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Poll make a lost Greek historian unlost

Moderator: Scribo

What Greek historian would you take from the Alexandrian Library?

Poll ended at Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:58 pm

Theopompus,
2
15%
Timeaus
3
23%
Hieronymus of Cardia.
2
15%
The Lost books of Polybius
3
23%
The complete Thucydides from Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 3894
1
8%
Hellenica Oxyrhynchia
2
15%
Hegesander (3rd cent BCE)
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 13

Poll make a lost Greek historian unlost

Postby daivid » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:58 pm

One of us has the chance to slip across thru space and time to the historical section of Ptolemy's library 50 BCE - They will have just enough time to grab the scrolls of one historian before the rent in the space-time continuum closes up.
(And given the scenario - no surviving historian's works will disappear)

Most of the choices are from the "Just for fun, which texts would you choose?" thread.
I added the rather obscure Hegesander because the mid 3rd cent has so many gaps in our historical knowledge.

Think of this as being a single winner election so using all five votes could mean your prefered choice not being the top one and so remaining lost.
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Re: Poll make a lost Greek historian unlost

Postby mwh » Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:26 am

It has to be Timaeus, surely, both for history and for historiography. Any other choice would be wilful.

But wouldn’t Duris of Samos be more interesting than any of them? He seems to have aimed at providing the experience of actually being there — an exercise in empathy and engagement. Obviously anathema to “real” historians who just wanted to give “the facts.” I'd head straight for Delta and grab the Duris scrolls; and expect to be excoriated when I got back.
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Re: Poll make a lost Greek historian unlost

Postby daivid » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:04 am

mwh wrote:It has to be Timaeus, surely, both for history and for historiography. Any other choice would be wilful.

But wouldn’t Duris of Samos be more interesting than any of them? He seems to have aimed at providing the experience of actually being there — an exercise in empathy and engagement. Obviously anathema to “real” historians who just wanted to give “the facts.” I'd head straight for Delta and grab the Duris scrolls; and expect to be excoriated when I got back.


Almost all the historians are from the lost works thread. I did add Polybios because he is does seem such an obvious gap though I didn't vote for him - I blame him for the loss of Timaeus due to his diatribe against Timaeus. (Hegesander was a wild card addition along the lines of Eric the Eel).

If I had used all the ten options Duris might well have been included. His case is rather tantalizing in that he survived into late Byzantine times and only needed to hang on a little longer and the printing press would have saved him.

We can take your post as a write in vote for Duris but aren't going to vote in the main poll?
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Re: Poll make a lost Greek historian unlost

Postby mwh » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:44 pm

OK I voted.

I must say that whoever voted for POxy 3894 did not choose well. As a 3rd-century CE manuscript it will have had little that is not in the medieval MSS. It will almost certainly have included 3.84; that chapter may have been obelized, or it may not; either way that would tell us nothing new. If Thucydides it must be, P.Hamburg 163 would have made a more interesting choice, a 3rd-cent. BCE manuscript with a markedly different version of the text almost but (miraculously) not entirely lost to the medieval tradition. Even so, it’s perverse to choose an extant author in remarkably good textual condition, as the voter in question doubtless recognizes.

Is no-one here interested in history?
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