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Interpreting Herodotus

Thomas Harrison and Elizabeth Irwin


Charles W. Fornara’s Herodotus. An Interpretative Essay (1971) was a landmark publication in the study of Herodotus. It is well known in particular for its main thesis that the Histories should be read against the background of the Atheno-Peloponnesian Wars during which Herodotus wrote. However, it also includes penetrating discussion of other issues: the relative unity of Herodotus’ work; the relationship between Herodotus’ ethnographies and his historical narrative; and the themes and motifs that criss-cross the Histories, how ‘history became moral and Herodotus didactic’. Interpreting Herod ... More

Keywords: Charles Fornara, Atheno-Peloponnesian Wars, Herodotus, contemporary context, Herodotus Book 2, ethnography, moralism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780198803614
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198803614.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Thomas Harrison, editor
Professor of Ancient History, University of St Andrews

Elizabeth Irwin, editor
Associate Professor of Classics, Columbia University