Motivation and Narrative in Herodotus (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, May 15, 2008 - History - 400 pages
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In his extraordinary story of the defence of Greece against the Persian invasions of 490-480 BC Herodotus sought to communicate not only what happened, but also the background of thoughts and perceptions that shaped those events and became critical to their interpretation afterwards. Much as the contemporary sophists strove to discover truth about the invisible, Herodotus was acutely concerned to uncover hidden human motivations, whose depiction was vital to his project of recounting and explaining the past. Emily Baragwanath explores the sophisticated narrative techniques with which Herodotus represented this most elusive variety of historical knowledge. Thus he was able to tell a lucid story of the past while nonetheless exposing the methodological and epistemological challenges it presented. Baragwanath illustrates and analyses a range of these techniques over the course of a wide selection of Herodotus' most intriguing narratives - from those on Athenian democracy and tyranny to Leonidas and Thermopylae - and thus supplies a method for reading the Histories more generally.
  

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Contents

1 The Histories Plutarch and reader response
1
2 The Homeric background
35
3 Constructions of motives and the historians persona
55
4 Problematized motivation in the Samian and Persian logoi Book III
82
motivation in the Athenian logoi Books I V and VI
122
motivation in the Ionian Revolt Books VVI
160
compulsion and negative motives Books VIIIX
203
motivation and explanation Books VIIIX
240
constructions of motivation Books VIIIX
289
Epilogue
323
References
325
General Index
343
Index of Passages Cited
363
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