The Greek historian Thucydides in the introduction to his work on the Peloponnesian War discussed his motivation for writing as he did:

καὶ ἐς μὲν άκρόασιν ϊσως τό μή μυθώδες αυτών άτερπέστερον φανεΐται· δσοι δέ βουλήσονται των τε γενομένων τό σαφές σκοπεΐν και των μελλόντων ποτέ αύθις κατά τό άνθρώπινον τοιούτων και παραπλήσιων εσεσθαι, ώφέλιμα κρίνειν αύτά αρκούντως εξει. κτήμα τε ες αίει μάλλον ή αγώνισμα ες τό παραχρήμα άκούειν ξύγκειται.

The absence of romance in my history will, I fear, detract somewhat from its interest; but if it be judged useful by those inquirers who desire an exact knowledge of the past as an aid to the interpretation of the future, which in the course of human things must resemble if it does not reflect it, I shall be content. In fine, I have written my work, not as an essay which is to win the applause of the moment, but as a possession for all time (ktêma es aiei). 1