This introductory chapter begins with the story behind the delayed publication of the collection of essays presented in this volume. An overview of the essays is then given. It is argued that if the ultimate aim of the essays is to school the political intelligence of their readers, their method is scholarship of a detailed and rigorous kind. They are largely exercises in ‘source criticism’ (Quellenkritik) in its twin branches: study of the ancient evidence with a view to establishing who said what, and on what authority; and criticism of the data thus secured in the light of the observable political behaviour of human actors.
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