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Aegina: Contexts for Choral Lyric PoetryMyth, History, and Identity in the Fifth Century BC$
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David Fearn

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199546510

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546510.001.0001

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‘Lest the things done by men become exitēla’: Writing up Aegina in a Late Fifth-Century Context

‘Lest the things done by men become exitēla’: Writing up Aegina in a Late Fifth-Century Context

Chapter:
(p.426) 11 ‘Lest the things done by men become exitēla’: Writing up Aegina in a Late Fifth-Century Context
Source:
Aegina: Contexts for Choral Lyric Poetry
Author(s):

Elizabeth Irwin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546510.003.0012

In this chapter the focus shifts to the less conspicuous appearances of Aegina in Herodotus' text, those in the first four books, to show what kind of prelude they provide to the Aeginetans' prominent roles in the later Histories, and how they interact with the concerns of Herodotus' present day, especially in respect of thalassocracy. Herodotus' treatment of Aegina here is seen within, and as a reaction to, broader fifth-century historiographical interest in thalassocracy, and that of Athens especially; of particular interest is comparison with Thucydides. Attestations to Aegina's early naval achievements in war and trade reveal how Herodotus' text strives to save her deeds from oblivion and to expose the principal threats to her kleos. Herodotus addresses with subtlety the competition of present times with those of the past, and the efforts of the current and last thalassocracy (Athens) to have itself considered also the greatest and most significant.

Keywords:   Herodotus, Thucydides, Athens, Aegina, war, thalassocracy, historiography

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