Herodotus in Context: Ethnography, Science and the Art of Persuasion

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Overview

This book examines the Histories of Herodotus within the context of the intellectual climate of the mid to late fifth century BC. Herodotus is read widely for his accounts of archaic Greek history but his descriptions of Egypt, Scythia and Libya are equally fascinating. Rosalind Thomas concentrates on the latter, along with Herodotus' accounts of the wonders of nature and his methods of convincing his audiences, seeing these as part of the world of scientific inquiry and controversy more familiar from the natural philosophers and medical works of the time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The "Father of History," Herodotus, has developed into a particularly active field of research in the past 25 years and hardly goes by without an important new study. This book by Thomas is one of the best." Choice

"...this leads to a provacative, yet highly compelling, new perspective on the intellectual and cultural dynamics of this seminal era... Thomas has made a valuable contribution to our appreciation of Herodotus and his work, and to our understanding of the fertile, fluid, and contentious intellectual atmosphere in which he lived and to which he contributed." New England Classical Journal

"The 'Father of History,' Herodotus, has developed into a particularly active field of research in the past 25 years and hardly a year goes by without an important new study. This book by Thomas is one of the best." —Choice

Booknews
Thomas's fascinating study analyzes the of Herodotos to reveal the historian's awareness of current philosophical trends, the influence on him of his polyglot homeland (he was from Halicarnassus), his rhetorical techniques, and other aspects of his cultural milieu. These contextual aspects are explored as Thomas (ancient history, Royal Holloway, U. of London, UK) discusses the major themes of the , including medicine, wonders, the natural world, and foreign lands and people. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521662598
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2005
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Rosalind Thomas is Reader in Ancient History at Royal Holloway, University of London. She is the author of Oral Tradition and Written Record in Classical Athens (1989 HB 0521350255; 1991 PB 0521425182) and Literacy and Orality in Ancient Greece (1992/HB 0521373468; PB 0521377420).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; References and texts; 1. Introduction; 2. Medicine and the ethnography of health; 3. Dividing the world: Europe, Asia, Greeks and barbarians; 4. Nomos is king: nomos, environment and ethnic character in Herodotus; 5. 'Wonders' and the natural world: natural philosophy and historie; 6. Argument and the language of proof; 7. Polemic and persuasion; 8. Performance, competitive display and apodeixis; 9. Epilogue; Appendix. beavers and female ailments; Bibliography; Indexes.

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