The Phoenicians’ Impiety in the Narrative Process of Herodotus’ Work: The Theft of the Statue of Apollo as an Omen of Barbaric Defeat

War, Peace and Resilience in the Ancient World Narratives - Marinella Ceravolo

Jérémy Bonner
University of Toulouse II – Le Mirail

Description

Herodotus regularly uses narrative processes in order to explain peace and war. In this framework, religious elements play an important role, especially in the course of the Persian Wars. The plain of Marathon in 490 BCE is one example of this that clearly explains the Persian defeat. The author uses an ethical composition: the defeat is symbolically the fault of the Phoenicians from the Persian fleet who stole a statue of Apollo on the island of Delos, but the Persians, who disturb the balance between men and gods with their act of pride, are also guilty. Herodotus chooses the Phoenicians as narrative mediators of the Persians’ downfall, because they are always present at cultural, moral or physical borders. From the Greeks’ point of view, the Phoenicians stealing the statue of Apollo is an omen of the barbaric defeat in the course of the First Persian War.

Notify A Colleague

Citation

Bonner, Jérémy . The Phoenicians’ Impiety in the Narrative Process of Herodotus’ Work: The Theft of the Statue of Apollo as an Omen of Barbaric Defeat. War, Peace and Resilience in the Ancient World Narratives. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. May 2025. ISBN 9781000000000. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=44502. Date accessed: 22 Feb 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.44502. May 2025

Dublin Core Metadata