Motivation and Narrative in Herodotus by Emily BaragwanathMotivation and Narrative in Herodotus by Emily Baragwanath

Motivation and Narrative in Herodotus

byEmily Baragwanath

Paperback | February 29, 2012

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In his extraordinary story of the defence of Greece against the Persian invasions of 490-480 BC, Herodotus sought to communicate not only what happened, but also the background of thoughts and perceptions that shaped those events and became critical to their interpretation afterwards. Much asthe contemporary sophists strove to discover truth about the invisible, Herodotus was acutely concerned to uncover hidden human motivations, whose depiction was vital to his project of recounting and explaining the past. Emily Baragwanath explores the sophisticated narrative techniques with which Herodotus represented this most elusive variety of historical knowledge. Thus he was able to tell a lucid story of the past while nonetheless exposing the methodological and epistemological challenges it presented.Baragwanath illustrates and analyses a range of these techniques over the course of a wide selection of Herodotus' most intriguing narratives - from those on Athenian democracy and tyranny to Leonidas and Thermopylae - and thus supplies a method for reading the Histories more generally.
Emily Baragwanath is Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Title:Motivation and Narrative in HerodotusFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pagesPublished:February 29, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199645507

ISBN - 13:9780199645503

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Table of Contents

1. The Histories, Plutarch, and reader response2. The Homeric background3. Constructions of motives and the historian's persona4. Problematized motivation in the Samian and Persian logoi (Book III)5. For better, for worse . . .: motivation in the Athenian logoi (Books I and VI)6. `For freedom's sake . . .': motivation in the Ionian Revolt (Books V-VI)7. To medize or not to medize . . .: compulsion and negative motives (Books VII-IX)8. Xerxes: motivation and explanation (Books VII-IX)9. Themistocles: constructions of motivation (Books VII-IX)Epilogue

Editorial Reviews

"provocative, stimulating, dense, and often brilliant monograph... it deals in a highly original and illuminating way with the relationship between ascriptions of motive and the larger narrative strategies of the Histories." --Michael A. Flower, Bryn Mawr Classical Review