Carolyn Dewald

in The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199286140
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History


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In discussing ancient historiography, this article makes something of the opposite claim: Thucydides – for example – wrote ‘a possession for all time’, but was also a man of his age. The ‘linguistic’ and the ‘cultural’ turn in the study of historiography help situate his work in a broader fifth-century context and acknowledge its strangeness. Among other things, new approaches enable people to rediscover the connections between rhetoric and historiography – connections that were clear to all in antiquity, but have since eluded many readers. The discussion focuses on some changes that have occurred during the last half-century or so in the way in which classicists think and write about the narratives of four of the ancient Greek historians whose works remain largely extant: Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, and Polybius.

Keywords: Thucydides; ancient Greek historiography; rhetoric; antiquity; ancient Greek historians; Herodotus; Xenophon; Polybius

Article.  6460 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Greek History

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