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Sicily from Aeneas to AugustusNew Approaches in Archaeology and History$
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Christopher J. Smith and John Serrati

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780748613670

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748613670.001.0001

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Sicily in the Athenian Imagination:

Sicily in the Athenian Imagination:

Chapter:
(p.84) 7 Sicily in the Athenian Imagination:
Source:
Sicily from Aeneas to Augustus
Author(s):

Harrison Thomas

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748613670.003.0007

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

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