Historical Consciousness and the Use of the Past in the Ancient World - John Baines

Historical Consciousness and the Use of the Past in the Ancient World - John Baines

22. Thucydides and Myth

Historical Consciousness and the Use of the Past in the Ancient World - John Baines

Tim Rood [+-]
University of Oxford
Tim Rood is Professor of Greek Literature at the University of Oxford, where he is the Dorothea Gray Fellow and Tutor in Classics at St Hugh’s College. His research focuses on Greek historiography and its reception. His first book, Thucydides: Narrative and Explanation (1998), was published in the Oxford Classical Monographs series. Since then, he has written two books on the reception of Xenophon’s Anabasis: The Sea! The Sea! The Shout of the Ten Thousand in the Modern Imagination (2004) and American Anabasis: Xenophon and the Idea of America from the Mexican War to Iraq (2010).

Description

Thucydides has often been read as a model of a ‘scientific’ mode of historical writing grounded in the rejection of ‘myth’. This view is based in part on Thucydides’ own methodological pronouncements. But it underestimates the amount of mythical material that Thucydides included within his account of the Peloponnesian War (e.g. mythical references to Theseus, Tereus, Amphilochus, Alcmeon, Odysseus, and the Cyclopes, as well as ethnographic sections on the Thracians and the Aetolians). The aims of this chapter are: 1. To explore the reception of Thucydides’ use of mythography. What part, if any, have these passages played in the construction of the image of Thucydides as exemplary historian? 2. To offer an analysis of how Thucydides’ introduction of mythographic material itself contributes to his spatial and temporal construction of the Peloponnesian War. The author opposes modern narratives of the development of a Thucydidean mode of historiography to the narrative complexities of Thucydides himself, illuminating both modern constructions of classical historiography and the role of the mythical within Thucydides’ work.

Notify A Colleague

Citation

Rood, Tim. 22. Thucydides and Myth. Historical Consciousness and the Use of the Past in the Ancient World. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 331-344 Jun 2019. ISBN 9781781796566. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=33738. Date accessed: 21 Nov 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.33738. Jun 2019

Dublin Core Metadata