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Herodotus and Hellenistic CultureLiterary Studies in the Reception of the Histories$
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Jessica Priestley

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199653096

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653096.001.0001

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The Persian Wars: New Versions and New Contexts

The Persian Wars: New Versions and New Contexts

(p.157) 4 The Persian Wars: New Versions and New Contexts
Herodotus and Hellenistic Culture

Jessica Priestley

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses the impact of Herodotus' account of the Persian Wars in the Hellenistic period. Firstly, it discusses the assimilation of the invasion of Greece by the Gauls in the third century to Xerxes' invasion in the fifth, and highlights some of the difficulties involved in isolating Hellenistic reactions to Herodotus on the Persian Wars. It then examines the testimony of Timaeus of Tauromenium on Gelon's involvement in the Persian Wars. This example hints at marked regional differences in the way the Histories were read; Herodotus' treatment of the Persian War theme helps to explain the controversy over Histories as much as its popularity. A final section argues that Herodotus' opening chapters on the origin of the Persian Wars provide an important interpretative frame for later writers dealing with the theme of East-West hostilities, including Apollonius of Rhodes and Lycophron.

Keywords:   Persian Wars, reception, Gallic invasion of Greece, Timaeus of Tauromenium, Apollonius of Rhodes, Lycophron, Herodotus, Gelon

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