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The Hellenistic age was the first to feel the growth of recorded literature as a burden; and the age which cast doubt on the propriety of a ‘big book’ also pioneered the abridgement of long works, esp. technical treatises. The practice became a common, even an obsessive, feature of post‐Classical Greece. Convenient and informative compendia based on the writings of others were being produced at Rome by the end of the republic, esp. in history.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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