To what extent did the historians of the early Middle Ages inherit the aims and methods of Greek and Roman historiography? How far were they influenced by classical coventions about literary genre, rhetorical technique and political subject-matter? A conference held in Exeter in 1985 brought together a number of distinguished scholars to discuss these questions.This book presents nine of the contributions, on representative authors from the fourth century to the ninth. Together they provide an authorative guide to the contrasts and continuities in history-writing from Byzantium to Alfred's Wessex.
Peter Wiseman is Emeritus Professor of Roman History at Exeter University and a Fellow of the British Academy. He came to Exeter in 1977, and was Head of Department from 1977 to 1990. Although he retired in 2001, he is still involved in graduate teaching at both MA and PhD levels. "I've been obsessed with the history and literature of Rome for nearly half a century," he says. Among the results of that obsession have been books on Catullus (Catullan Questions 1969, Catullus and his World 1985), on Roman political history (New Men in the Roman Senate 1971, Flavius Josephus: Death of an Emperor 1991), on Roman historiography (Clio's Cosmetics: Three Studies in Greco-Roman Literature 1979, Historiography and Imagination: Eight Essays on Roman Culture 1994), and on Roman myth and legend (Remus: a Roman Myth 1995, Roman Drama and Roman History 1998). Reviews of T.P. Wiseman books include the following comments: 'quite simply brilliant' (Times Literary Supplement), "enthralling"; (London Review of Books), "stylistic elegance and wit, dazzling erudition and imaginative flair"; (Classical Review), "exceptional analytical skill and creative imagination"; (Bryn Mawr Classical Review).