By Charles W. Hedrick Jr.
This ebook introduces scholars to the executive disciplines, equipment and assets hired in 'doing' historic historical past, rather than 'reading' it. The book:
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Extra info for Ancient History: Monuments and Documents
Perhaps the most famous statement is to be found in one of the choruses of Sophocles’ drama, the Antigone. Man’s art, the ability to grow crops, navigate the seas, hunt, and build have raised him above creation: “there are many awesome things, but none more than man” (332–75). Comparable ideas can be found associated with the notion of homo faber, man the builder: it is through technology that man opposes nature. Strabo provides another Roman instance of the thought. Commenting on Egypt, he observes that engineering rectified the problems of the periodic inundations of the river, through irrigation.
Roads are drawn in straight lines, with distances between significant points noted. Towns and villas are drawn in perspective. Distortions can be conveniently evaluated by examining its representation of the Mediterranean. Given the shape of the map, it obviously can have little relationship to the reality of the Mediterranean; as has been frequently noted, the sea in this case seems to be portrayed more as a river. Furthermore, this map makes no use of Ptolemy’s astronomical conventions: it is intended for practical travel, not to illustrate general principles.
Sources and history-writing On the distinction between monument and document, see Jacques LeGoff, “Documento/Monumento,” in the Enciclopedia Einaudi, vol. 5, Turin 1978, 38–48. For an appreciation of the argument in English, see Armando Petrucci, Writing the Dead: Death and Writing Strategies in the Western Tradition, Stanford 1998, 54–60; cf. more generally the introduction to Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge, repr. New York 1972. : An Ill-Defined Type of Source,” Classica et Mediaevalia 52 (2001), 317–43.