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prologue

In the Beginning was the Act—followed soon by the Document which recorded the Act. Thus was born History. All that was missing was the Historian, the scholar who would uncover the Document and report its significance to the world.

That happened swiftly enough when long-forgotten scribes writing of Great Deeds placed their tales on cuneiform tablets, papyrus, paper fashioned from plant fibers, or on the wet clay of a fallen leader's tomb. It happened, too, when preliterate societies designated village griots and others of intellect to memorize the stories of events past.

But the Discipline of History, the systematic investigation of past events and the training of young minds to engage in this study, did not emerge until the ancient historians Herodotus and Thucydides wrote their masterful accounts when the Greek city states were at their zenith .

From those days until the present, the Historian has been an integral, even crucial aspect of human civilization. And from then until now novices in the Discipline have followed a familiar course, learning from their wise elders but discovering for themselves.

One of these stories we now tell.

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