Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Myth, Truth, and Narrative in Herodotus$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Emily Baragwanath and Mathieu de Bakker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199693979

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693979.001.0001

Introduction: Myth, Truth, and Narrative in Herodotus’ Histories

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction: Myth, Truth, and Narrative in Herodotus’ Histories
Source:
Myth, Truth, and Narrative in Herodotus
Author(s):

Emily Baragwanath

Mathieu de Bakker

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693979.003.0001

This introductory chapter focuses on myth and its multiple relationships with the concepts of truth and narrative, both within Herodotus' Histories and between the work and its context. First, it discusses the problematic reception in modern history of the material deemed mythical in Herodotus' work, and offers suggestions towards a definition that makes myth a workable concept specifically in relation to the Histories. Next, the vexed question of time and knowledge is addressed and related to the debate about Herodotus' ideas about a spatium mythicum opposed to, or rather continuing into, a spatium historicum. Debating this question raises issues of authority and demands reflection upon Herodotus' historiographical aspirations in recounting or adapting material deemed mythical. The historical context of myth is then considered, as well as its particular capacity to exercise a powerful influence upon the events that Herodotus narrates. Finally, attention is paid to the literary tradition that schooled and inspired Herodotus, as it presented itself in the shape of epic, lyric, and dramatic poetry as well as orally transmitted stories.

Keywords:   Herodotus, history, truth, myth, narrative, tragedy, Homer, demythologisation, genealogy, lyric

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .