HerodotusBook - 2000
This text brings new approaches to Herodotus' sources and to his methods of collecting information, to the logic of his narrative and to his understanding of human behaviour. Drawing on recent advances in the understanding or oral tradition, the author takes issue with a number of theories about Herodotus' historical thinking. Herodotus as a story teller, he argues, does not preclude Herodotus as a historian; reciprocity is central to his method; Herodotos' declared subject, the Persian Wars, is itself Herodotus' own construct, embodied in the form of continuous narrative derived from a mass of local and family traditions that reach back far into the past and encompass most of the known world. The book concludes that only a rejection of modern historiographical values that will bring us to the realisation of Herodotus' historiographical importance: we must see him as enacting in narrative the social memory of his own generation.