Herodotus in Context

Herodotus in Context : Ethnography, Science and the Art of Persuasion

By (author) Rosalind Thomas

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Herodotus called his work an enquiry and wrote before 'history' was a separate discipline. Coming from Halicarnassus, at the crossroads between the Persian and Athenian spheres of influence, he combined the culture of Athens with that of the more pluralistic and less ethnocentric cities of east Greece. Alive to the implications of this cultural background for Herodotus' thought, this study explores the much neglected contemporary connotations and context of the Histories, looking at them as part of the intellectual climate of his time. Concentrating on Herodotus' ethnography, geography and accounts of natural wonders, and examining his methods of argument and persuasion, it sees the Histories, which appear virtually without antecedents, as a product of the late fifth-century world of the natural scientists, medical writers and sophists - a world of controversy and debate.

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  • Hardback | 332 pages
  • 147.3 x 231.1 x 30.5mm | 635.04g
  • 30 Jun 2005
  • CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Cambridge
  • English
  • New.
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0521662591
  • 9780521662598

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Author Information

Rosalind Thomas is Reader in Ancient History at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is the author of Oral Tradition and Written Record in Classical Athens (1989 HB 0521350255; 1991 PB 0521425182) and Literacy and Orality in Ancient Greece (1992/HB 0521373468; PB 0521377420).

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Review quote

"The "Father of History," Herodotus, has developed into a particularly active field of research in the past 25 years and hardly goes by without an important new study. This book by Thomas is one of the best." Choice "...this leads to a provacative, yet highly compelling, new perspective on the intellectual and cultural dynamics of this seminal era... Thomas has made a valuable contribution to our appreciation of Herodotus and his work, and to our understanding of the fertile, fluid, and contentious intellectual atmosphere in which he lived and to which he contributed." New England Classical Journal "The 'Father of History,' Herodotus, has developed into a particularly active field of research in the past 25 years and hardly a year goes by without an important new study. This book by Thomas is one of the best." --Choice

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