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“Writing Contemporary History in the Ancient World” | John Marincola
The contemporary historian was a fixture of the cultural landscape of Greece and Rome from the time of Thucydides onwards. Through the centuries, even under autocrats, even in regimes notably hostile to the free expression of ideas, the contemporary historian was to be found. Thucydides expresses without reserve the superiorities of contemporary over non-contemporary history, and his successors repeat these with great self-confidence and assuredness. This paper explores both in the historians and other writers the recognition of the problematic nature of many of these claims, and some of the ‘anxieties’ associated particularly with the writing of contemporary history in Greece and Rome.