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Herodotus' Persian Stories: Narrative Shape and Historical Interpretation

Herodotus' Persian Stories: Narrative Shape and Historical Interpretation Abstract: Herodotus' Persian stories have a distinctive shape, well-rounded, often centring on the king and his court, with women prominent. This shaping has interpretative value, and so does the 'biographical' character of the Persian books: the stories are like that because the world is like that. Greek history is messier and less linear. How far does this explain Persian imperialism? Perhaps by explaining the difficulty of persuading the king to exercise restraint, given the problems of talking straight at court. Ultimately this may be more about power than about Persia, with the might of the Great King offering the clarity of extremes. The Athenian empire was now presenting an opposite extreme of democratic freedom, and the jury was out on how that would end. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Syllecta Classica Department of Classics @ the University of Iowa

Herodotus' Persian Stories: Narrative Shape and Historical Interpretation

Syllecta Classica , Volume 27 – May 17, 2017

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Publisher
Department of Classics @ the University of Iowa
Copyright
Copyright © The University of Iowa
ISSN
2160-5157
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Abstract

Abstract: Herodotus' Persian stories have a distinctive shape, well-rounded, often centring on the king and his court, with women prominent. This shaping has interpretative value, and so does the 'biographical' character of the Persian books: the stories are like that because the world is like that. Greek history is messier and less linear. How far does this explain Persian imperialism? Perhaps by explaining the difficulty of persuading the king to exercise restraint, given the problems of talking straight at court. Ultimately this may be more about power than about Persia, with the might of the Great King offering the clarity of extremes. The Athenian empire was now presenting an opposite extreme of democratic freedom, and the jury was out on how that would end.

Journal

Syllecta ClassicaDepartment of Classics @ the University of Iowa

Published: May 17, 2017

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