Historiography of Rome

Oct 2015
2
sydney
#1
Hey everyone,

I'm looking for ideas on a project about historiography.
I've got to focus on/ address one of the following questions:
- Who are the historians?
- What are the purposes of history?
- How has history been constructed and recorded over time?
- Why have approaches to the construction of history changed over time?

I'm interested in controversial events in Roman politics or religion but am lost as to what I should choose.
Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Tony
 
Oct 2015
2
sydney
#3
That's an interesting subject. Are you interested in ancient Roman writers or modern authors who write about ancient Roman history?
I'm more interested about the ancient Roman writers but I'm flexible. I'm potentially thinking about revisionism towards a specific Roman event but am not sure. As you can probably see I'm all over the place with choosing a specific topic!
Thanks very much for your reply.
 
Aug 2014
951
United States of America
#4
- Who are the historians?
Primarily: Livy, Sallust, Suetonius (biographer but you may consider him an historian), Tacitus, Ammianus Marcellinus. Greek writers who cover Roman topics include Polybius, Diodorus Siculus, Dio Cassius, Josephus (Jewish, writes in Greek) and Appian.

- What are the purposes of history?
There are a variety of programmatic statements in each historian's work that tells us why he wrote. Livy seems to want to avoid the bad times of his own age (civil war) by delving into the past. Sallust tracks the evil influence of ambition in men's character. Polybius wants to explain how Rome came to dominate the Mediterranean. Dio Cassius seems to want to record the history of the development of Roman government in order to explain how the Senate was marginalized; he also notes how decisions are made in secret and writing true history is impossible in his day and age (3rd century CE).

These are terribly simplistic overviews of very complex writers. So take it with that grain of salt.

- How has history been constructed and recorded over time?
- Why have approaches to the construction of history changed over time?
These last two are yours to figure out--would take way too much time for me!
 

Similar History Discussions