myth without foundation.

You have made this abundantly clear in many threads.

Please stop being fixated on the ultimate fate of the library of Alexandria during those terrible years of military duress and persecution of the pagans as evidenced by the decrees of Theodosius.


Who was the first historian after Ammianus to emulate the Classical style?
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 01:25 AM   #12

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Originally Posted by Kookaburra Jack View Post
You have made this abundantly clear in many threads.
No more than you have ignored it as it doesnít fit into your Gibbonic narrative that it did not happen, and that it was under the rule of Pagan Romans that it was destroyed.

I understand that it annoys you as an eager Gibbon-reader.





Quote:
Please stop being fixated on the ultimate fate of the library of Alexandria during those terrible years of military duress and persecution of the pagans as evidenced by the decrees of Theodosius.
The vast library of Alexandria declined under the rule of Pagan Romans and not Christian Romans, and it was destroyed by the Pagans, not Christians. And the myth of the burning library of Alexandria is a myth caused by your authority, Edward Gibbon, where he misinterpreted the sources so dismal and fabricated that myth:

Armarium Magnum: "Agora" and Hypatia - Hollywood Strikes Again

The Mysterious Fate of the Great Library of Alexandria

It was already destroyed by the Pagans prior, and the sources do not say that the Christians burned a vast library filled with scrolls as Edward Gibbonís disciples are perpetuating, as they ďonlyĒ burned pagan temples. No more difference from the Pagan persecutions of Christians and Manicheans under the rule of the Pagans Romans apart that the aggressors are Pagans and you donít want to admit it.


Quote:
Who was the first historian after Ammianus to emulate the Classical style?
Clearly you donít know any, and giving your relying of nonacademic works from 1700ís that should not surprise any here who are historians that your Gibbonic crap, which by the way are outdated teachings from 1700ís, doesnít correspond very well with what the scholars state these days in the 21th century.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 06:55 AM   #13

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Originally Posted by Kookaburra Jack View Post
Who was the first historian after Ammianus to emulate the Classical style?
You have yet to establish what you actually mean by 'classical style'. In what way does Ammianus compare to Thucydides or Herodotus in order for us to establish a 'style' that they share?
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 08:30 AM   #14
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There were histories written in the 5th century, but some of them did not survive intact down to the present. Sulpicius Alexander and Renatus Profuturus Frigeridus both wrote histories but only a fragment or two of each quoted by Gregory of Tours survive. Priscus of Panium wrote a history of Attila the Hun but only a few fragments quoted in other sources survive.

Someone once suggested to Sidonius Apollinaris that he write a history, but he declined.

In the 5th century, chronicles and annals became more popular, at least among the later copyists who ensured the survival of the ancient works.

One commentator on Gregory of Tours observed that it should surprise us that Gregory even wrote his histories because they had fallen out of fashion for almost 200 years prior to him (about the time of Marcellinus). After Gregory, the writing of history became popular once more, and we see the works of Fredegar, Isadore of Seville, Paul the Deacon, Bede, etc.

Of course it's unfair to claim that the writing of history resumed with Gregory. There were 6th century historians before him - Procopius, Gildas, Cassiodorus, Jordanes, etc. These are all 6th century writers. There is still a surprising lack of surviving 5th century history.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 02:05 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Kookaburra Jack View Post
In the OP Momigliano claims that Ecclesiastical history, whatever its merits, was no substitute for the classical tradition in historiography. I agree with this assessment.



Gregory was also involved in heresiology and hagiography. Bede is still an ecclesiastical historian. Even so the question is what happened to classical style history writing after Ammianus ? 
You still haven't explained or identified what specific elements in Ecclesiastical History are different from Classical historical traditions in history and how they are inferior. Is it grammar, sentence length, the way they identified sources, what?

I don't see Bede as really inferior to many of the classical historians, so I would like to know the specifics of what you mean by it "was no substitute for tne classical tradition". What specific elements made this later medieval writing made this "no substitute".




Quote:
He is considered theI inventor of "Ecclesiastical History".




Perhaps. But Ammianus writes a classical style history after Constantine.

He appears to be very guarded - not about what he does say but - about what he does not say, about what he has passed over in silence.
Whag make Ammianus better than Bede, or Gregory of Tours as an hisgorian
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 07:05 PM   #16

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You have yet to establish what you actually mean by 'classical style'. In what way does Ammianus compare to Thucydides or Herodotus in order for us to establish a 'style' that they share?
Ammianus and Precopius are generally held to be the last major [classical] historians of the ancient Western world. They are concerned with political history as distinct from church (Ecclesiastical) history which, as I have introduced above, as a newly invented historiographical form, witnessed a dramatic popularity from the rule of Constantine.

It immediately follows that with the loss of Ammianaus' earlier books we have a number of church histories for the epoch 325-353 CE but no political histories. By Classical 'style' I simply mean profane / political histories.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 07:32 PM   #17

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Originally Posted by Chlodio View Post
There were histories written in the 5th century, but some of them did not survive intact down to the present. Sulpicius Alexander and Renatus Profuturus Frigeridus both wrote histories but only a fragment or two of each quoted by Gregory of Tours survive. Priscus of Panium wrote a history of Attila the Hun but only a few fragments quoted in other sources survive.

Someone once suggested to Sidonius Apollinaris that he write a history, but he declined.

In the 5th century, chronicles and annals became more popular, at least among the later copyists who ensured the survival of the ancient works.

One commentator on Gregory of Tours observed that it should surprise us that Gregory even wrote his histories because they had fallen out of fashion for almost 200 years prior to him (about the time of Marcellinus).

That's interesting. Does the source provide any causes for the "fall"?



Quote:
After Gregory, the writing of history became popular once more, and we see the works of Fredegar, Isadore of Seville, Paul the Deacon, Bede, etc.

Of course it's unfair to claim that the writing of history resumed with Gregory. There were 6th century historians before him - Procopius, Gildas, Cassiodorus, Jordanes, etc. These are all 6th century writers. There is still a surprising lack of surviving 5th century history.
In contrast there appears no lack of 5th century ecclesiastical histories in Socrates (covers 303 to 439 CE), Sozomenus (covers 303 to 421 CE) and Theodoretus (covers 303 to 428 CE).


Which is one of the reasons that I have suggested that a decline in the popularity of classical history writing was caused by a steep incline in the popularity of ecclesiastical history writing.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 07:46 PM   #18

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Originally Posted by Bart Dale View Post
You still haven't explained or identified what specific elements in Ecclesiastical History are different from Classical historical traditions in history and how they are inferior. Is it grammar, sentence length, the way they identified sources, what?


I don't see Bede as really inferior to many of the classical historians, so I would like to know the specifics of what you mean by it "was no substitute for tne classical tradition". What specific elements made this later medieval writing made this "no substitute".



Whag make Ammianus better than Bede, or Gregory of Tours as an hisgorian

I am happy to start this discussion by presenting an outline provided by AM on the elements of Ecclesiastical History.

Ecclesiastical history writing is not the same thing as political history writing in the classical tradition.


See especially my notes at page 137-138

p.137
"What is unmistakably apparent in ecclesiastical historians
is the care for their documentation."


"The very importance of precedent and tradition in ecclesiastical history
compelled the ecclesiastical historians to quote documentary evidence to
an extent which is seldom to be found in political historians."



p.138
"We have defined some of the essential elements of ecclesiastical historiography:

1) the continuous interrelation of dogma and facts;
2) the transcendental significance attributed to the period of origins;
3) the emphasis on factual evidence;
4) the ever present problem of relating events of local churches to the
mystical body of the universal church."




Full notes follow ....
The Classical Foundations of Modern Historiography
Arnaldo Momigliano

Sather Classical Lectures (1961-62)
Volume Fifty-Four
University of California Press, 1990

Chapter 6 - The Origins of Ecclesiastical Historiography


p.132
"The connection between ecclesiastical history and fireworks is perhaps
not the most obvious. But in one case fireworks demonstrably helped the
study of ecclesiastical history. The name of Bendetto Bacchini stands
out among the learned Benedictine monks of the end of the seventeeth century."
************************************************** ***
Four pages are then spent outlining the attempts of this Bachi
to publish a document he had found - the "Liber Pontificalis".
p.133
"The author of the chronicle, Agnellus, a priest of Ravenna between 820 and 845,
compiled his "Liber Pontificalis" as a series of lectures for his fellow priests
of the Capitolum of Ravenna."
This related to other evidence indicating an alleged conferment
of the pallium on the Bishop of Ravenna by the Roman Emperor Valentinianus (III)
p.135
"At a certain point the Inquisition intervened and requested Bacchini to
surrender all his papers on Agnellus: at the same time the Librarian of
the Duke of Moderna, L.A. Muratori, who was Bacchini's pupil, was asked
not to allow outsiders to read the "Liber Pontificalis" of Ravenna.
Finally a compomise was reached. Bacchini consented to write a new preface
in which he had to declare that Agnellus' statement on the pallium was utterly
incredible and wicked - and after many further negotiations about the details
the "Liber Pontificalis" could appear about 1708. It was incidentally the last
book Bacchini was permitted to publish. At least two others were stopped by
censorship."
************************************************** ***

p.136
" I have dwelt on this episode not only because it is little known, but also
because I feel it serves to bring home most immediately one of the distinctive
features of ecclesiastical history -- and consequently of ecclesisatical
historiography.
An event of the fifth century as told by a local ecclesiastical historian
of the ninth century still had practical implications for the eighteenth
century - and not only in Ravenna, but everywhere in Chistendom."

"In no other history does precedent mean so much as ecclesiastical history.
The very continuity of the institution of the church throughout the centuries
makes it inevitable that anything which happened in the church's past should
be relevant to its present. Furthermore - and this is most essential - in the
Church conformity with the origins is evidence of truth. This doctrine may be
interpretted differently in the various denominations; but it is never absent
in any of them. A Church that consciously breaks with its original principles
and its original institutions is inconceivable. The Church knows a return to
the principles, not a break with the principles."

p.136
"The corpus mysticum of the Ecclesia universalis".

p.137
"What is unmistakably apparent in ecclesiatical historians
is the care for their documentation."

"The very importance of precedent and tradition in ecclesiastical history
compelled the ecclesiastical historians to quote documentary evidence to
an extent which is seldom to be found in political historians."

p.138
"We have defined some of the essential elements of ecclesiastical historiography:
1) the continuous interrelation of dogma and facts;
2) the transcendental significance attributed to the period of origins;
3) the emphasis on factual evidence;
4) the ever present problem of relating events of local churches to the
mystical body of the universal church."

Part II
p.138
"Simple and majestic Eusebius of Caesarea claims for himself the merit of
having invented ecclesiastical history. This merit cannot be disputed.
"Sozomenus though that Eusebius had been preceded as an ecclesiastical historian
by Clemens, Hegesippus, and Julius Africanus. None of these names can really
compete with that of Eusebius."
Clemens the alleged author of the Gospel of Peter - not an ecclesiastical history.
Sextus Julius Africanus - was a chronographer
The more mysterious Hegesippus -- appears to be an anti-Gnostic apologist 2nd CE
p.139
"Preparatio evangelica is one of the boldest attempts ever made to show
continuity between pagan and Christian thought."

"[Eusebius], the witness of the last persecution and the advisor and apologist
of Constantine was in a vantage position to appreciate the autonomy and strength
of the institution that had compelled the Roman state to surrender at the Milvian
Bridge in 312. Though anxious to preserve the pagan cultural heritage in the new
Christian order - indeed very anxious, as we shall soon see, to use the pagan tradition
for his Ecclesiastical History - Eusebius knew that the Christians were a nation,
and a victorious nation at that; and that their history could not be told except
within the framework of the Church in which they lived. Furthermore, he was well
aware that the Christian nation was what it was by virtue of its being both the
oldest and the newest nation of the world."

p.140
"Apostolic succession and the doctrinal orthodoxy were pillars of the new Christian
nation; its enemies were the persecutors and the heretics. Thus ecclesiastical
history replaced the battles of ordinary political history by the trials inherent
in resistence to persecution and heresy.
**** paraphrased:
It is obvious that in developing this conception Eusebius had before him
the Old Testament (Struggle against persecutors had its precedent in the Books of
Maccabees)
Flavius Josephus (idea of a holy nation,also in Bible), and
the Acts of the Apostles (classic document of the spreading of Christianity).

"One of the important factors of Christian historiography is that there was no
continuation to the Acts of the Apostles. They remained a document of the heroic
age of Christianity, to be put together with the Gospels. More than two hundred
years later Eusebius made a new start on a completely different basis: he was not
primarily concerned with the spread of Christianity by propaganda and miracle,
but with its survival of persecution and heresy from which it was to emerge victorious."
"Novelty -- "heresy" in the Christian sense is absent from the Bible and Josephus.

"One kind of account in pagan historiography Pagan historiography could help Eusebius
considerably. That was the history of philosophical schools - such as we find in
Diogenes Laertius.
****
(1) the idea of succession was equally important in philosophical schools and
and in Eusebius' notion of Christianity. The bishops were the diadochoi
of the Apostles, just as the scholarchai were the diadochoi of
Plato, Zeno, and Epicurus.
(2) Like any philosophical school, Christianity
had its orthodoxy and its deviationists.
(3) Historians of philosophy in Greece used antiquarian methods and quoted documents
much more frequently and thoroughly than than their colleagues, the political
historians.
p.141
re: both Eusebius and Diogenes Laertius ...
"Direct original evidence was essential to establish the rightful claims of orthodoxy
against external persecutors and internal dissidents. Here again we can be certain that
Jewish influences were not without importance for Eusebius. The idea of scholarly
succession is fundamental to rabbinic thought, which had developed in its turn under
the impact f Greek theory."
"It was Hellenic scholarship that Eusebius drew upon to shape the new model of
ecclesiastical history. In this he was faithful to the Hellenistic tradition of
his teachers and to his own programme in the Praeparatio evangelica.
The immense authority which Eusebius gained was well deserved.
He had continuators but no rivals."

p.141
"Eusebius' History of the Church ideally reflected the moment in which
the Church had emerged victorious under Constantine - a separate body
within the Roman Empire. With all his gifts Eusebius could not shape
his historiography in such a way as to envisage situations in which
it would be impossible to separate what belonged to Caesar from what
belonged to Christ."
There was a very real duality in Eusebius' notion of eccesiastical history:
p.141/142:
"on the one hand eclesiastical history was the history of the Christian nation
now emerging as the ruling class of the Roman Empire. On the other hand it was
the history of a divine institution not contaminated by political problems."
"How to deal with this divine institution's very earthly relations with other
institutions in terms of power, violence and even territorial claims?

"How would the continuators of Eusebius deal with the politics of the emperors,
the plotical intrigues of the bishops?"
"If we had the Christian History which the priest Philip of Side wrote
about 430, we would know more about the significance of the predominance
of the Eusebian model. It is evident that Philip of Side tried to go
his own way and to avoid imitating Eusebius..."

http://www.mountainman.com.au/essene...oriography.htm




Last edited by Kookaburra Jack; December 3rd, 2016 at 07:58 PM.
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Old December 3rd, 2016, 08:04 PM   #19

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I understand that it annoys you as an eager Gibbon-reader.


I read and cite Arnaldo Momigliano who is considered a continuator of Gibbon.

Perhaps everything written by Momigliano is now suspect?

Shall we burn Momigliano's books along with Gibbons?
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Old December 4th, 2016, 07:55 AM   #20
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There were histories written in the 5th century, but some of them did not survive intact down to the present. Sulpicius Alexander and Renatus Profuturus Frigeridus both wrote histories but only a fragment or two of each quoted by Gregory of Tours survive. Priscus of Panium wrote a history of Attila the Hun but only a few fragments quoted in other sources survive.

Someone once suggested to Sidonius Apollinaris that he write a history, but he declined.

In the 5th century, chronicles and annals became more popular, at least among the later copyists who ensured the survival of the ancient works.

One commentator on Gregory of Tours observed that it should surprise us that Gregory even wrote his histories because they had fallen out of fashion for almost 200 years prior to him (about the time of Marcellinus). After Gregory, the writing of history became popular once more, and we see the works of Fredegar, Isadore of Seville, Paul the Deacon, Bede, etc.

Of course it's unfair to claim that the writing of history resumed with Gregory. There were 6th century historians before him - Procopius, Gildas, Cassiodorus, Jordanes, etc. These are all 6th century writers. There is still a surprising lack of surviving 5th century history.

Kookaburra Jack: "That's interesting. Does the source provide any causes for the "fall"?"

I'm not able to find this source just now, nor am I able to recall a cause. For what my opinion is worth, I would point to the rise of the chronicle / annal format in the late 4th century. We know that history continued to be written in the 5th century. It might be more a case of 5th century narrative history not being copied and perpetuated by Medieval copyists. Because chronicles and annals use a kind of bullet format, they can cover a hundred years or more in just a few pages. They were easier and faster to copy than longer narrative histories that covered less topic. Priscus of Panium may have written hundreds of pages about Attila the Hun, but all that Medieval scholars wanted to know about Attila could be listed in half a dozen bullets. Why copy a hundred pages of narrative when a chronicle says everything you need in just a few pages? Or so thought the Medieval copyists to our great loss.
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