Theopompus of Chios

Theopompus of Chios : History and Rhetoric in the Fourth Century BC

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Theopompus of Chios was one of the most important ancient Greek historians of the fourth century BC. Although his work has survived only in fragments - as quotations and paraphrases in later writers - these are still a rich and vital source of information for Greek political, social, and intellectual history during the age of Philip of Macedon. This book explores both Theopompus' historical method and the intellectual milieu in which he worked, whilst the fragments themselves are placed in 'context' by examining where and why they are cited by later authors. Through this illuminating and original study, the author leads up to some important new conclusions about historical writing in the fourth century BC: he argues that there was no so-called Isocratean school of rhetorical history; that Theopompus used moral explanations typical of Greek thought to account for historical changes; and that oral tradition, as opposed to rhetorical invention, was still vibrant in the fourth century. Professor Flower also provides a critical method for evaluating Theopompus' historical accuracy. All Greek in the book is translated.

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  • Paperback | 276 pages
  • 137.2 x 213.4 x 17.8mm | 362.88g
  • 12 Feb 1998
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0198152434
  • 9780198152439

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Author Information

Michael Flower was Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford 1993-4

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Review quote

F.'s book offers discussion and correction of earlier scholarship ... Points of detail are convincingly argued, and the method of reading fragments in their literary contexts proves to be helpful for isolating Theopompus' voice from the argumentative context in which it is preserved. Anyone who wishes to use Theopompus as an historical source will read F.'s book with profit. Sitta von Reden, University of Bristol, Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 116 (1996) Flower's assessment of Theopompus is sure. Ancient History Bulletin

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