previous next

Why Focus on Actions

Seeing that many writers have discussed in many varieties of style the question of genealogies, myths, and colonisations, as well as of the foundations of cities and the consanguinity of peoples, there was nothing left for a writer at this date but to copy the words of others and claim them as his own,—than which nothing could be more dishonourable; or, if he did not choose to do that, to absolutely waste his labour, being obliged to acknowledge that he is composing a history and bestowing thought on what has already been sufficiently set forth and transmitted to posterity by his predecessors. For these and sundry other reasons I abandoned such themes as these, and determined on writing a history of actions: first, because they are continually new and require a new narrative, —as of course one generation cannot give us the history of the next; and secondly, because such a narrative is of all others the most instructive. This it has always been: but it is eminently so now, because the arts and sciences have made such an advance in our day, that students are able to arrange every event as it happens according to fixed rules, as it were, of scientific classification. Therefore, as I did not aim so much at giving pleasure to my readers, as at profiting those who apply to such studies, I omitted all other themes and devoted myself wholly to this. But on these points, those who give a careful attention to my narrative will be the best witnesses to the truth of what I say. . . .

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Theodorus Büttner-Wobst after L. Dindorf, 1893)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: