This is a very interesting volume, which aims to bring together the variety of contexts and genres in which ancient history was employed and studied during the Enlightenment.
The first principle of understanding history, I was taught, is to sympathize with the historical actors, to immerse oneself in their context and perspective.(1) Otherwise, history becomes a fabricated reconstruction – more about the writer's ideology than the events of the past.
Confucius once remarked that rulers need three resources: weapons, food and trust. The ruler who cannot have all three should give up weapons first, then food, but should hold on to trust at all costs: 'without trust we cannot stand'.(1) Machiavelli disagreed.
This is a short book on a big topic. It seeks to challenge the standard narrative of European political thought, by offering a sharply revisionist account of its foundations.
The study of nationality (a term used to designate historically and constitutively diverse nations) poses a number of acute methodological, historical, and philosophical problems.
Playing on the title of Robert Hughes's popular history of modernist art, The Shock of the New (1980), Larry Norman recreates that moment in 17th- and 18th-century France when the classical literary texts that Renaissance humanists had treated as timeless vehicles of cultural value, and so put at the core of European education, came to many to seem shockingly ‘primitive,’ even ‘barbari
In an age of crisis a late Roman bureaucrat offered a plan for reforming military recruitment and training to an unnamed emperor, who requested the project’s continuation.
David Nirenberg’s Anti-Judaism: The Western Tradition is an impressive scholarly accomplishment that matches a dauntingly large subject matter with a vast vault of personal knowledge. At 474 pages and 13 chapters covering more than 3000 years, it is thorough without being exhaustive.
Triumph in the West is the triumphant conclusion of J. G. A. Pocock’s series on Edward Gibbon and the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776–89).
In the latest of our occasional Reviews in History podcast series, Daniel Snowman talks to Peter Burke about his background, career, influences and forthcoming book.
Peter Burke is Professor Emeritus of Cultural History at the University of Cambridge.
Daniel Snowman is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster on social and cultural history.