The Historian's Craft in the Age of Herodotus by Nino Luraghi

By Nino Luraghi

The origins and improvement of Greek historiography can't be thoroughly understood until early ancient writings are located within the framework of overdue archaic and early classical Greek tradition and society. Contextualization opens up new views at the topic in The Historian's Craft in the Age of Herodotus. Essays via a global diversity of specialists discover all points of the subject and, even as, make a thought-provoking contribution to the continuing debates relating literacy and oral tradition.

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It is more plausible perhaps to suggest that the information span revealed by Herodotus reflects the development of the polis as an institution in the period from 750 bc to 650 bc; but that would require a whole other investigation. In classical scholarship this dividing-line is already referred to in the idea of a transition from spatium mythicum to spatium historicum; but these are concepts which possess more resonance than explanatory power. The fact that the Greek oral traditions on which Herodotus drew seem to operate within the same chronological limits as the traditions of other societies may already require some explanation in relation to the existence of a strong oral epic tradition in early Greece, which is certainly earlier in its origins than the late Dark Age.

The oral tradition of logoi, to which Herodotus claims to belong, does not present the types of information which writing could have helped to preserve. It is more plausible perhaps to suggest that the information span revealed by Herodotus reflects the development of the polis as an institution in the period from 750 bc to 650 bc; but that would require a whole other investigation. In classical scholarship this dividing-line is already referred to in the idea of a transition from spatium mythicum to spatium historicum; but these are concepts which possess more resonance than explanatory power.

Second, on the model proposed above, we should think especially in terms of the preservation of tradition and of channels of information: what types of logioi andres were available and recognizable to the more or less conscientious Greek enquirer? I begin with a negative proposition: it is important to remember what was not available to or not used by Herodotus. , Terzo contributo (Rome, 1966), 807–18; English translation in Essays in Ancient and Modern Historiography (Oxford, 1977), 25–35. ), Achaemenid History [p.

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