Herodotus and persia

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Abstract

Herodotus of Thurii According to Aristotle, the first sentence of the Histories introduced it as the work 'of Herodotus of Thurii'. Thurii was a panhellenic colony founded during Herodotus' lifetime (probably 444/443 BCE) under the guidance of Athens, initially by invitation of the Sybarites, on the site of the former Achaean city of Sybaris. It represented, to a great extent, a brilliant communal experiment. After the departure of the old Sybarites, the colony became, or at least strove to be, a polis for all Greeks, internally mixed, egalitarian and democratic. If Aristotle is correct, Herodotus' identification with this project at the beginning of his work carries certain ideological consequences. On the eve of the battle of Salamis, Themistocles declares to the uncooperative Greek allies that the Athenians might leave their home and move to Siris (8.62.2). If 'Herodotus of Thurii' is the first Italian reference in the work, Themistocles' threat is the last. In both passages, implicitly or explicitly, Italy is a place where one starts a new life. By travelling the distance between the one and the other, we will begin to derive from the scattered evidence in the Histories Herodotus' unified vision of the Italian West.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Companion to Herodotus
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages274-289
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781139001045
ISBN (Print)052183001x, 9780521830010
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities

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