The Blinded Eye: Thucydides and the New Written Word

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Rowman & Littlefield, 1996 - History - 277 pages
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Thucydides, the patron saint of Realpolitik, continues to be read in many fields outside of classics. Why did his History succeed in setting the pattern for future scholars where Hereodotus's earlier Histories failed? In this fascinating study of the construction of intellectual authority, Gregory Crane argues that Thucydides was successful for two reasons. First, he refined the language of administration: Who was in charge? How much money was spent? How many people were killed? Second, he drew upon the abstract philosophical rhetoric developing in the fifth century, one in which the state and the public, rather than the family and the individual, stand at the center of the world. Ironically, it was through deeply personal alliances that aristocratic Greeks had defined themselves and exerted power. Thucydides's discursive practice was therefore fundamentally incompatible with his ideological goals.
  

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Contents

Introduction Selection and the Authority of the Text
1
The Prestige of Written Language
9
The Prominence of Written Language
18
Thucydidean Claims of Authority
27
Motivation in Comparable Passages of Thucydides and Herodotus
38
From Knowledge to Expertise
50
The Precision of Speeches
65
Words Deeds and Textual Closure
73
Individual and Group
140
Thucydidean Inclusions and the Language of the Polis To Sungenes and the Appropriation of Kinship
147
The Politics of Religious Space
163
Delphi in Thucydides and Herodotus
165
Physical Delphi
174
Sacred Space in Herodotus
179
Sacred Space in Thucydides
187
The Rhetoric of Austerity Thucydides and the Traditional Rhetoric of Poetry
209

Thucydidean Exclusions and the Language of the Polls I Women and Kinship
75
Wives Mothers Daughters Sisters and Marriage
86
Children
92
Sons Brothers Fathers and the Patriarchal Society
95
Thucydidean Exclusions and the Language of the Polis II Oikos Genos and Polis
111
Elite Families the Polls and the Wider Greek World
112
Kleisthenes of Sikyon and the Traditional Politics of Household Prestige
118
Oikos and Genos in Herodotus and Thucydides
126
Language Emotion and Pleasure
215
Thucydidean Speakers and the Rhetoric of Austerity
222
Thucydidean Discourse and the Rhetoric of Austerity
236
Tensions in Thucydidean Content and Style
247
Bibliography
259
General Index
269
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Gregory Crane is assistant professor of classics at Tufts University.

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