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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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Herodotus’ Conception of Historical Space and the Beginnings of Universal History

Herodotus’ Conception of Historical Space and the Beginnings of Universal History

Chapter:
(p.145) 8 Herodotus’ Conception of Historical Space and the Beginnings of Universal History
Source:
Herodotus and his World
Author(s):

Josémiguel Alonso-núñez

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253746.003.0008

This chapter deals with the first category in the work of Herodotus, i.e., space. Space must be understood in an empirical sense, not in a theoretical one. As part of his task of travel and enquiry, Herodotus visited the Persian empire. After referring to the geographic ideas and conceptions of the world that Herodotus found, the chapter shows how he contributed to and unconsciously helped historiography to evolve, thanks to his travels and observations. In this way, he laid down the foundations of universal historiography, which were afterwards developed by Polybius when he tried to explain the rise of Rome to world power.

Keywords:   Herodotus, space, Persian empire, universal historiography, Polybius

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