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Herodotean Narrative and Discourse
by Mabel Lang
Harvard University Press, 1984
Cloth: 978-0-674-38985-4
Library of Congress Classification PA25.M3 vol. 28
Dewey Decimal Classification 937

Mabel Lang offers a new interpretation of Herodotus. Her reading of the “Father of History” pinpoints the aspects of his style that clearly derive from oral composition. Lang examines oral techniques in storytelling, known from folktales and other oral literature as well as from Homer. She shows how the dramatic use of speeches—so characteristic of folk literature—played an important part in Herodotus' development of history out of the chronologies and geographies that he knew. Story form and speeches attributed to historical persons, she demonstrates, follow traditional formulas. She also studies in detail Herodotus' distinctive use of proverbs and rhetorical questions. Throughout, Lang draws on a variety of materials and offers particularly revealing comparisons of Homeric and Herodotean styles. This analysis of the evidence for oral composition in Herodotus' Histories opens a new perspective for students and scholars of Greek history.

See other books on: Discourse | Narration (Rhetoric) | Oral tradition | Rhetoric, Ancient | Technique
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