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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: 18 September 2021

Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.272) Conclusion
Source:
Moral History from Herodotus to Diodorus Siculus
Author(s):

Lisa Irene Hau

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474411073.003.0009

The conclusion is brief as each chapter has its own part-conclusion. It summarises the argument to the effect that Greek historiography was moral-didactic from its inception, and that techniques developed while lessons stayed largely stable, with individual historiographers having individual quirks and preferences. The stability of the moral messages is surprising considering the time span and changes in political situation and so demonstrates the power of tradition in morality and of imitation in literature. The thorny question of whether moralising meant inventing details and writing poor history is then discussed, and the conclusion is ventured that no historiographer is ever objective and that Moral History was in and of itself no poorer than any other kinds of History. The quality of the history writing was determined by the historian’s handling of sources and ability to analyse them, and not by his, probably unconscious, decision to view the world through a moralistic lens.

Keywords:   Development, Morality, Moral didacticism, Moralising, Genre, Imitatio, Tradition, Truth, Fictionalising, Moral History

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