Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

Was the title eventually given to the genre of Greek historiography that narrated the local history of Attica. The genre was probably created by Hellanicus in the late 5th cent. It was most popular in the 4th cent. when Atthides were written by Cleidemus, Androtion, and Phanodemus. Philochorus, the last and most respected atthidographer, wrote in the 3rd.

In structure the Atthis was a chronicle, based upon a hypothetical list of kings (for the legendary period) and, after 683/2 bc, on the archons (see archontes). In the case of the latter the entries began with the archon's name, followed by his patronymic or demotic (see names, personal, greek), and then the formula, ‘in the time of this man such and such happened’. Within an entry, material was also arranged chronologically, but the structure was not conducive to showing relationship between events or cause and effect. The subject‐matter of an Atthis was typical of a local history, covering such diverse material as the origins of religious festivals and cults, etymology of place‐names, geography, ethnography, and the creation of financial and political institutions. In short, the Atthis was a blend of mythical fantasy and accurate historical detail, the latter esp. as the account came closer to the historian's own day. The style was ‘monotonous and hard for the reader to stomach’. The tone was patriotic, though more chauvinistic in some than others.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.