Motivation and Narrative in Herodotus
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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2 The Homeric background
3 Constructions of motives and the historians persona
4 Problematized motivation in the Samian and Persian logoi Book III
motivation in the Athenian logoi Books I V and VI
motivation in the Ionian Revolt Books VVI
compulsion and negative motives Books VIIIX
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action Alcmaeonids alternative Amasis Argives Aristagoras Artabanos ascriptions of motivation Asheri Athenians Athens audience authorial aVairs behaviour Cambyses campaign character Cleomenes conjecture contrast conXict Croesus Cyrus Darius Demaratus Democedes desire Dewald diVerent diYculties earlier emphasis Eurybiades eVect example explanation fact ﬁrst freedom further Greece Greek Hellespont Herodotean Herodotus Histiaeus historian Histories Homeric human hybris Immerwahr implied interpretation invites inXuence Ionian Revolt Iser’s Jong King king’s Lateiner later Leonidas Macan Maiandrios Mardonios Marincola medizing Megacles mind Munson narrative narrator nature nomos numbers ôå observes ôcí Odysseus ŒÆd ôeí ôHí one’s Oroites Otanes parallel Peisistratus Pelasgians Pelling people’s perhaps Persian perspective persuaded Plutarch Polykrates possibility presentation Pythios readers reading response reXect rhetoric Salamis Samians Samos seems signiWcant Spartans speciWcally speech story suggests Thebans Themistocles Thermopylae Thessalians Thucydides truth tyranny tyrant underlines Wfth-century Wght Wgure wider Wnal Wrst Xerxes