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The History of Greece.
London T. Cadell and W. Davies 1808 - First edition. 5 volumes, 4to., a few spots otherwise very good, contemporary half russia, marbled boards, gilt panelled spines in five compartments, gilt lettered direct in second, numbered in fourth, others richly gilt, light wear, an excellent set. "In 1784 he [Mitford] published the first volume of his principal work, the History of Greece. This was on an unprecedentedly large scale. Previous treatments (the Grecian histories of Temple Stanyan and Oliver Goldsmith) had been moralistic compilations. Mitford's first volume covered events from early times to the end of the Persian wars (479 BC). The outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789 had a great impact on Mitford. The second volume of his History, which appeared in 1790, took the story of events in Greece down to 404 BC and gave ample scope for an analogy between the radical democrats of fifth-century Athens and the revolutionaries in France. In 1797 he published the third volume of his History, covering the period from the oligarchic coup of the Thirty Tyrants in Athens at the end of the Peloponnesian War in 404 BC to the peace of Antalcidas (between Sparta and Persia) in 386. This volume covers the rise of Mitford's hero, Philip of Macedon; but it is prefaced by a résumé of the late fifth century, in order to re-emphasize what is repeatedly called 'a tyranny in the hands of the people' at Athens. Such was now the climate of opinion in England that, whereas in 1790 Mitford had incurred liberal criticism, his more extreme comments in 1797 won wide acclaim. In 1808 appeared the fourth volume of the History, covering events from 386 to the battle of Chaeronea in 338 (when Philip established his supremacy in Greece). The fifth and final volume of his History was published in 1818, ending with the death of Alexander the Great in 322 BC. In the fourth and fifth volumes he praised the monarchy of Macedon, as in the first he had praised the kingdoms of early Greece: in both he saw (with some straining of the evidence) parallels to the balanced constitution of Britain in his own day." (precis from ODNB). [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Shapero Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2016-10-04           Check availability:      ZVAB    


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