PAST OF ANOTHER KIND – DOXOGRAPHERS, MYTHOGRAPHERS, LOGOGRAPHERS AND THE LOT

  • Pobezin, G.
Abstract:
Greek and Roman Historiography cultivated a special attitude to distant past, deeming it difficult to pinpoint (e.g. Thucydides). But ever since Herodotus' dismissal of mythological explanations of possible reasons for the perennial conflict between the Greek and the Persian world (Her. 1.5) which eventually culminated in the Persian wars, Greek historiography gradually steered away from involving myth in historical texts even though, as we see in Socrates’ reassuring arguments that the Athenians have every reason to be proud of their grand past – doing this by invoking the example of Theseus (Xen. Mem. 3.5.10), the temptation to explain the “ever present circumstances” with the aid of mythology was strong even in the most rational of ages. In his rather precursory glance at what he calls “the past” – meaning everything that predates the Peloponnesian war – Thucydides refers to mythology but treats mythological evidence almost exclusively as tradition, thereby showing his extreme reservation towards the matter: distant past (and mythology even more so) is to be dealt with very carefully “for men receive the report of things, though of their own country if done before their own time, all alike, from one as from another, without examination” (Thuc. 1,20). On the other hand, before the rational revolution in Roman historiography, we detect no such critical reservation: if anything, mythology is warmly embraced as an integral part of historiography. Myth translates to reality. The obvious question is – how so?
SGEM Research areas:
Year:
2016
Type of Publication:
In Proceedings
Keywords:
Greek historiography; Roman historiography; logographers; mythographers; myth; narrative
Volume:
16
SGEM Book title:
3rd International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM2016, Vienna Extended Session
Book number:
3.1
SGEM Series:
International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts-SGEM
Pages:
163-170
Publisher address:
51 Al. Malinov blvd, Sofia, 1712, Bulgaria
SGEM supporters:
SWS Scholarly Society; Acad Sci Czech Republ; Latvian Acad Sci; Polish Acad Sci; Russian Acad Sci; Serbian Acad Sci & Arts; Natl Acad Sci Ukraine; Natl Acad Sci Armenia; Sci Council Japan; European Acad Sci, Arts & Letters; Acad Fine Arts Zagreb Croatia; C
Period:
06-09 April, 2016
ISBN:
978-619-7105-52-0
ISSN:
2367-5659
Conference:
3rd International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM2016, Vienna Extended Session, 06-09 April, 2016
DOI:
10.5593/SGEMSOCIAL2016/HB31/S02.021
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