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Myth, Truth, and Narrative in Herodotus
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Myth, Truth, and Narrative in Herodotus

Emily Baragwanath and Mathieu de Bakker

Abstract

Herodotus, the ‘Father of History’, is infamously known for having employed elements more akin to mythological tales than to unvarnished ‘truth’ in translating his historical research into narrative form. While these narratives provide valuable source material, he could not have surmised the hostile reception his work would receive in later generations. This mythical aspect of the Histories led many successors, most notoriously Plutarch, to blame Herodotus for spinning far-fetched lies, and to set him apart as an untrustworthy historian. Echoes of the same criticism resounded in twentieth-cent ... More

Keywords: Herodotus, mythological tales, historical research, histories, Plutarch, narrator

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199693979
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693979.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Emily Baragwanath, editor
Assistant Professor, Department of Classics, University of North Carolina

Mathieu de Bakker, editor
University Lecturer in Ancient Greek, University of Amsterdam

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