greek herodotus book 1

greek herodotus book 1 - Masterpieces of Greek Literature...

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Masterpieces of Greek Literature Dr. Fredricksmeyer Herodotus. The Persian Wars: Background and Book 1 Background Herodotus (480-after 430 BCE) Halicarnassus – where Herodotus was from, very cosmopolitan place widely traveled, especially Egypt Lived in Athens under Pericles (ruler of Athens) Thurii – helped found this place, an artificially created international city in southern Italy (multi-cultural) ethnography = writing about different ethnic groups. He is naturally inclined to be a good writer because of his background (where he grew up, where he lived, where he spent time, his wide travels) all this lead him to not judge different cultures. He didn’t see one culture to be inferior or superior to another, recognized that all cultures are different, due to his exposure to many different cultures. Social Historian – looking at history from the bottom up. His sources were both: written personal anecdote – book is based on his own travels and experiences with other people organization- paratactic (associative)/ring composition Herodotus doesn’t go in a strictly chronological sequence, rather he’ll be talking about something and begin progressing on that topic going back in time to explain the topic and then eventually get back to the original topic he began talking about. More story telling. Ex: He mentions Croesus saying he’s the first man to have a major conflict with the Greek city state and then he’ll progress and go back 5 generations in Croesus’s family and give the history of that family, and then he’ll come back to Croesus saying he’s the first guy to have a major conflict with the Greeks and then continue with that history. probably incomplete Herodotus "the father of history" called this by Cicero pros as historian— empirical – much of what he writes is based on personal observation (oral history) much of what he writes within three generations of his own life are actually very accurate. concerned with accuracy cultural relativist – he doesn’t pre-judge cultures or judge non-Greek cultures as inferior to Greek cultures because of their differences. This is partly due to the sophists who made a distinction between these two terms: nomos/physis Physis: underlined human character that humans around the world share, an underlined commonality between all people, human nature. Nomos : customs and laws that can
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vary from place to place. The sophists stressed that different people have different customs and habits but underneath that we are essentially all the same. cons as historian— myth istoricus – he combines myth and history, he is both a mythographer and a historian. yet rational – he accepts homer and the Trojan war as a historical fact. (the Trojan war probably has historical facts, homer portrays it as an epic conflict.) he treats myth rationally. He says things like the Greeks attacked the city of Troy but surely it wasn’t just because of one woman. He says it doesn’t make sense there has to be more to it than that. natural supernaturalism – he combines in the same episode the
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course CLAS 1110 taught by Professor Stevens,be during the Spring '08 term at Colorado.

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greek herodotus book 1 - Masterpieces of Greek Literature...

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