When a version of a myth is told (orally or in writing), it is always an account of the past in intimate connection with some conclusion to be drawn in the present experience of the person recounting the tale. For one analysis among many, see the insightful discussion of the twists and turns in the use of the myth of Rome’s foundation, each change intended to reinforce some political conclusion dear to the narrator, in H. Tudor, Political Myth (London: Macmillan, 1972) 65-90.
History writing remains, of course, a different sort of intellectual effort, played according to other rules (on which see Tudor, Political Myth, 125), than either of its two predecessors discussed above. Nevertheless, as this analysis makes explicit, the intellectual ancestors of academic history writing have made it a substantial bequest. To deny the reality of this heritage or its consequences is to expect of history writing an objectivity which it can never fully attain. Furthermore, if such disinterested history could be produced, who would bother to write it, much less read it?
Albert I. Baumgarten, “Rabbinic Literature as a Source for the History of Jewish Sectarianism in the Second Temple”, Dead Sea Discoveries, Vol. 2, No. 1 (April 1995), 31-32, n. 61.