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Herodotus and Hellenistic Culture: Literary Studies in the Reception of the Histories (Hardback)
  • Herodotus and Hellenistic Culture: Literary Studies in the Reception of the Histories (Hardback)
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Herodotus and Hellenistic Culture: Literary Studies in the Reception of the Histories (Hardback)

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£115.00
Hardback 288 Pages
Published: 13/02/2014
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In a series of literary studies, Priestley explores some of the earliest ancient responses to Herodotus' Histories through the extant written record of the early and middle Hellenistic period. Responses to the Histories were rich and varied, and the range of Hellenistic writers responding in different ways to Herodotus' work is in part a reflection of the Histories'own broad scope. The Histories remained relevant in this later age and continued to speak meaningfully to a broad range of readers long after Herodotus' death.

Herodotus and Hellenistic Culture explores a variety of discourses where Herodotus occupies an important place in the intellectual background, and, in particular, it draws attention to writers not usually categorized as historians in order to broaden our perspectives on Herodotus' cultural importance. Through discussions of contemporary discourse relating to, for instance, the Persian Wars, geography, the wondrous, aesthetics, literary style, and biography, it nuances our understanding of how ancient readers reacted to and appropriated the Histories to serve their own distinct rhetorical goals. The volume also contributes to scholarship that reappraises the very term 'Hellenistic', drawing attention to both diachronic continuities and synchronic diversity in ancient Greek literature.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199653096
Number of pages: 288
Dimensions: 223 x 151 x 23 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Herodotus and hellenistic Culture offers a thoughtful discussion of the evidence for the historian's place in Hellenistic thought. - Alexander Sens, Hermathena

Jessica Priestley, in Herodotus and Hellenistic Culture, has taken full advantage of its speed and throughness in text-scanning to augment her survey of the Hellenistic world's receptive responses between the late fourth and the mid-second centuries BC. And her focus on Herodotus also provides a striking instance of the breakdown between genres ... Her wide-ranging collection of texts influenced by Herodotus, and manipulating his work for their own ends, take in - but goes well beyond - the historical, to explore poetry, geographical treatises and ancient scholarship, including literary criticism. That the use being made of the Histories today should thus be so strikingly echoed by their reception in antiquity may well be true, and Priestley makes a convincing case for it. - Peter Green, The Times Literary Supplement

In summary, this study not only provides new data ... but also focuses on authors and genres that are not normally studied in historiography. - Professor Roberto Nicolai, Sehepunkte [translated from Italian]

Herodotus and Hellenistic Culture steers readers toward a more radical model of Herodotean reception than prior scholarship has put forth. It will teach contemporary readers not only about Herodotus' ancient readers but also about Herodotus. Students of Herodotus should find the book a refreshing turn in Herodoteana, in which scholarly perspectives and tendencies long since honed and, in some cases, at risk of becoming 'unduly entrenched' find new life as they are directed toward less familiar texts. - Bryant Kirkland, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Priestley's volume is an engaging and fascinating one which, by looking back along this chain of reception into antiquity, not only exposes what Herodotus meant to the ancients, but also opens up the intriguing question of what Herodotus means to the modern world. - The Cambridge Humanities Review

Arriving at any definitive conclusions about Hellenistic culture is, of course, a herculean task ... but Priestley prudently focuses on a few finite approaches that yield persuasive results - Paul Ojennus, Classical Journal Online

... excellent study ... The book is full of striking observations and insights. - Andrew Morrison, SHARP News

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