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The histories of ancient Greece and Rome are part of a shared European heritage, and a foundation for many modern Western social and cultural traditions. Their printing and circulation during the Renaissance helped to shape the identities of individual nations, and create different reading publics. Yet we still lack a comprehensive understanding of the forms in which works of Greek and Roman history were published in the first centuries of the handpress age, the relationship between the ideas contained within these texts and the books as material objects, and thus the precise nature of the changes they effected in early modern European culture and society. This article provides the groundwork for a reassessment of the place of ancient history in the early modern world. Using new, digital resources to reappraise existing scholarship, it offers a fresh evaluation of the publication of the ancient historians from the inception of print to 1600, revealing important differences that alter our understanding of particular authors, texts, and trends, and suggesting directions for further research. It also models the research possibilities of large-scale digital catalogues and databases, and highlights the possibilities (and pitfalls) of these resources.
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