CG311 Greek Prose: Herodotus' Histories

Prof. Michael Arnush Ladd 209 x5462
marnush@skidmore.edu Hours: MF 12-1
Web Resources

On Thursdays we will discuss some of the scholarship written on Herodotus and his Histories. For our first Thursday together, Sept. 15th, we will read from the Landmark Herodotus and the Cambridge Companion to Herodotus. Please read the pieces listed below and come to class prepared to discuss the questions that follow:

Readings for Sept. 15

  • "Introduction" to the Landmark Herodotus, R. Thomas
  • "Editor's Preface" to the Landmark Herodotus, R. Strassler
  • "Translator's Preface" to the Landmark Herodotus, A. Purvis
  • "Introduction" to the Cambridge Compansion, C. Dewald and J. Marincola

Questions for Sept. 15

  • Who was Herodotus; what is the historical, intellectual and moral context of his world; and was he a reliable source for those contexts?
  • What is the relationship between an oral traditional and an historical narrative?
  • What are the approaches of and perspectives on Herodotus and his Histories by the editor and translator of the Landmark Herodotus?
  • According to Dewald and Marincola, how has scholarship on Herodotus and his Histories evolved from Jacoby's article in Pauly-Wissowa's Real-Encyclopedia (1913) to the Cambridge Companion to Herodotus (2006) and what have been and now are some of the key issues under consideration?
In subsequent weeks, we will read articles from the Cambridge Companion totalling approximately 30 pages for each Thursday, and the responsibility for generating discussion questions will fall to all of you on a rotating basis. When it is your turn, post the questions in the appropriate Blackboard Discussion Board on the Monday of your week. All of you will submit one-two page papers due the following Wednesday, with the discussions to follow the next day. The questions you pose and your skill at facilitating discussion will be part of your class participation grade; the five short essays you will write comprise 20% of your final grade. Feel free to consult the Appendices to the Landmark Herodotus for additional background information. Schedule:

Sept. 22nd (questions posted Sept. 19, paper due Sept. 21, discussion Sept. 22)
Liz (poetry) and Laura (prose)

  • "Herodotus and the poetry of the past," J. Marincola, pp. 13-28
  • "Herodotus and his prose predecessors," R. Fowler, pp. 29-45

Sept. 29th (questions posted Sept. 26, paper due Sept. 28, discussion Sept. 29)

  • "Speech and narrative in the Histories," C. Pelling, pp. 103-121
  • "Stories and storytelling in the Histories," pp. 130-144

Oct. 6th (questions posted Oct. 3, paper due Oct. 5, discussion Oct. 6)

  • "Herodotus and the natural world," J. Romm, pp. 178-191
  • "Herodotus and Greek religion," S. Scullion, pp. 192-208

Oct. 13th (questions posted Oct. 10, paper due Oct. 12, discussion Oct. 13)

  • "The intellectual milieu of Herodotus," R. Thomas, pp. 60-75
  • "Herodotus, political history and political thought," S. Forsdyke, pp. 224-241

Oct. 20th (questions posted Oct. 17, paper due Oct. 19, discussion Oct. 20)

  • "Herodotus and Persia," M. Flower, pp. 274-289
  • "Herodotus and foreign lands," T. Rood, pp. 290-305