By Michael Stanford
This ebook publications scholars via the entire critical ancient techniques, theories, tools and difficulties confronting these engaged within the severe research of background.
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Extra info for A Companion to the Study of History
Where history is to be put to practical use it is important that the suggested example be studied carefully; that is, with close attention to detail and with a broad and balanced view of the context. Otherwise the wrong lesson may be drawn and the remedy misapplied. Where history is to supply inspiration, however, such careful study might only blur the picture. Not only would the detailed scholarly account confuse the unscholarly viewer; it is also likely that an accurate account of the exemplary hero or victory would reveal details that marred the glorious vision.
18 Nietzsche (1957), p. 37. html [5/29/2009 12:13:05 AM] page_37 < previous page page_37 next page > Page 37 create anew something of the past. Of course, much traditional behaviour arises from indolence; one goes on doing the same thing because one cannot be bothered to do anything else. But this is not relevant, for history does not supply the aim of action here. 4 Aiming to Preserve the Past Some people have a strong desire to preserve past ways of life. The Amish of Pennsylvania are an example.
The contexts shape and limit the action, but, above all, they help to give it meaning. The word 'meaning' can be used in various ways. Here let us distinguish three of them. They are intention, social significance and historical significance. Since I am writing this on the Ides of March, let Julius Caesar's death furnish the examples. The intention of the conspirators was to preserve the Republic, which they thought to be threatened by Caesar's ambition. The social significance of the murder was how it was seen at the time.
A Companion to the Study of History by Michael Stanford