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

The Helen Logos and Herodotus’ Fingerprint

Chapter:
(p.127) 4 The Helen Logos and Herodotus’ Fingerprint
Source:
Myth, Truth, and Narrative in Herodotus
Author(s):

Irene de Jong

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199693979.003.0005

Herodotus' discussion of the Trojan War in Histories 2.112–20 consists mainly of two strands: a historiographical evaluation of his sources, Homer and the Egyptian priests (116–17, 120), and the presentation of an alternative version (Helen never went to Troy but stayed in Egypt), as heard from the Egyptians (113–16, 118–19). Previous scholarship has focused on Herodotus' historiographical exercise (Neville 1977) and on determining the possible Greek sources for his alternative story (Lloyd 1993: 46–8). This chapter examines closely the alternative story itself: what are the typical Herodotean themes, techniques, and story-patterns? Establishing such links with the rest of the Histories leads to the conclusion that, notwithstanding the existence of Greek sources and Herodotus' own mention of an Egyptian source, the story is in the end mainly the product of Herodotus himself. This reading shows that, though for Herodotus ‘myth’ or the time of heroes may be distinct from ‘what is called the human age’ (3.122), it is not a completely separate category: it is, at least in this case, open to historiographical inquiry and connected with the present via a chain of information, and it displays the same patterns and motifs as elsewhere in the Histories.

Keywords:   Herodotus and myth, historiographical method, trojan war, Helen logos, narrative art, Herodotus and Egypt, story-patterns, repetition

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 .

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.