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A Penguin collection of extracts from Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon and Polybius, showing the start and early evolution of historical writing. As I am less familiar than I would like with the historical background, a lot of this sailed over my head (I would have liked more footnotes and maps), but I appreciated the raw approach of Herodotus, the critical attitude of all of them to other writers (not that this stopped them making stuff up themselves) and the closing passage from Polybius comparing the Roman constitution with the constitutions of less successful states (he singles out Rome's institutionalisation of religion as a key factor).

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