GREK401D

Herodotus and Thucydides: The Origins of Greek Historiography. This course will focus on translating selections from the historians Herodotus and Thucydides, who, as Leslie Kurke has put it (in O. Taplin [ed.], Literature in the Greek World [Oxford 2000], p. 115), were responsible for “charting the poles of history” for ancient, and by extension modern, historiography. The course will be evenly divided between these two historians, with the first six and one-half weeks devoted to Herodotus and the second six and one-half weeks devoted to Thucydides. Students will also be introduced to recent trends in modern scholarship on Herodotus and Thucydides, as well as to interpreting these historians, particularly through understanding the cultural backdrop against which they were writing and the possibilities and limitations of using them in modern historical reconstructions. Instead of just seeing differences between the approaches of Herodotus and Thucydides, we will also investigate whether any similarities in their approaches existed.