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Herodotus and his WorldEssays from a Conference in Memory of George Forrest$
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Peter Derow and Robert Parker

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253746

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253746.001.0001

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Panionios of Chios and Hermotimos of Pedasa (Hdt. 8. 104–6)

Panionios of Chios and Hermotimos of Pedasa (Hdt. 8. 104–6)

Chapter:
(p.37) 3 Panionios of Chios and Hermotimos of Pedasa (Hdt. 8. 104–6)
Source:
Herodotus and his World
Author(s):

Simon Hornblower (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253746.003.0003

This chapter focuses on one of the grimmer stories in Herodotus, and its grimness may explain its neglect in most modern books about him. The context of the story in Book 8 (104-6) is the defeated Xerxes' decision in 480 bc to send his children ahead of him to Ephesus. They are to be accompanied there by Artemisia Queen of Halikarnassos, but guarded by Hermotimos of Pedasa, second to none among the king's eunuchs. It is argued that this story is not literally true. It conforms to a story pattern of a biblical type, the story in two halves of Joseph the Jew who became Joseph the Egyptian. Hermotimos is a Karian who is physically maltreated by castration and sold into Persia by a man from Chios called Panionios, who bears a unique personal name suggesting the Ionian festival and religious centre called respectively the Panionia and the Panionion. This half of the story stands for the combined process by which colonizing Greeks on the one hand subjugated the indigenous inhabitants of the East Aegean region, while on the other hand asserted their own superior and exclusivist identity by forming groupings such as the Panionion.

Keywords:   Herodotus, Xerxes, Joseph the Jew, Greeks

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