Greek historical thought had a significant influence on Roman historiography, but there were also notable changes in the way history was approached and written during the Roman period.
1. Emphasis on the importance of historical knowledge: Both Greek and Roman historians believed that understanding the past was crucial for the present and future. They saw history as a teacher, providing lessons and examples for future generations.
2. Focus on political and military history: Greek historical thought, particularly exemplified by Thucydides, emphasized the importance of political and military events in shaping the course of history. This focus continued in Roman historiography, with writers like Livy and Tacitus giving detailed accounts of political and military events.
3. Use of primary sources: Greek historians like Herodotus and Thucydides emphasized the use of primary sources and eyewitness accounts to construct their narratives. Roman historians also relied on primary sources, such as official documents and personal testimonies, to provide accurate and reliable information.
1. Shift from myth to fact: Greek historical thought often incorporated mythical elements and legendary figures into their narratives. In contrast, Roman historiography aimed for a more factual and realistic approach, focusing on verifiable events and individuals.
2. Expansion of historical scope: While Greek historians primarily focused on their own city-states or regions, Roman historiography expanded the scope to include the entire Roman Empire. This broader perspective allowed for a more comprehensive understanding of historical events and their impact.
3. Moral and didactic purpose: Greek historians often included moral and didactic elements in their works, seeking to impart ethical lessons to their readers. Roman historiography, on the other hand, tended to have a more political and propagandistic purpose, aiming to glorify Rome and its leaders.
4. Influence of rhetoric: Greek historians were often trained in rhetoric, which influenced their writing style and the way they presented their arguments. Roman historiography, while still influenced by rhetoric, placed greater emphasis on clear and concise writing, focusing on facts and analysis rather than elaborate rhetorical techniques.
Overall, Greek historical thought provided a foundation for Roman historiography, but the Romans also introduced new elements and approaches that shaped the development of historical writing during the Roman period.