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Moral History from Herodotus to Diodorus Siculus$
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Lisa Irene Hau

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474411073

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411073.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Herodotus

Herodotus

Chapter:
(p.172) 4. Herodotus
Source:
Moral History from Herodotus to Diodorus Siculus
Author(s):

Lisa Irene Hau

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411073.003.0005

This chapter analyses the moralising techniques and moral lessons of Herodotus. Using the moralising techniques found and analysed in Polybius and Diodorus as its point of departure, it discovers that Herodotus uses a root version of many of the techniques found in more developed form in the two Hellenistic historiographers, but that he also moralises on the macro-plane by means of a structure of subtly repeating patterns. In terms of moral lessons, the chapter concludes that Herodotus is more interested in the relationship between human beings and superhuman forces than in relationships between human beings, and that the justice exercised by his superhuman forces is not always obvious to his human actors. His over-all moral lesson is one of caution and moderation, and it is less clear-cut than the moral messages of his Hellenistic successors.

Keywords:   Herodotus, Moral didacticism, Moralising, Patterns, Macro-structure, Divine justice, Reciprocity, Piety, Moderation, Humility

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