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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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Xenophon, Hellenica

Xenophon, Hellenica

(p.216) 6. Xenophon, Hellenica
Moral History from Herodotus to Diodorus Siculus

Lisa Irene Hau

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter analyses the moralising techniques and moral lessons of Xenophon’s Hellenika. In terms of techniques, it discovers that Xenophon stands at a midway point between his Classical predecessors and Hellenistic successors, but that he uses scenes with dialogue without explicit narratorial interpretation more than any of the other historiographers studied. With regard to moral lessons, piety looms large in Xenophon, where divine justice also plays a large part in how the world works. In addition, friendship is more important than in any of the other historiographers studied, but otherwise the moral virtues of Xenophon are largely traditional. The chapter ends with a brief comparison of moralising in the Hellenika with Xenophon’s other works, which confirms the distinctions drawn in the Introduction between moralising in historiography compared with other genres.

Keywords:   Xenophon, Moral didacticism, Moralising, Patterns, Divine justice, Piety, Friendship, Justice, Leadership

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