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Facts are the mere dross of history. It is from the abstract truth which interpenetrates them, and lies latent among them, like gold in the ore, that the mass derives its whole value; and the precious particles are generally combined with the baser in such a manner that the separation is a task of the utmost difficulty.
      - Thomas Babington Macaulay

I shall cheerfully bear the reproach of having descended below the dignity of history.
      - Thomas Babington Macaulay,
        History of England (vol. I, ch. I)

Nowadays we may see the office of historical research as that of explaining, and therefore lightening, the pressure that the past must exercise upon the present, and the present upon the future. Today we study the day before yesterday, in order that yesterday may not paralyse today, and today not paralyse tomorrow.
      - Frederic William Maitland,
        Collected Papers (vol. III, p. 439)

History deals mainly with captains and kings, gods and prophets, exploiters and despoilers, not with useful men.
      - Henry Louis Mencken

The only good histories are those written by those who had command in the events they describe.
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

Happy the people whose annals are tiresome.
      - Charles de Montesquieu (Charles-Louis de Secondat)

What is history but a fable agreed upon?
      - Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon I)

You don't change the course of history by turning the faces of portraits to the wall.
      - Jawaharlal Nehru

What is public history but a register of the successes and disappointments, the vices, the follies and the quarrels of those who engage in contention for power.
      - William Paley, Archdeacon of Saragossa

History is, after all, the crystallization of popular beliefs.
      - Donn Piatt

History ought to be guided by strict truth; and worthy actions require nothing more.
      - Pliny the Younger (Caius Caecilius Secundus)

History, in whatever way it may be executed, is a great source of pleasure.
      - Pliny the Younger (Caius Caecilius Secundus)

[History] hath triumphed over Time, which besides it, nothing but Eternity hath triumphed over.
      - Sir Walter Raleigh (1),
        The History of the World--Preface

In a word, we may gather out of history a policy no less wise than eternal; by the comparison and application of other men's forepassed miseries with our own like errors and ill deservings.
      - Sir Walter Raleigh (1),
        The History of the World--Preface
         (par. IX)

History, like religion, unites all learning and power, especially ancient history; that is, the history of the nations of the youthful world--Grecian and Roman, Jewish and early Christian.
      - Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (Johann Paul Richter) (used ps. Jean Paul)

History is only time furnished with dates and rich with events.
      - Antoine de Rivarol, Comte de Rivarol

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
      - George Santayana, The Life of Reason
         (vol. 1, ch. 12)

The world's history is the world's judgment.
  [Ger., Die Weltgeschichte ist das Weltgericht.]
      - Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller,
        Resignation (17)

The historian is a prophet looking backwards.
  [Ger., Der Historiker ist ein ruckwarts gekehter Prophet.]
      - Friedrich von Schlegel, Athenoeum
         (I, 2, 20)

We have seen better days.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of Timon of Athens
         (Steward at IV, ii)

History, sir, will tell lies as usual.
      - George Bernard Shaw, The Devil's Disciple

History makes us some amends for the shortness of life.
      - John Skelton

History is the complement of poetry.
      - Sir James Fitzjames Stephen

This I hold to be the chief office of history, to rescue virtuous actions from the oblivion to which a want of records would consign them, and that men should feel a dread of being considered infamous in the opinions of posterity, from their depraved expressions and base actions.
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus)

The principal office of history I take to be this: to prevent virtuous actions from being forgotten, and that evil words and deeds should fear an infamous reputation with posterity.
  [Lat., Praecipium munus annalium reor, ne virtutes sileantur, utque pravis dictis, factisque ex posteritate et infamia metus sit.]
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus), Annales
         (III, 65)

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