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New Worlds from Old TextsRevisiting Ancient Space and Place$
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Elton Barker, Stefan Bouzarovski, Christopher Pelling, and Leif Isaksen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199664139

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199664139.001.0001

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Space-travelling in Herodotus Book 5

Space-travelling in Herodotus Book 5

(p.225) 9 Space-travelling in Herodotus Book 5
New Worlds from Old Texts

Elton Barker (Contributor Webpage)

Christopher Pelling (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter takes a more discursive approach to interpreting the spatial structure underpinning Herodotus’ Histories by tracing the destabilizing idea of movement in the story of those ‘Persians whom Darius had left in Europe’ at the beginning of Book 5. A more complex picture of East–West relations emerges than the usual polarized view: it is not that there is no division between Asia and Europe, but rather the divisions are frequently temporary or partial or are subject to constant revision or challenge. The way Herodotus gets to his representation of war, on a meandering path that leads us through a series of overlapping and increasingly complex networks to depict a world in flux, challenges the notion of an abstract, mappable topography. Instead, it is in the realm of discursive narrative that readers might be better able to grasp the multi-dimensions of the space around them.

Keywords:   Herodotus, Histories, discursive space, East, West, movement, mapping, spatial, geography

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