Chapter

Sicily in the Athenian Imagination:

Harrison Thomas

in Sicily from Aeneas to Augustus

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780748613670
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748650996 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748613670.003.0007
Sicily in the Athenian Imagination:

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This chapter is concerned not with an episode in the history of events but with the imaginary history of those events, with the patterns into which events are moulded in the imagination of contemporaries. It deals in particular with perhaps the most charged, emotive episode in the imaginary history of Sicily: the expedition of Athens to Sicily as it is narrated by Thucydides, and with the ways in which Thucydides' account mirrors Greek representations of the Persian wars. Both Thucydides' Athens and Herodotus' Persia emerge also as powers driven to expand. Imperial expansion is seen almost as a form of propitiation of the deity. The gradual coming together of the cities of Sicily and the working out of Hermocrates' plan of uniting to conquer are, together with the relentless process of the isolation and destruction of the Athenian forces, the chief theme of the chapter.

Keywords: history of events; Sicily; expedition; Athens; Thucydides; expansion; Persian wars; propitiation; deity; Hermocrates

Chapter.  6342 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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