Herodotus and the genre of History

3/20/09 1:56 PM
Our conception of history is in many ways based on the approach of Thucydides who was highly influential and largely defined the genre for those who followed him. Because we view Herodotus from the perspective of Thucydides it changes the way we look at his writing. It is perhaps unfortunate that his work is called a history and that we judge it according to our standards for the genre of that name. I think that Herodotus had set out to create something quite different than a “history” as we know the term. I hope some day to investigate what Herodotus thought he was writing and look at how a better understanding of his genre might change the way we approach and evaluate his work.

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~ by severalfourmany on March 20, 2009.

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