But the civilian-historian dabbling in tactics was an exceptional phenomenon. Both the medireval monastic chroniclers and the modern Liberal historiographers had often no closer notion of the meaning of
war than that it involves various horrors, and is attended by a lamentable loss of human life. Both classes sometimes strove to disguise their personal ignorance or dislike of military matters by depreciating their importance and significance in history. One may dislike war just as one dislikes disease : but to decry the necessity for studying it, and estimating its meaning and effect, is no less absurd than it would be to minimize the necessity for medical investigation because one disliked cancer or tuberculosis.