There are many different ancient Greece primary information sources on history. Written historical records may not be available at all times. In that case, scholars rely on many different sources for piecing together the accurate picture of the period.
The reliability and accuracy of the different sources and accounts vary. Scholars must employ rigorous methods to create the most authentic account possible.
The importance and use of ancient Greece primary information sources on history:
When you try to learn about old civilizations like ancient Greece, you will have to gather the information from various sources. These are classified into two types:
- The primary sources of information include documents or objects which were created at the time of the study. They thus contain firsthand information or the most authentic accounts available today. These include documents written at that time. It also includes other evidence like archaeological remains, pottery, clothing, graves and so on.
- The other type of source is known as the secondary sources of information on history. This refers to the documents and accounts which are built on the primary source. Sometimes, the primary source document may be irreversibly lost. In that case, secondary comments and writings on that document may assume great importance.
However, in some cases, the primary and the secondary sources of information may be very close together. In that case, the scholar has to use his own judgment to derive a complete picture of the event or the time in question.
What is the importance of ancient Greece primary information sources on history?
- The Greeks had lived a rich life and are credited with many important inventions and discoveries. The ancient Greece primary information sources on history help to provide an accurate account of all these different inventions which would have otherwise been lost. Such accounts range from describing the principles of democracy to the devices invented and used for long-distance communication.
- The ancient Greece primary information sources on history are our best guides to know about a rich civilization which is credited with being the cradle of the Occidental culture. Whether you want to know about food, dress, pets, houses, utensils or clothes or the more complicated aspects of society, polity and religion, these sources provide the best information.
- However, the veracity of the primary sources is not beyond question. You have to know under what circumstances the writer was creating the account. Moreover, primary accounts are sometimes lost or fragmented or misrepresented in the course of translation. It is always better to combine the primary and the secondary sources to derive a complete picture of the time.
Some examples of ancient Greece history primary sources of information:
Fortunately, the Greeks were meticulous in maintaining written records. Hence, there are a variety of ancient Greek primary sources of information on history. Some of the most important ones are as follows:
1. Republic was written by Plato
2. Literary works by scholars like Aristotle, Thucydides, Plutarch, Herodotus, Diodorus, and Xenophon.
3. Ruins of ancient Greek monuments and ships.
4. Artifacts and artwork recovered by archaeological expeditions.
All these constitute the primary sources of information on the history of ancient Greece.