Ethnicity and Identity in Herodotus: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Ethnicity and Identity in Herodotus

1st Edition

Edited by Thomas Figueira, Carmen Soares


352 pages

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Hardback: 9781138631113
pub: 2019-12-17
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Herodotus is the epochal authority who inaugurated the European and Western consciousness of collective identity, whether in an awareness of other societies and of the nature of cultural variation itself or in the fashioning of Greek self-awareness - and necessarily that of later civilizations influenced by the ancient Greeks - which was perpetually in dialogue and tension with other ways of living in groups.

In this book fourteen contributors explore ethnicity - the very self-understanding of belonging to a separate body of human beings - and how it evolves and consolidates (or ethnogenesis). This inquiry is focused through the lens of Herodotus as our earliest master of ethnography, in this instance not only as the stylized portrayal of other societies, but also as an exegesis on how ethnocultural differentiation may affect the lives, and even the very existence, of one’s own people.

Ethnicity and Identity in Herodotus is one facet of a project which intends to bring Portuguese and English-speaking scholars of antiquity into closer cooperation. It has united a cross-section of North American classicists with a distinguished cohort of Portuguese and Brazilian experts on Greek literature and history writing in English.

Table of Contents


Introduction Thomas Figueira

Part 1: The Methodology of Ethnic Identification in Herodotus

1. Herodotus’ Hermēneus and the Translation of Culture in the Histories Steven Brandwood

2. Language as a Marker of Ethnicity in Herodotus and Contemporaries Thomas Figueira

3. Protocols of Ethnic Specification in Herodotus Brian Hill

4. Emotion and Ethnicity in Herodotus’ Histories Emily Allen-Hornblower

Part 2: Ethnicity among the Greeks

5. Mages and Ionians Revisited Gregory Nagy

6. Freedom and Culture in Herodotus Rosaria Vignolo Munson

7. Cosmopolitanism and Contingency in Herodotus: Myth and Tragedy in the Fourth Book of the Histories Alexandre Agnolon

8. A Goddess for the Greeks. Demeter as Identity Factor in Herodotus Nuno Simões Rodrigues

Part 3: Ethnic Identity among the Barbaroi

9. Herodotus’ Memphite Sources Rogério de Sousa

10. The Greeks as seen from the East. Xerxes’ European Enemy Maria de Fátima Silva

11. Mirages of Ethnicity and the Distant North in Book Four of the Histories: Hyperboreans, Arimaspians and Issedones Renaud Gagné

12. Ethnicity in Herodotus. The Story of Helen through the Egyptians’ Eyes Maria do Céu Fialho

Part 4: Reflections of Herodotean Ethnic Historiography

13. Barbarians, Greekness, and Wisdom: The Afterlife of Croesus’ Debate with Solon Delfim Leão

14. Scientific Discourse in Herodotus Book II of Histories and its Reflection in the Age of New World Discovery Carmen Soares.

Index of Ancient Sources

Subject Index

About the Editors

Thomas Figueira is Distinguished Professor of Classics and of Ancient History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, USA.

Carmen Soares is Associate Professor of the University of Coimbra, Portugal, and a member of the Center for Classical and Humanistic Studies of the same university.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General