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Thucydides and Herodotus$
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Edith Foster and Donald Lateiner

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199593262

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199593262.001.0001

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Herodotus and Thucydideson Blind Decisions Preceding Military Action

Herodotus and Thucydideson Blind Decisions Preceding Military Action

(p.125) 6 Herodotus and Thucydideson Blind Decisions Preceding Military Action
Thucydides and Herodotus

Hans-Peter Stahl

Oxford University Press

Obvious differences between Herodotus and Thucydides have been stated since antiquity, the younger historian being characterized as succinct (brevis) and always pushing himself ahead (semper instans sibi), the older one seen as pleasant (dulcis) and expansive (fusus; Quint. Inst. 10.73; the last-mentioned features are easily widened to a blame of being loose with the truth, like the innumerabiles fabulae offered by a poet: Cic. Leg. 1.1.5). But there also are, beyond questions of style and factual accuracy, essential affinities of outlook that merit verification. Leaving aside the wider framework within which either author ties in blind decision-making behaviour with ensuing, often deplorable, experience, this chapter concentrates on a detailed investigation of decision-making processes that precede military actions in both authors.

Keywords:   Thucydides, Herodotus, decision-making, military actions, Greek historians

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