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Interpreting Herodotus$
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Thomas Harrison and Elizabeth Irwin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803614

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803614.001.0001

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The Lesson of Book 2

The Lesson of Book 2

(p.53) 3 The Lesson of Book 2
Interpreting Herodotus

Ewen Bowie

Oxford University Press

This chapter first explores the ways in which Book 2 resists its characterization by Fornara in 1971 as marked by ‘the utter absence in II of the moral or philosophical element’. It picks out several features that link it with other parts of Herodotus’ work (e.g. moral judgements, direct speech, divine retribution), and then draws attention to elements in Herodotus’ presentation already found in archaic and early classical narrative elegy, culminating in the work of Herodotus’ relative Panyassis. It then briefly notices the differences between Herodotus’ work and that of Hecataeus, and concludes by offering an explanation for the diversity of the Enquiry that is so strikingly exemplified by Book 2.

Keywords:   moral judgement, elegy, Hecataeus, divine retribution, speeches, development, sexual desire, sophistic, geography, ethnography

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