Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Motivation and Narrative in Herodotus$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Emily Baragwanath

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231294

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231294.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2020

Problematized motivation in the Samian and Persian logoi (Book III)

Problematized motivation in the Samian and Persian logoi (Book III)

(p.82) 4 Problematized motivation in the Samian and Persian logoi (Book III)
Motivation and Narrative in Herodotus

Emily Baragwanath (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the way in which evidence from character and action, in the Histories, is not necessarily a guide to motivation; and how, despite the importance Herodotus places on nomoi, these too are no necessary determinant of behaviour. Against the foil supplied by Thucydides' practice in this respect, it examines how Herodotus exposes the difficulties involved in determining motives in his depiction of paradoxical and irrational motivation in the Samian and Persian narratives. Cambyses is taken to be an extreme example of general human behaviour: comparison with others suggests that his behaviour, if extreme, is not entirely idiosyncratic, and deconstructs the idea that Greeks and Persians differ at all in this respect. Herodotus' ascriptions of motives are seen to function as sites of destabilisation that indicate dissonance between intention and outcome, hint at variant readings, or foreground ironies.

Keywords:   Herodotus, Histories, motives, motivation, nomoi, Thucydides, irrational motivation, Cambyses

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .