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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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Dogs That Do Not (Always) Bark

Dogs That Do Not (Always) Bark

Herodotus on Persian Egypt

(p.99) 5 Dogs That Do Not (Always) Bark
Interpreting Herodotus

Christopher Tuplin

Oxford University Press

The chapter collects and discusses the historical information provided by Herodotus about Egypt between the Persian conquest and his own time. Egypt attracts more post-conquest attention than Lydia or Babylonia, but it is still very modest: it mostly comes through histoire événementielle and lacunae; lack of system abounds, allusions can be tantalizing, misrepresentation is not absent, and some of the omissions (notably the revolt of 522 or fate of the Saite kings’ Greco-Carian mercenaries) seem decidedly peculiar. The mixture of surprises and silences does not suggest that Herodotus is consciously expressing a coherent judgement about Persian rule of the country, but there is a thematic interest in custom, continuity, and discontinuity.

Keywords:   Persian Egypt, Cambyses, Darius, Aryandes, revolt, mercenaries, customary behaviour, historiographical selectivity

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