Divinity and History: The Religion of Herodotus by Thomas Harrison

Divinity and History: The Religion of Herodotus

byThomas Harrison

Paperback | August 15, 2002

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Critics of Herodotus have generally shown an unease in the face of the religious passages of the Histories, a sense that he 'lets himself down' by delving into matters irrelevant to the proper purpose of history. They have tended consequently to latch on to isolated instances of scepticism inan attempt to vindicate Herodotus from imagined charges of obscurantism. Historians of Greek religion, on the other hand, by their concentration on ritual as the central feature of Greek religious experience, have often neglected the value of literary sources as evidence of religious belief; indeedthe term belief has become something of a dirty word. In this book, the first full-length study of the subject in English, Dr Harrison not only places Herodotus' religious beliefs at the centre of his conception of history, but by seeing instances of scepticism and of belief in relation to oneanother redresses the recent emphasis on the centrality of ritual, and paints a picture of Greek religion as a means for the explanation of events.

About The Author

Thomas Harrison is Lecturer in Ancient History, the University of St Andrews

Details & Specs

Title:Divinity and History: The Religion of HerodotusFormat:PaperbackDimensions:332 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.74 inPublished:August 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199253552

ISBN - 13:9780199253555

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Divinity and History2. Solon and Human Fortune3. Miracles and the Miraculous4. Divine Retribution5. Oracles and Divination6. The Unity and Multiplicity of the Divine7. The Limits of Knowledge and Inquiry8. Foreign Gods and Foreign Religion9. Fate and Human Responsibility10. Epilogue

Editorial Reviews

`What Harrison uncovers for us in the course of this study, while it may not be reducible to a tidy set of tenets, is a positive discovery and enables us to develop a richer understanding of religious phenomena in Herodotus' Histories.'The Anglo-Hellenic Review