In a given field, the initial breakthroughs were made by A in 1951. This was developed by B in 1960, further developed by C in 1965. I am, in 2018, using equations from C's 1965 paper. In that paper, C cites A and B as having developed the method.
My question is, should I:
(a) Cite only C,
(b) Cite A,B,C in that order (historical order of finding),
or (c) Cite C,B,A in that order (decreasing relevance to present work)?
Would the answer change if these papers were newer or if there was a greater number of them?
Edit: This pertains to the text of the body, not the reference list. The purpose is to use results from C, not to extend their work. The sentence would be something like:
'C  tackled this problem by considering..., based on previous work by A and B.