Herodotean Inquiries Cover

Herodotean Inquiries

ISBN/ASIN: 9789024700158,9789401031615 | 1970 | English | pdf | 217/223 pages | 6.41 Mb
Publisher: Springer Netherlands | Author: Seth Benardete (auth.) | Edition: 1

Herodotus has so often been called, since ancient times, the father of history that this title has blinded us to the question: Was the father of history an historian? Everyone knows that the Greek word from which 'history' is derived always means inquiry in Herodotus. His so-called Histories are in­ quiries, and by that name I have preferred to call them. His inquiries partly result in the presentation of events that are now called 'historical'; but other parts of his inquiry would now belong to the province of the anthro­ pologist or geographer. Herodotus does not recognize these fields as distinct; they all belong equally to the subject of his inquiry, but it is not self-evident what he understands to be his subject: the notorious difficulties in the proemium are enough to indicate this. If his work presents us with so strange a mixture of different fields, we are entitled to ask: Did Herodotus under­ stand even its historical element as we understand it? Without any proof everyone, as far as I am aware, who has studied him has assumed this to be so.

Herodotean Inquiries

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