In the book "The Twenty Years' Crisis" by E. H. Carr, written in 1939, I read

[men] accept the judgment of history on the past.

After checking OED and Merriam-Webster here and here, I still do not understand this "accept ... on ..." structure. The only example that seems similar is in OED:

1876 E. A. Freeman Hist. Norman Conquest II. App. 530 A fact which we may surely accept on the authority of the Biographer.

Could someone please help me out and rephrase the quoted sentence? Thank you.


They accept the judgment. The judgment is on the past.

We accept the fact on the authority of the biographer.

In neither case is 'on' grammatically linked to 'accept'.

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  • Thank you, I accept that as an answer. Could you still please rephrase the sentence? Does history judge the past or the other way around? Or neither? – Darjus Hosszejni Feb 11 '19 at 11:31
  • I don't know the context, but I assume Carr means that people accept history's judgment on the past, that is, the view of past events taken by historians over the years. – Kate Bunting Feb 11 '19 at 17:42

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