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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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Herodotus and his World

Herodotus and his World

(p.187) 9 Herodotus and his World
Interpreting Herodotus

Joseph Skinner

Oxford University Press

Whilst meticulous in its analysis of individual books or logoi, modern scholarship has either taken Herodotus’ engagement with his wider world predominantly for granted or concerned itself primarily with merely ‘explaining’ certain aspects of Herodotus’ work or his achievement with reference to a single context or genre. In attempting to provide a more rounded consideration of questions of Herodotean audience reception, one that incorporates shared knowledge of Homeric epic or traditions relating to (still) powerful clans or families, ethnographic knowledge, Herodotean source ascriptions, and the rise and fall of great states and individuals, this chapter demonstrates that there is much to be gained from studying Herodotus’ engagement with both his world and the audiences that he set out to inform, challenge, and entertain.

Keywords:   ethnography, Greek identity, polarity, audience reception, Sostratus, Homer, perceptual filters, intercultural contact, imagined inter-group contact

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