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Polybius, Histories, book 3, The Limits of History (search)
The Limits of History Having thus brought the generals of the two nations Digression on the limits of history. and the war itself into Italy, before beginning the campaign, I wish to say a few words about what I conceive to be germane or not to my history. I can conceive some readers complaining that, while devoting a great deal of space to Libya and Iberia, I have said little or nothing about the strait of the Pillars of Hercules, the Mare Externum, or the British Isles, and the manufacture of tin in them, or even of the silver and gold mines in Iberia itself, of which historians give long and contradictory accounts. It was not, let me say, because I thought these subjects out of place in history that I passed them over; but because, in the first place, I did not wish to be diffuse, or distract the attention of students from the main current of my narrative; and, in the next place, because I was determined not to treat of them in scattered notices or casual allusions, but to assign