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: 30 November 2020

Xerxes: motivation and explanation (Books VII–IX)

Xerxes: motivation and explanation (Books VII–IX)

(p.240) 8 Xerxes: motivation and explanation (Books VII–IX)
Motivation and Narrative in Herodotus

Emily Baragwanath (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the interaction of ascriptions of motivation with wider patterns of explanation for Xerxes' failure, illustrating how, for example, specific attributions of motive—particularly the alternative possibilities—may encapsulate and draw attention to wider explanations. They may strengthen the impression that different explanations arise from different perspectives (particularly Greek versus Persian), thus illuminating the role of focalization in fashioning motives. The charge of megalophrosunê at Histories 7.24 is reevaluated, with Xerxes' notorious digging of the Athos Canal viewed as a matter as much of display as of hybris. The twin comparisons of Xerxes with his predecessors Darius and Cambyses highlight how Xerxes' behaviour is often at least as much the result of the circumstances in which he finds himself as of his character.

Keywords:   Histories, motives, motivation, explanation, perspectives, focalization, Xerxes, Darius, Cambyses, Athos, megalophrosunê

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 .