Persians in Thucydides

Rosaria Vignolo Munson

in Thucydides and Herodotus

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199593262
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191752261 | DOI:
Persians in Thucydides

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Thucydides' representation of Persia is inextricably linked to his response to Herodotus, who placed the Persians at the centre of his work. The younger historian was well aware that for the Greeks of his time, as they were embarking on the long mutual war he describes, the most vivid cultural memory concerned their earlier resistance against the Persians, from which they derived a wealth of still current paradigms. After Xerxes' defeat, moreover, Persia continued to exist as a neighbouring power, which mainland Greeks may initially have viewed as marginal, but which ended up as the arbiter in their own war. This chapter examines Thucydides' representation of Persia's role in the history of the Greeks, what information about Persian agents, culture, and events he knows about or considers important, and his ‘Persian’ interactions with Herodotus.

Keywords: Thucydides; Herodotus; Persia; Greek history; Greek historians

Chapter.  15013 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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