Towards the end of the fifth century BC Herodotus wrote his Histories, a work in which he sought to explain why the Greeks had won the Persian Wars. The Histories are widely credited for pioneering the Western tradition of historiography – already Cicero called Herodotus “the father of history”. But what is original about Herodotus’ Histories is not so much what he wrote about – after all Homer had already focused his narrative on a great war – but how he wrote about it. Herodotus blended history and literature, political, cultural, and military history, ethnography, geography, zoology, linguistics and religion (to name just a few interests of this highly versatile author) in a unique and sophisticated fashion. In bringing these different strands of knowledge together Herodotus’ Histories reflect the cultural and intellectual milieu of ancient Greece during the late fifth century BC when different areas of human life became subject to critical inquiry.
When: 27 October 2010
Where: Lecture Theatre 101, Sydney Law School Building, Eastern Avenue, Camperdown Campus
Free event. No booking required.