October 19 - Classical Greek Literature Historians The...

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October 19, 2007 Classical Greek Literature: Historians The beginnings of Greek historical writing o History: systematic inquiry into the past o Antecedents Lists of rulers, genealogies, memoirs of voyages ( periplous ) o Prose vs. poetry (compare pre-Socratic philosophy) o Hekataious (Hecataeus) of Miletos: the first historian (6 th century) Another product of the Ionian Enlightenment Account of the world ( periegesis ) Gibraltar to Black Sea, Egypt (map: center of the world) Approach: rationalize myths, harmonize chronologies; observation Skepticism: opening line (one of few surviving fragments) o The opinions of the Hellenes are many and foolish Greek Historians o Herodotos Backgrounds: from Ionia; born around time of Persian Invasions Leaves home in Persian-controlled Halikarnassos o Possibly involved in plot against Persian puppet Lygdamis Grandson of Artemisia (admiral for Persians at Salamis) Settles in Thurii (Athenian-led colony in Sicily)
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