Front Page Titles (by Subject) 1.: Ancient History and Its Scope - Judgments on History and Historians
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1.: Ancient History and Its Scope - Jacob Burckhardt, Judgments on History and Historians 
Judgments on History and Historians, ed. Alberto R. Coll (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1999).
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Ancient History and Its Scope
A general introduction to history will be omitted here; the specific introduction to ancient history can be disposed of briefly. As regards the scope of our subject, this may be observed: Only the civilized nations, not the primitive ones, are part of history in a higher sense. Ample information has been preserved even about the latter (Herodotus). For the old ιστορíα [history in Herodotus’ sense] is in itself ethnography and history in one. Primitive peoples, however, interest us only when civilized nations come into conflict with them, as in the cases of Cyrus with the Massagetae and Darius with the Scythians. The ethnographic is thus to be confined to its essentials. Of the civilized peoples, our discipline does not embrace those whose culture did not flow into European civilization, for instance Japan and China. Of India, too, only the very oldest period concerns us—first, because of the Aryan tribal type shared with the Zend peoples, and then because of the contact with the Assyrians, Persians, Macedonians, and others. Our subject is that past which is clearly connected with the present and with the future. Our guiding idea is the course of civilization, the succession of levels of culture in various peoples and within individual peoples themselves. Actually, one ought to stress especially those historical realities from which threads run to our own period and culture.
There are more of them than one would think. The continuum is magnificent. The peoples around the Mediterranean and over to the Gulf of Persia are really one animate being, active humanity par excellence. In the Roman Empire, this being does attain a kind of unity. Here alone the postulates of the intellect are realized; here alone there prevails development with no absolute decline, but only a transition.
After renewed intermingling with the Germanic peoples, after another fifteen hundred or two thousand years, this active humanity strikes out anew, assimilates America for itself and is now about to open Asia thoroughly. How long will it be before all passive existences are subjected and penetrated by it? The non-Caucasian races offer resistance, give way, and die out. Egyptians, Babylonians, and Phoenicians have by now laid the foundations for this world-conquering power. Through slow development as well as by leaps and the arousing of opposition we are intellectually connected with them. It is a great good fortune to be part of this active humanity.